Happy early Independence Day! Hope you all enjoy the weekend and stay safe.
It’s also First Friday, which is when I reach into the reader mailbag to answer some questions.
QUESTION: Is it legal to skateboard on public streets? Individuals and groups use the hilly portion of Nanialii Street in Kailua to skateboard on a frequent basis, endangering their own lives as well as those of motorists.
ANSWER: As a former skater who rode around Orange County, Calif., with reckless abandon as a youth, I can sympathize with the skaters in your neighborhood.
But no, it is not legal to skateboard on public roadways in Honolulu.
According to city ordinance, nobody on a skateboard or roller skates or similar “toy vehicle” device shall go upon any roadway, except while crossing the street.
While crossing, all rights afforded to pedestrians are given to skateboarders.
Using skateboards on sidewalks, however, is permitted, except in Waikiki. City ordinance spells out that it’s forbidden to ride a bicycle, skateboard or roller skates on any Waikiki sidewalk. There is no language that spells out that skaters can’t be on a sidewalk.
Anyone violating the law will be hit with a $25 fine.
Q: How do we request repaving of residential roads? How about repairing potholes?
A: According to the city Department of Facility Maintenance’s website, you should call your district base yard for roadway pavement repairs.
You can find the phone numbers for all the base yards at www1.honolulu.gov/dfm/road/organization.htm.
You can also call the base yards for street sign replacement, replacing faded roadway striping or markings (including crosswalks), cleaning storm drains and waterways or picking up dead animals.
For potholes there’s a pothole hot line, 527-6006.
The city also has some housekeeping matters to announce for the July 4 holiday.
On-street parking will be free, but bring some change with you if you’re going to park at the metered spots on Kalakaua Avenue along Kapiolani Park. Those won’t be free.
Traffic lanes won’t be coned, and traffic signals at Kalakaua Avenue and Kapiolani Boulevard will be phased to permit mauka-bound traffic to turn left onto Kapiolani Boulevard.
Keep in mind that the city bus system will also operate on a Saturday schedule.
Gene Park can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter as @GenePark.