Bike Path is for Bikes

SUBHEAD: Words matter. "Bike Path" -> "Dog Path". And when words change so can facts related to them.

By Andy Parx on 10 May 2010 in Parx News Daily -  

  Image above: Professional dog walkers take over public path in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2007. From (  

It’s all part of the way the “big lie” works. Just this morning, as if designed to give us a lead-in to how the coastal “bike path” became a “shared use” or “multi use path”, Ian Lind quoted a Mike Middlesworth article at, explaining how the media plays its part:
"The oligarchy that owns and runs our government and controls our mass media has learned Goebbels’s lesson well: A lie unanswered is a lie believed – more so if the lie is repeated, over and over again. Accordingly, a successful propaganda campaign must accomplish two essential and coordinated tasks: (a) tell the lies, and (b) see to it that they are not effectively refuted. The six media conglomerates that now control most of the US media accomplished both tasks supremely well."
So it’s no surprise that the somewhat clueless Leo Azambuja led his latest article on the bill that will no doubt be passed this Wednesday- after what he called “a long day of contrasting testimony from both sides of the dog-path issue” (emphasis added) last week, by saying: The question of whether the county should allow dogs on the shared-use path has carried on for several months...

But why not? He has bought into the same big lie that any number of genuinely confused constituents have swallowed after being bombarded with propaganda by any number of “don’t confuse me with the facts”, misinformed misanthropes who insist that it’s not a bike path but one for any and all uses... even uses that make bicycling so dangerous to all as to make it all but impossible. The fact is that the path originated through $40 million dollars of federal monies distributed by the state called Transpiration Enhancement (TE) funds.

The funds are specifically to be used for one of 12 activates acceding to 23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35), the most common being bike paths that provide for, well, transportation enhancement. TE funds require a 20% match from the recipients. In our case that 20% came from donated lands the biggest portion of which, until recently, came from the Kealia Kai “gift” of coastal lands between Kealia and Kuna Bay (aka Donkey Beach).

The matter almost came to litigation when Attorney Bill Sweeney, representing several condos in Wailua that were slated to have the path run between their complexes and the ocean, threatened suit causing the county to move the path behind the condos. Here’s the pertinent part of what he wrote at the time in convincing the county to change the route of the path lest they be sued for misusing the TE funds, according to administration testimony before the county council:
Transportation Enhancement (TE) Must Relate to Surface Transportation. It is questionable whether the shoreline path relates to surface transportation and not recreation as required by applicable law. Each transportation enhancement (TE) project must relate to surface transportation and meet one of the 12 eligible activities [23 U.S.C. 101(a)(35)]. Applicable federal regulation clearly indicates that TE funds cannot be used to fund bike & pedestrian facilities that are solely for recreational use.
According to the language under 23 USC 217(1), "No bicycle project may be carried out under this section unless the Secretary has determined that such bicycle project will be principally for transportation, rather than recreation purposes". Public support for modifying the pristine beach along the shoreline path with a concrete path or boardwalk is likely based on their misconception that the path will provide recreational opportunities.
For example, in several articles in the The Garden Island Lester Chang reported as follows: December 22, 2003: "The entire project would greatly enhance recreational needs in the Kawaihau District, the largest population area on the island, county officials have said." March 6, 2004: "The entire project is intended to enhance recreational opportunities in the Kawaihau District, which boasts the largest population of the island." (Emphasis added)
The State of Hawai`i and Kauai County must justify the shoreline on the basis of primarily benefiting transportation and not for recreational purposes. The Inland Roadways route (Alternative 2) and the Canal Path route (Alternative 3) more clearly satisfy the objective of enhancing transportation in that they have a closer relationship to Kuhio Highway and are more likely to serve a transportation purpose. As discussed, the Inland Roadways route (Alternative 2) and the Canal Path route (Alternative 3) also avoid potential significant environmental, archeological and ecological concerns.
The number of examples and quotes have increased exponentially over the years, now numbering in the dozens from the newspaper and no doubt hundreds in minutes from county meetings. And now, with the evolution of "bike path" to "shared use path" to "dog path", the proof is in the pudding... or piddling as it were. No one, despite dozens of requests- including a formal letter from then Councilperson Shaylene Iseri Carvalho to the state DOT just before she left office- has ever produced a determination from the federal secretary of transportation.

 Some have gone as far as to claim that there never were any TE funds. But a simple visit to the county public works department will turn up the paperwork, as Building Division Chief Doug Hague will provide and attest to. This weekend after reading in the announcement of the reelection bid of “shared use path” proponent Tim Bynum that he “wrote the initial funding proposal that started the shared-use coastal path project and continues to support its expansion” we asked him to explain and he confirmed that the $2.5 million in his proposal for the Lydgate Kamalani "Bridge", a maintenance shed and part of the path- as well as the other $40 million- came from TE funds. So what?

Well the addition of dogs to the strollers, kids roller-skating, people in wheelchairs and any number of future cat and even turtle walkers on the path (as has been discussed in council sessions) it has been said that it is now simply unsafe to have bicycles there - especially those using the path for 30 mph “transportation”- and perhaps we should move to ban bikes. Banning bikes from a transportation-use bike path would seem pretty absurd. But when you call it a shared or muli-use path, well, anything goes doesn’t it? We’re sure some troll will comment that we’re wrong. But then again that’s how the big lie works.  


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