A corridor management plan to enhance the Maunalua-Makapuu State Scenic Byway, which includes a route along the rugged and pristine Ka Iwi coastline, is up for public review.
It took the East Honolulu community nearly 40 years to save the Ka Iwi coast’s 181 acres from future development. The Hawaii Kai Neighborhood Board and the Ka Iwi Coast Coalition worked in tandem to get a 2014 state scenic byway designation for a 6.8-mile stretch from the entrance of Hawaii Kai to the Makai Research Pier. The state byways program recognizes roads that have extraordinary scenic, cultural, historic, recreational, natural and archaeological resources. Hawaii’s state byways are modeled after the National Scenic Byways program so they can compete for federal grant funding if it should become available.
Now, Livable Hawaii Kai Hui, an East Honolulu nonprofit, and other volunteers have introduced a plan to manage these resources. The proposed plan, which was required under the state byways program, focuses on preserving and protecting the Ka Iwi coast.
Developed by Townscape Inc. and funded with $28,000 in charitable contributions, the draft plan prioritizes 20 projects that would protect and preserve corridor assets and enhance the experience for tourists and residents. Projects range from clearing foliage that blocks byway views to negotiating tourism management agreements to raising money to create high-tech communication tools and make major infrastructure changes.
PUBLIC COMMENTS SOUGHT
Download a copy of the Maunalua-Makapuu State Scenic Byway plan here. Provide feedback via a form on the website until Dec. 8. For more information, contact Gabrielle Sham of Townscape Inc. at email@example.com or Carol Jaxon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I want lots of comments back,” said Carol Jaxon, byways outreach coordinator. “I’d love to see people reflect and give us a sense of what they think of how we have prioritized these projects. The plan is meant to be a living document that can be adjusted.”
The public-comment period for the draft plan is open until Dec. 8. Issues up for discussion include educational outreach efforts such as starting a docent program at the lookouts, putting up interpretive signage and developing mobile apps.
Plan contributors, which primarily included neighborhood boards, community groups and government officials, also discussed installing a barrier fence at Lanai lookout. They wanted to alleviate congestion near the entrance to Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve and conflicts at Koko Marina driveways. They also suggested asking tour companies to reduce the number of lookout visitors who are offloaded at one time.
A pedestrian/bicycle path from Koko Marina to Hanauma Bay is among the various infrastructure and road improvement proposals, as well as placing overhead electrical and communication lines underground instead. There also is a push to improve and add public restrooms with attention paid to Makapuu Lighthouse Trail and Maunalua Bay Beach Park.
“This is the community’s statement of how we should be caring for these lands,” said Corlyn Orr, a Maunalua resident and plan volunteer. “I would hope anyone thinking of development or anything else along the byway would look at it for guidance.”
Livable Hawaii Kai Hui President Elizabeth Reilly said people are needed to help tweak the plan and move viable proposals forward.
“This brings Ka Iwi front and center. If you can educate about the cultural and natural resources, you have a far better chance of maintaining the respect that is so important to maintaining the natural state,” Reilly said.
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