Protected bicycle lane planned for South Street
  • Monday, May 20, 2019
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Protected bicycle lane planned for South Street

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Honolulu’s second protected bicycle lane is slated to be installed on South Street by the end of the year — a move that will provide safer options for local bicyclists but one that’s already facing push-back from nearby businesses.

Honolulu Mayor Kirk-Caldwell unveiled early plans Friday for the new mauka-makai spur while flanked by local firefighters stationed on South Street and members of the Hawaii Bicycling league. The lane would run on the Ewa side of South Street. It would stretch from King Street, where it would link to the existing protected bike lane, to Ala Moana Boulevard, where it would link to the unprotected bike route there.

The new mauka-makai spur would run in both directions, according to transit officials. They don’t plan to install the concrete parking berms that run along the King Street route. Instead, it would just have the road traffic poles and the striping, they said. They’re still not sure whether there will be parking on the outside of the lane.

City officials will hold a public meeting 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Neal S. Blaisdell Center to take input on the plan.

Last year’s installation of the King Street protected bike lane, also known as the “cycle track,” was met with stiff resistance by many drivers. “For us, it was the most controversial thing we touched — maybe even more controversial than rail, or even homelessness,” Caldwell said Friday. “We had more input and feedback on putting a protected bike lane on King Street than anything else.”

But city officials say that mauka-makai adding spurs will make the protected bike lanes more practical and encourage more residents to commute via bike.

The Waterfront Plaza / Restaurant Row complex expressed opposition to the plan, stating in an Aug. 3 letter to the city that its bike lane proposal would remove a key loading zone plus “cause a dangerous situation” for cars entering and exiting the building. Steven Sullivan, the complex’s vice president for operations, suggested using Cooke Street or Ward Avenue instead. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser is a tenant at Waterfront Plaza. 

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