‘A lot of interest’ in proposed 25-mile West Maui bike, foot trail
January 12, 2022, 6:30 AM HST
* Updated January 12, 7:52 PM
Wheels are turning on plans to create a 25-mile multi-use biking and walking trail that will connect Ukumehame to Līpoa Point in West Maui.
Residents voiced that having a safe place to walk, run or bike is the top goal for the West Maui Greenway plan.
Currently, traffic on narrow roadways make it a challenge to bike or walk without fear.
“I try to use my bike to go from home to work on regular basis,” West Maui resident Lee Chamberlain said. “It’s just very threatening to me all the time. It’s not comfortable; it’s not fun.”
The project, which is still in its early stages, held its first community meeting Tuesday night and about 75 people attended.
Joseph White said that he wants an off-street path for leisure and recreation.
“I currently live in West Maui and the lower road is such a cluster that’s its just so dangerous for families to walk, ride bikes,” he said. “You just can’t navigate it unless you’re in a car safely.”
Led by the Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization, the West Maui Greenway proposal collaborates with the County of Maui and Alta Planning and Design. Work kicked off last year, and the project aims to derive its final master plan by September.
Along the way, three additional community meetings will be held to develop route alternatives; evaluation criteria, such as cost and feasibility; trail design guidance, operations and maintenance; and other topics. Future meetings are tentatively slated in March, May and August.
Alta project manager and landscape architect Deven Young, who was leading Tuesday’s meeting, said no timeframes or cost estimates are available yet for the project.
“May of these projects don’t get implemented in one fell swoop,” he said, adding that they are typically done in stages.
Lauren Armstrong, Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization executive director, said that the federal money was approved for developing the plan.
In the past, West Maui Community Plan and a separate Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization transportation plan identified the greenway as a high priority project, Armstrong added.
“So we know there’s a lot of interest in seeing this path built,” she said.
The project builds on West Maui Greenway Alliance, including a community workshop a few years ago that identified a potential route. The route will be considered as a starting point for various alignment options, Armstrong said.
Formed by the state and county less than a decade ago, Maui Metropolitan Planning Organization is a government agency that plans federally-funded or regionally significant transportation systems for Maui.