Council Members, Business Leaders Preview West Maui Greenway
By Debra Lordan
Maui County Councilmembers Don Couch and Elle Cochran, and staff from Councilmember Don Couch’s office joined hotel industry and community business leaders for a bicycle ride hosted by the Maui Bicycling League and Pedego Electric Bikes Maui on a portion of the future West Maui Greenway.
The tour began at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 12, at Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop in Olowalu Village. The planned West Maui Greenway is a shared-use path/trail that runs approximately 15 miles from Olowalu to Napili utilizing the lower Cane Haul Road.
Shared use paths are commonly designed for two-way travel. Under most conditions, the recommended paved width for a bi-directional path is 10 feet.
A pilot path is being proposed from Puamana Channel to Puamana Park. The existing cane haul road there can be used as a bicycle trail connecting to the Flood Diversion Project trail, which is complete but not yet open to the public. Temporary connections can be built now, which would connect Lahaina Town to development to the south.
Puamana Park to Ukumehame is a long section with existing cane haul roads and many stretches that have recently been cleared for access to inland developments.
“Bicycle trail construction should be fairly easy with the cooperation of the land owners,” said Saman Dias of MBL. “The Makila area above Launiupoko Beach Park has a trail system that can connect to the proposed Greenway system, and there is an asphalt path through Olowalu. This is a segment that can be built now, and would be used immediately. The county has purchased a major parcel along Honoapiʻilani Highway to develop as a park, which obviously should include trails. Peter Martin of West Maui Lands and Steve Goodfellow have signed a document of support of this concept. ”
A West Maui Bicycle Greenway is possible, but only if the county, property owners, developers, hotel operators and others are willing to invest in the planning and construction of the Greenway, said Dias
“A good first step is to engage an experienced urban planner to draft a detailed and realistic plan,” said Dias. “The mayor’s budget should include funding for that plan, but it may fall to other interests to fund the plan. In any case, the Greenway will require private contributions in the form of donations, construction and the use of private property. As most of the segments of the system will follow other developments with indeterminate completion dates, it makes sense to put a plan in place to preserve options and invest now in the segments that are ready to go.”
Maui Bicycling League is a nonprofit chapter of the Hawaiʻi Bicycling League that advocates for and promotes safe bicycling on Maui.
This is one of a series of events being hosted by the MBL this month to celebrate the 60th annual National Bike Month, which takes place each May in the US.