Ask the Mayor: Is the County Going to Put a Park Next to ʻĪao Theater?
Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the questions submitted to his office staff. Submit your own questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via email at [email protected], call 270-7855 or send them by mail to 200 S. High St., 9th Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column.
Q: I understand that the county is going to put a park in the gravel area next to ʻĪao Theater. Wailuku already has a parking problem and you are going to take away another 15 plus parking spaces plus add to the homeless population that hangs around that area!
It is a great idea to want to beautify Wailuku, but you first need to solve the parking problem. I am a handicapped person that works in Wailuku. I usually begin work around 11 a.m. The small, paved parking lot behind the theater usually has parking places. It is a long walk for me, but I only need to walk it to and from my employment.
The last couple of days, that lot has been full due to the equipment and work in the gravel lot. Usually, there is not a parking spot in the all-day parking area in the big lot behind the Market Street shops, so I am forced to park on the street, taking parking spaces from consumers. This creates a hardship on me, as I have to leave work a couple of times a day, and check my car and move it to avoid getting a ticket. I feel that you need to deal with the parking situation, before you start construction on a park.
A: Actually you won’t be losing any parking spaces—you’ll be gaining some. We are paving that gravel lot, which will enable us to paint stalls and allow for more efficient parking in that area. If 15 vehicles can park there now, once it’s done, you’ll be able to park 16 or 17 vehicles.
There will be some beautification work involving the planting of more vegetation, but we’re not building a park; it’s much too small of an area for that. The work also includes building a much-needed formalized loading area for ʻĪao Theater.
In the meantime, we apologize for any inconvenience during the construction of this project. The county continues to move forward with plans to develop additional parking in the Wailuku Town area.