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North Shore residents, surfers sue over Laniakea barriers

By Marcel Honoré

LAST UPDATED: 03:18 p.m. HST, Jan 02, 2014

A group of North Shore residents, along with several renowned local surfers, filed a lawsuit against state transportation officials today to remove the controversial new parking barriers at Laniakea Beach.

The Circuit Court lawsuit on behalf of the Save Laniakea Coalition, argues that the state Department of Transportation should have obtained a special permit for the concrete barriers because Laniakea is in the state's protected coastal Special Management Area.  

The suit contends that DOT was also required to conduct environmental assessments of the barriers before installing them, to gauge how significantly the move would impact the public's access to the beach.

DOT officials said they were unaware that the suit was being filed today. They won't be commenting on any litigation, DOT spokeswoman Caroline Sluyter said.

The state installed the barriers last week to block vehicles from parking along a 1,000-foot beachfront stretch on the mauka side of Kamehameha Highway. The move, in part, aims to ease the North Shore's persistent traffic woes. Much of the problem can be traced back to Laniakea visitors who indiscriminately cross the highway there, often bringing traffic to a standstill.

The barriers come after years of study, community discussion and more than $1 million in state funding -- but little action. Opponents of the plan contend the barriers unfairly block beach access North Shore residents, and that the community deserves a better, more practical solution.

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This story is a good illustration of how screwed up our city, county, state, and federal government have so much beaurocratic red-tape and stringent rules complicate matter so much that we the people not only end up paying for this BS but the time, money spent, and waste of resources can be directly attributed to our freedoms, liberty, and American way of life are slipping away.
on January 2,2014 | 11:08AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
This story is a good illustration of how screwed up our city, county, state, and federal government have become. There is so much beaurocratic red-tape and stringent rules to complicate matters. So much so that we the people not only end up paying for this BS, but the time, money spent, and waste of resources that can be directly attributed to our freedoms, liberty, and American way of life, are all slipping away.

Mr. President, that is your finalized speech, sir. Just a few grammatical enchantments. How was your golf today with Prime Minister Key?

on January 2,2014 | 04:42PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
Abercrombie and his political appointees are the most incompetent administration Hawaii has ever had. Just one scandal after another, whether it's the DOT or DHHL or DOE or UH or DLNR, they are all incompetent. Abercrombie is by far the worse Governor Hawaii has ever seen, time for him to retire and take his incompetent team with him.
on January 2,2014 | 06:56PM
Kuihao wrote:
Yeah, he's the worst since Lingle.
on January 2,2014 | 07:20PM
serfboy wrote:
Is something blocking you from leaving the US? I'm sure there are countries that do things the way you prefer.
on January 2,2014 | 07:11PM
jtamura69 wrote:
As long as we don't have to bow down to King serfboy, I think we'll all stay! That's why everybody wants to come to America, we don't have to worry about someone trying to kick us out of the country just because they don't agree with someone's views.
on January 2,2014 | 09:41PM
Giligan wrote:
Don't blame the government workers, it is the legislators that make these stupid EIS and SMA laws, that activists can use. Remember the Superferry! How would you like to get a permit to go surf?
on January 3,2014 | 05:08AM
Anonymous wrote:
"The barriers come after years of study, community discussion. " It can't be called a discussion when one side talks and the other side doesn't listen.
on January 2,2014 | 11:57AM
postmanx wrote:
Agreed, there was zero studies done.
on January 2,2014 | 12:01PM
CriticalReader wrote:
What do you mean? What's there to study? People parking on State land which the State doesn't want them to park on. The same people walking across traffic unsafely, causing traffic jams. They fixed that problem. What's there to study?
on January 2,2014 | 03:52PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Admiral Neil's final year in office. Shall we 86 him?
on January 2,2014 | 04:48PM
postmanx wrote:
Other options that would not stop surfers and fishermen from parking in a public place owned by the public that they been historically using for well over 50 years. Options like a crosswalk, stop sign, relocation of the highway, closing the parking only during peak hours etc. No worries though the courts will figure it out.
on January 2,2014 | 04:51PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
I guess Magic Island is not enough. People have discovered a new beach. The State Representative for Laniakea Beach needs to be talking. Where is this person? I know Niihau does not have a State Rep, or am I wrong on that? I think all lands in "These Magnificent Hawaiian Islands" (borrowed from Kimo Leahey) is represented by a State Rep, ever since we stole them from the Native Hawaiians!
on January 2,2014 | 06:34PM
saywhatyouthink wrote:
They now have caused a bigger problem by not following the law and wishes of the majority of the community. The state will lose in court and taxpayers will foot the bill for Abercrombie's incompetence once again. The people running the DOT have got to be the dumbest bunch of state workers there are, just look a the H-1 rehab projected to take a YEAR and the unbelievable condition of the Pali highway.
on January 2,2014 | 07:04PM
konag43 wrote:
and you think sueing the city is the answer. you are costing every taxpayer in hawaii to pay so you can have your way. i resent my tax money being used for such silly nonesence to sue the city. grow up they have good reason to do what they are doing and stop being little babies crying about every little thing.
on January 2,2014 | 01:10PM
postmanx wrote:
OK, first it's the State they are suing, second sure they have good reasons to do what they are doing, like they are too lazy to do the right thing.
on January 2,2014 | 01:17PM
islandsun wrote:
Lawsuits are the only way to stop city and state politicians from doing whatever the heck they want. And you should be very upset about your tax money going to defend lawsuits. Upset enough to hold politicians accountable and vote them OUT.
on January 2,2014 | 01:43PM
SteveToo wrote:
This is a PUBLIC beach and blocking parking to use the beach is CRAZY. I first surfed there in the mid 60's All the barrier will do is push the people parking a little one way or the other. They will still be crossing the highway.
on January 2,2014 | 03:21PM
Mediocrates wrote:
It is not a parking lot, it is state land that creates a hazard for pedestrians and drives and chokes any quality of life out of the north shore
on January 2,2014 | 04:40PM
OldEnoughToRemember wrote:
Public beach yes. And I agree the State should do something to best accommodate the visitors to our beaches, but the State is under no obligation to provide a parking lot for beach access. It is only a coastal area, not a State park.
on January 2,2014 | 04:59PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
on January 2,2014 | 06:46PM
false wrote:
IRT: Surfing and fishing was great in the 60's at Laniakea Beach. There were less traffic and just a few people used that beach, mainly surfers and fisherman as compared to today. The real problem that have created this whole problem of snarling traffic and unconcerned people crossing a main highway is because of the turtles. If it weren't for the TURTLE'S attraction, locals and tourists would never make it a point to stop at Laniakea Beach and create this problem. You're absolutely right about Laniakea being a public beach, but the state has jurisdiction of the land mauka of the highway and they have every right to do what they did to prevent no parking in that area, because of the constant complaints of snarling traffic and inconsiderate pedestrians trying to cross at any location of the highway. The chronic complainers have complained about the snarling traffic and the safety of inconsiderate pedestrians, and now that the main problem have been solved, the same chronic complainers are complaining about having easy access to the beach because now they have to park further away and have to walk further to the beach. Without the turtles being at that location, barriers wouldn't have to be put up and it would still be Laniakea Beach, like in the 60's.
on January 2,2014 | 07:21PM
myviewofthings wrote:
They should just have open season on the turtles. No more turtles = no more traffic.
on January 2,2014 | 01:43PM
false wrote:
Add open season on surfers for an additional guarantee.
on January 2,2014 | 02:15PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Human Beings are the highest form of living species on this Earth. There are the true incorrigibles that populate any society, the 1% or I hope not 3%, that needs to be incarcerated, in order to keep law and order in our land. Therefore, any type of animal other than a human being is a living breathing mammal or reptile or crustacean or amphibian, whose main instinct is survival, which includes gathering of sustenance and continuation of the species. I suppose Laniakea Beach has become a Mecca of turtle observers and The State and specifically The HTA and The DLNR, need to think out of the box and create a solution that is acceptable to all. As an example, there is a T-Shirt vendor, along with juice and soda I guess that regularly caters to visitors of Waimea Bay Beach Park. Is any "authority" going to check up on that guy? For wanting to make a buck? Now, back to Laniakea: it is a tourist attraction, and as such, what the people want, the people must be accommodated for, otherwise Admiral Neil, the door is open for you to walk out after you lose the election in November, a mere 11 months from now. This comment will self destruct in five minutes unless I am approved. Message number 2593759, this is a recording. By the way Huaoli Makahiki Hou !!!!!
on January 2,2014 | 07:07PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Take the barriers down and post no parking signs. Enforce it vigorously.
on January 2,2014 | 01:49PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Or, let Scotty and the Spear Clan oversee the land. Doze buggahs see jus' one touris, they goin say, "Bah, look 'em! Somebody goin' come up meesseeng!"
on January 2,2014 | 02:10PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Partner you have enough problem with English, don't even try pidgeon!
on January 2,2014 | 07:40PM
CriticalReader wrote:
Just make it illegal to park or stand a vehicle there, make the penalty a $500 fine PLUS private contractor impoundment and the fees that go along with it. The problem is that people wouldn't stop parking there despite the pleas from officials. Also, maybe put a bus stop there. Then no one will have any trouble getting there.
on January 2,2014 | 01:53PM
SteveToo wrote:
You have no idea what you are talking about. People are going to park somewhere and still use the beach. Just moving the problem a few hundred feet away. Best bet is to move the highway inland and do the same in Makaha where a similar problem exists. There the bathrooms and canoe house is on the mauka side of the highway including a big parking lot.
on January 2,2014 | 03:23PM
CriticalReader wrote:
The key phrase in your post is, "the problem". It is a problem and is being treated like a problem. Why? Because people acting like cockroaches in a garbage dump over ran the place seeking to "experience" new things - everyone else be damned. Your suggestion is a multi, multi million dollar solution that's going to end up causing the very same people bemoaning the cement barriers, to bemoan the lack of newly filled parking, the even larger hoards of tourists, the tour vans, and the drug dealers. If you want to surf the spot, be a real surfer. Hike a trail. Maybe you'll appreciate it more. If you live in a house a few hundred feet away and don't want to lose your free parking, then the last thing the government should do is spend multi, multi millions just to save it for you.
on January 2,2014 | 03:50PM
Wazdat wrote:
the DOT in Honolulu is a COMPLETE JOKE. These BOZOs should all be FIRED. Everywhere you drive you are reminded just how BAD the DOT is in this city. DO SOMETHING
on January 2,2014 | 03:36PM
CriticalReader wrote:
I like the solution the State came up with. Cheap, a couple of days of traffic inconvenience to install the barriers, and correct and ultimately avoid years of other inconvenience, and surfers can get back to their roots and HIKE to the choice surf spot. If the parking moves down the road and it's on State land, then the State should put up more barriers. If the parking moves to private land, then people should call the police and have those cars towed. And, there should be stiff no-parking laws for that area as deterrents pending new cement barriers.
on January 2,2014 | 03:58PM
hanabatadayz wrote:
i find this funny cuz it all started because of traffic congestion..people complain that there was too much traffic congestion and now they are complaining when there is no traffic congestion now..stupid citizens should've kept their mouth shut in the first place
on January 2,2014 | 04:37PM
false wrote:
Yeah, the same people that were complaining about the snarling traffic and pedestrians crossing the highway, are now complaining about having access to the beach. There's no barriers keeping anyone from having access to the beach but now it's too far to walk to the beach. The barriers were used to prevent "No Parking" not "no access" to the beach. The beach is still open to the public and people need to change their tunnel vision and realize that Laniakea is not the only surfing or fishing spot if parking is the problem.
on January 2,2014 | 07:37PM
Mediocrates wrote:
True irony: suing for an environmental assessment of something that obviously and fully protects and preserves the natural environment, health and qualify of life of all on the north shore. These people make me ashamed of calling myself and environmentalist - same sort of bass akward priories as the nimrods that blocked the Super Ferry, which reduced pollution and made for a more sustainable transportation method that also improved the lives of the people of the state at the same time. NIMBYism at its worst.
on January 2,2014 | 04:39PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Keep the Country Country
on January 2,2014 | 04:52PM
kailua000 wrote:
they could have paid me $10 and I could tell them how to fix the situation. They say cars turn into the parking lot and cause a standstill? well put some type of nice barrier in the roadway so people cant turn around and stop traffic. Or how about putting parking on the other side of the road. everything is so screwed up, now our tax dollars will pay for it twice. $1M. Are you kidding me?
on January 2,2014 | 06:13PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The State is stepping in to help with Public Safety. Someone made a decision for a thumbs up on the concrete barriers. Who is that person? Frank DeLima? David Shapiro? Ferd Lewis? Neil Abercrombie (and Fitch)? Frank Fasi (no he's dead). George Ariyoshi? Mufi Hannemann? Tulsi Gabbard? Barack Obama? Adolph Hitler? Albert Einstein? Talk, talk, talk, somebody talk lol !!!
on January 2,2014 | 06:53PM
soundofreason wrote:
Good to see some communities don't just stand by and get RAILroaded.
on January 2,2014 | 06:40PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Hahahaha. So I guess .... Oh well I better not say!
on January 2,2014 | 06:48PM
harley1 wrote:
Is it too difficult to move the road mauka onto existing publicly owned lands? Or will that require a 5 year study, more hand wringing, and then budgetary tales of woe, no mo money honey, and we'll still be with the barriers, much extended to slather miles of the north shore with jersey barriers, 10 years from now. DOT - you guys are a joke. You should all take a field trip to California and see how they get it done - bridges destroyed and removed overnight and rebuilt in months, not years.
on January 2,2014 | 06:55PM
Bdpapa wrote:
Too expensive and need much more property
on January 2,2014 | 07:41PM
Kohelele wrote:
Traffic was still backed up yesterday, though I can't say if it was due to the influx of people being on the North Shore because it was a holiday. The barriers have only forced people to park by the horse farm and also between Laniakea and Chun's.
on January 2,2014 | 08:28PM
naialani wrote:
what a mess..
on January 2,2014 | 08:50PM
Willieboy wrote:
i say since its north shore residents grumbling about the barriers take it down and give them back their precious parking along with their traffic woes! just don't go crying to the DOT again wanting crosswalks and grumbling how bad the traffic is!
on January 2,2014 | 10:24PM
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