The bike path is a jewel that should be treasured

I have read the negative comments about Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use path, with considerable dismay. I and my wife are owners at Pono Kai in Kapa’a. Part of every year, we live less than 100 feet from the path. For years we walked and hiked along the coast following the old narrow gauge railway bed and cane roads and trails from Kapa’a to Anahola. The creation of Ke Ala Hele Makalae was viewed with trepidation by owners and the resort at Pono Kai. The resort hired night security personnel. There has been no increase in any mischief by people walking the path, some of whom come to enjoy the south end of Kapa’a Beach Park, not far from our lanai. The path is used by hundreds of local residents including many keiki and kapuna. The initial 6 month trial of dogs on the path was a success. The great majority of dog owners are respectful and caring for their dogs and they clean up after them. We view this path as an asset and treasure here on Kaua’i. A path going to or through a shopping area or through town would be sad distortion of the purpose of this path and a betrayal of aloha.

We were not happy about the path being diverted by the Waipoli development across from Safeway and were very pleased to see that the extension was moving forward along the coast. The environmental issues are very minimal. This is floating slab concrete construction. Very little of the subsoil is disturbed. In a questionable or particularly sensitive environmental area, it could be an elevated board walk. There is erosion at the south end of the path near Pono Kai that we are concerned about. It resulted from winter storm surge and high surf this year and last. In one area, the erosion is within 10’ of the path. It is my opinion, that the seawall ought to have been extended an additional 100’ to the north when it was rebuilt several years ago. However, I also know that seawalls and jettys can have unintended consequences for shoreline erosion.

Please do not be unduly influenced by people who are acting in the belief that they are protecting the coastline. They are worried about the quiet enjoyment of their property. I get that. It is also possible that e-bikes and e-skateboards may have to be restricted. We have seen occasional “speeding” by these devices but the great majority of people using the path are very respectful of each other and the shoreline. This is a jewel that needs to be enhanced not curtailed.

Stan Greenbaum, Kapa’a

13 Comments
  1. Don April 25, 2021 4:18 am Reply

    Mr Greenbaum

    👍🏻👍🏻 Two thumbs up for your comments regarding the path. Totally agree.
    Mahalo


  2. Mark April 25, 2021 6:07 am Reply

    Wrong, owners here are not against the path, ok! Get that through your tiny liberal mind. The course of the path with a 90 degree Turn at a critical choke point is madness. Completely designed to fail over and over. Lawsuit after lawsuit will follow and when that happens, and it will, people like you who live in a world of make believe will be nowhere to answer for your foolishness. The alternative rout suggested by people that will deal with the disastrous decision every day, ask to be heard not bullied or shamed or Pooh-pooped by you Stan. Grow up. You have no idea what you are talking about.


    1. Betty Ball April 26, 2021 11:15 am Reply

      Pretty obvious who is doing the bullying and shaming here, Mark.


    2. Pete Antonson April 26, 2021 4:00 pm Reply

      Oh my, now that Rush is deader than a squished centipede, Mark has to grow his own hate. Mark, this one needed more water and your special fertilizer!


    3. james April 27, 2021 7:30 am Reply

      The government owns a highway. A car rear-ends another car. Is the government liable. Not likely. The government creates a bike/pedestrian path. A bicyclist runs over a pedestrian. Is the government liable? Not likely. I handled liability cases for 34 years as a trial lawyer. There are governmental immunities that also come into play on recreational use land such as a bike path. You don’t know what you are talking about as to government liability for injuries on the bike path, clearly. If you don’t like the route, that’s fine. But don’t mislead folks by trying to scare them with threats of lawsuits that will not be a factor.


  3. Doug April 25, 2021 9:08 am Reply

    Thank you Stan, very well written and to the point.


  4. MisterM April 25, 2021 10:32 am Reply

    Mr Greenbaum unknowingly makes a perfect argument why the County has no business buying any land along eroding beachfronts. He notes the beach erosion and blithely suggests extending the seawall. Such a notion is wildly misguided. Seawalls are nortoriously bad and simply move the problem to the next unarmored property, often creating erosion where there was none previously (it’s akin to throwing trash on your neighbor’s property – trash is still there but now is somebody else’s problem). Vulnerable beachfront property owners should expect their property to be inundated/washed away in the coming century and should be prepared to suffer the devastating financial consequences.


    1. Les Drent April 26, 2021 4:29 pm Reply

      Thank you for writing this, Mr Greenbaum. My family and I share your opinion. The path should be celebrated and treasured by both locals and visitors.


  5. Nancy April 25, 2021 2:09 pm Reply

    You would not say it was an asset or the safest path…not after getting hit by speeding bike riders…from the back while walking. It happened a few times…enough to have to go to urgent care once. We have not walked it since. I could not rouse the leader of this path…and after his sarcastic remark, we gave up.


    1. james April 29, 2021 7:00 am Reply

      So it’s the County’s fault that a bike rider hits you in the back? Wouldn’t it be the bike rider’s fault? Why are you letting the bike rider escape responsibility for their negligent actions? Everyone needs to accept responsibility for their own actions. Here, the bike rider would be clearly at fault, not the County. Sue the bike rider that hit you and hold them accountable.


  6. truth be known April 25, 2021 3:22 pm Reply

    Stan, I appreciated your article and have enjoyed using the path for years. However, please do not restrict the use of E-bikes as us older folks use them to negotiate the steeper hills.


  7. Catherine April 25, 2021 6:01 pm Reply

    I think it is time to revisit the rules of the beloved bike path. We all love going out for a walk or a bike ride, we could really use reposting of the rules for the bike path and state no E bikes that are to fast, the Electric skateboards cruising at 30 MPH, mini bikes, motor cycles, the bike teams racing by and what about the drug dealers riding up and down from the Ice camp by Anahola, if you just sit and watch you can see them going by on the bike path too, when you get to the pineapple pier you hear a cannon or large gun being shut off every day a number of times, around 5 o’clock, I see people duck and get scared and wonder if they’re being shot at, nobody knows. We need to request some security, the police would have a lot of business if they spent an hour on the bike path every day. please come to clean it up and have the county clear it and sweep it and keep it in shape, because we locals really love it
    thank you


  8. YuCalJoe April 26, 2021 1:41 pm Reply

    Don’t like the bath path plan? The easiest way to label it as being very negative is to falsely claim that the path plan is racist. You don’t need any facts to say this. This is the default false claim used against everything. Either way, the path in front of resorts without fencing between the resort and the path is just asking for trouble. Example: You and others are enjoying a nice meal at Lava Lava. You have a beautiful view of the ocean, people enjoying the ocean, and nice clean air. All of a sudden, a homeless person approaches your table and others to beg for money. Smokers will walk by, and even stand, and pollute the air just for you. Then a homeless person / or thief on a bike rides by and steals a purse from a restaurant patron, and makes a quick getaway on bike via the path. Is this possible? Yes. Is it likely? Who knows. But crooks like new opportunities.


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