Kaneohe Ranch

Kailua residents seeing negative effects of beach ban

September 8, 2012
By Vanessa Stewart
KHON 2

 

Residents say, since tour buses cannot drop off passengers at the parks, they’re now dropping them off in residential areas.

Residents say, since tour buses cannot drop off passengers at the parks, they’re now dropping them off in residential areas.

About a dozen Kailua residents lined up off Kawailoa Road holding signs protesting against tour buses that drop off tourists in their neighborhood.

“There’s too many buses coming down here creating traffic jams and we’re trying to call attention to stop this. We stopped the commercial activity at kailua beach and now its being transferred right out here to the streets ” says Vern Hinsvark, Kailua resident.

A law banning commercial activity at Kailua and Kalama beach parks went into effect last month.

It also prohibits tour buses from dropping off tourists at the parks, leaving the buses with no place to go.

Residents say the tour buses stop in front of Kailua Beach Center to drop off tourists, increasing traffic congestion.

“In Kailua we’re not against tourists we want tourists to come here but we don’t want to be overwhelmed with massive amounts of areas that can’t handle them,” says Hinsvark.

“My Kailua that I want them to enjoy does not have giant buses in neighborhoods,” says Bill Hayes, Kailua resident.

But, some who live and work nearby say they don’t see a problem with the tour buses.

“We do see the tour buses coming a lot of times there in the morning before really any traffic,” says Brockton Kodama, Island Snow Director of Operations.

In 2010, Kaneohe Ranch signed a contract with JTB to have tour buses park in an area near Macy’s and Longs.

And in 2011, the ranch also signed a contract with Jalpak to have the buses park in the same area.

But when the ban went into effect, the president of kaneohe ranch made a lane on his property so tour buses could drop off visitors.

“We first used part of our property to make the bus stop at the beach center bigger so that the bus could pull off and not block the road while it dropped off passengers, but there were still too many buses and that didn’t work and it wasn’t safe,” says Mitch D’Olier, Kaneohe Ranch President & CEO.

Friday, the city transportation services department installed these traffic posts to deter tour buses from stopping.

“We’re in the process to try to figure out with the community with the city what the solution is i think the solution is a small bus that runs back and forth from downtown and we’re just trying to figure out the details of that,” says D’Olier.

D’Olier says he hopes to have a solution in place by the end of September.