Ask Mayor: Hali`imaile Tennis Courts; Mopeds on Bike Paths
Correction via the mayor’s office: The question pertaining to motor scooters on bike paths should have distinguished between a scooter above 50cc bearing a license plate, which by law must travel on the highway, and a scooter under 50cc, which by law must have a bicycle license and travel on a bicycle path when one is available.
The mayor answers questions from the public in this series.
By Mayor Alan Arakawa
Q: The tennis court in Hali‘imaile really needs attention… it seems like it has been abandoned by the Parks & Recreation Department. The net is sagging, the grass is growing through the defunct fence onto the court, and the fence itself is full of holes and cuts. The doors do not close properly, the pavement is cracked and the weeds are ‘having fun’ growing all over. Thank you for listening.
A: I’m an avid tennis player myself, and I try to get on the court about three times a week in the early mornings. Having said that, the reality is that it will be very expensive to rehabilitate the Hali‘imaile Tennis Court. In fact, this tennis court cannot simply be repaired, it must be completely rebuilt at an estimated cost of $275,000 plus additional costs for potential ADA accessibility modifications that may be required. Funds are not available to carry out the project this fiscal year, but the Department of Parks and Recreation is creating a comprehensive list of needed facility repairs and “tennis courts” is one of the categories. In fact, now is the perfect time to voice your priorities for the county’s next fiscal year budget, including Parks projects, as we are gearing up for the next budget cycle. Please send an email to [email protected] to suggest funding priorities for my FY 2015 Budget Proposal, which will be submitted to the County Council early next year for consideration.
Q: My question is regarding the total disregard for safety for individuals that use the Mokulele Highway bike path by individuals on motorized scooters (with license plates) that routinely speed up and down the bike path at 35-45 mph, putting cyclists, walkers and runners in harm’s way. I have yet to see any citations given out and I use this path almost daily at different times of the day during the week and on weekends. Is it going to take someone getting run over by one of these scooters for this issue to be taken seriously? There is a nice, wide shoulder for these motorized vehicles to use and yet, they insist on using the bike path. I believe that the police need to enforce the law that states that “motorized vehicles” are not allowed to use the path.
A: Mokulele Highway is a state highway, and under Hawaii Revised Statutes §291C-197, motorized mopeds or scooters ARE allowed to travel on bicycle paths or lanes where provided. In fact, the law specifies that “Wherever bicycle lanes are provided on the roadway, moped drivers shall use such bicycle lanes.” Riders must follow the signs that are posted, and police can cite if a violation is observed. People can call the Maui Police Department’s non-emergency number (244-6400) to report violations and an officer will be dispatched to check on complaints. However, the counties can, by ordinance, restrict or prohibit the use of mopeds on bicycle paths under county jurisdiction, such as on the Kihei Greenway and the North Shore Bikeway, where mopeds are forbidden to be driven under Maui County Traffic Code, Article 1, Chapter 10.52.270 as amended by the County Council in 2011.
Want to Ask the Mayor?
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email: [email protected], phone: 270-7855 or mail: 200 S. High Street, 9th Floor, Wailuku, Hawaii 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.