Community led, government supported transportation system.
In recent years, there are times when traffic on the North Shore of Kauai becomes unmanageable. Our roads are at capacity and the lack of infrastructure cannot support the current vehicular count. Residential quality of life and visitor experience is compromised and it is understood that we are out of balance. The April flood has provided a much needed break but without implementing smart systems now, we are destined to return to an unmanageable number of humans in Hanalei. We, as a community, must lead the conversation in how we solve this problem. Please provide any and all thoughts.
Pedestrian paths, road design, shuttle systems, parking, and the Haena State Park Master Plan are all integral parts in helping move people safely. The Hanalei Initiative is contracting a traffic study to identify and strategize long-term solutions to all these pieces of the puzzle.
We understand past shuttle models on the north shore have not been successful in part to the lack of sustainable long term funding. Things have drastically changed. Due to the catastrophic April 2018 flooding and the compromised road systems north of Hanalei town, the importance of managing the influx of visitors is now on the forefront of the political landscape. The government agencies are fully engaged and thanks to funding from the disaster mitigation fund, there is working capital available to help get things started.
We feel it is important that a shuttle system be a comfortable and culturaly engaging experience that provides economic stability to our merchants. Our vision is that the shuttle provides ease of use for visitors and residents, while prioritizing stops in business centers and lifeguarded beaches, allowing the riders to then walk or bike around.
The true long term economic success must be built on the expedited implementation of the Haena State Park Master Plan. Before the Kuhio Highway is re-opened to the world, State Parks is committed to building the infrastructure to manage the park entrance by reservation only, with a maximum allowance of 900 people per day.
With only about 75 parking spots for park goers, we estimate only 350-400 people being allowed to arrive by car each day. With 500-550 people unable to bring their own transportation, this leaves a huge demand for shuttle service. We are still working out details such as shuttle size, routes, and cost structures. We could potentially have the Ke'e shuttle rider fee include park entrance, perhaps snorkel gear, and organic reef friendly sunblock, while non-park user fee would be free. Please be a part of this conversation.