Multiple Parking Violations at Ho‘okipa Amid Mega Surf
Maui police responded to reports this evening of multiple parking violations at Hoʻokipa Beach Park with reports of hundreds of vehicles at the location throughout the day.
High surf of up to 60 feet was being forecast for the north shores of Maui, attracting spectators and “triggering a multitude of illegal parking on the Hāna Highway” according to Nāpua Hūʻeu, a Resident Volunteer Organizer with The Kua Hawaiʻi Project.
The organization website describes the group as a resident volunteer program to enhance visitor safety and protect the sacred sites of Hawaiʻi.
Group organizers say the motorists created delays and hazards at various points along the scenic North Shore route. “High winds and rains added to the fragility of the scene with visitors traversing down the beach cliff side to, as one visitor noted, ‘photograph the surf up close,'” said Hūʻeu.
Gates to Hoʻokipa Beach Park were closed overnight, and remain closed this morning, “but that did not stop visitors from parking along the heavily trafficked highway to stop and see the surf,” Hūʻeu said noting that motorists were unaware of the hazards their vehicles posed to commuters or the dangers to themselves of high surf and expected coastal flooding.
Maui Police Department spent much of the afternoon tending to road closures and downed power lines across the island. Resident volunteers from The Kua Hawaiʻi Project were reportedly on scene by 1 p.m., providing visitor education and working to mitigate illegal parking and trespassing.
“Resident volunteers encouraged visitors to evacuate the perimeter of the closed park as the weather conditions were dangerous considering the high surf,” said Hūʻeu.
According to Hūʻeu, Pāʻia resident Nawai Aipa recorded 73 illegally parked vehicles upon arriving to the scene at 12:52 p.m. and five visitors down at the waters edge, “taking photos and unaware that the ocean conditions were considered dangerous.”
In addition to their data at Hoʻokipa, the group compiled a commercial activity report of five Jet Skis at Kahului Harbor and two Jet Skis at Maliko Gulch and Boat Ramp on the North Shore.
Hūʻeu said both groups reported media production as the purpose of their intentions to launch. Grop volunteers “encouraged these individuals to abandon the attempt of launching their small watercraft under such weather conditions,” said Hūʻeu.