Honolulu councillor plans to revive tour company traffic bill

HONOLULU — A Honolulu City Council member plans to revive a proposal to limit commercial tour activity following complaints about traffic congestion on Oahu’s North Shore, she said.

Heidi Tsuneyoshi addressed the area’s traffic problems at a public hearing Tuesday, Hawaii Public Radio reported Wednesday.

North Shore residents at the meeting expressed frustration over traffic congestion.

Tsuneyoshi expects to bring back a bill proposed last year to limit or prohibit commercial tour companies from stopping at city parks and beach access rights-of-way in Lanikai, Kailua, Waimanalo, and portions of North Shore, she said.

The city council deferred action on the bill in October.

“We really are looking at an overcapacity issue. We are looking at a trend where we focus so much on promoting tourism,” Tsuneyoshi said. “But I think at this time, especially for communities like North Shore, we have to look to management of tourism in our communities for the betterment of residents.”

Councillors at Tuesday’s hearing also advanced a resolution urging the state transportation department to reinstall concrete traffic barriers at Laniakea Beach to manage pedestrians and cars.

About 1,000 feet (305 metres) of concrete barriers were installed in December 2013 along the shoulder of Kamehameha Highway at Laniakea Beach to reduce vehicle and pedestrian traffic. A court order forced the transportation department to remove the barriers in 2015.

A 10-year-old boy was struck and seriously injured by a car in August while crossing the highway along the beach.

No date has been set for additional hearings on the tour bus or barrier issues, officials said.


Information from: KHPR-FM,

The Associated Press