Council member seeks parking ban during Kailua trail repairs

HONOLULU — A Honolulu City Council member has proposed banning unpermitted parking in an Oahu neighborhood while the state closes a popular trail nearby for two years to conduct repairs.

The state plans to close Maunawili Falls Trails in Kailua starting Thursday so it and a private landowner can preserve historic and cultural sites. It also plans to build parking and comfort stations.

The trail takes hikers through a lush forest to a waterfall.

As the trail has grown in popularity, neighbors have struggled with hikers parking illegally and trespassing as well as urinating in their yards and leaving behind dirty diapers.

Chris Nakamatu of the Maunawili Estates Community Association said about 1,000 people use the trail on the weekends.

City Council member Esther Kiaʻāina, who represents the area, told Hawaii News Now said she doesn’t expect people to stop coming when the trail closes. So she’s calling for a ban on unpermitted parking in the neighborhood during the closure.

The city already restricts parking for those without permits in a Kalihi neighborhood, she said.

“I think that this is the best way to balance the community’s needs with those that are trespassing,” Kiaʻāina said.

Neighbors say they support measures to control the crowds and revive the trail.

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