Wailua Bike Path Meeting

SOURCE: Ken Taylor (taylork021@hawaii.rr.com) SUBHEAD: Message sent out concerning the results of the meeting about the Wailua bike path alignment. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Last night’s showing to protect Sacred Wailua was magnificent. At least 60 members of the community watched the Path presentation then poured their hearts out to the designers and managers of the project. Though the crowd had to request that genuine time be allotted for community input, rather than the standard on Kaua’i; “Oops, sorry, but it’s 9:00, thanks for coming.”
image above: Wailua Beach viewed from the east using GoogleEarth.
Photo by Dennis Fujimoto in http://www.kauaiworld.com/articles/2009/01/19/news/kauai_news
The Path people listened graciously to what they surely didn’t want to hear: that, even though it’s “officially” too late for this, the Wailua part of the plan is seriously flawed by not taking enough into account the cultural, spiritual, visual and recreational realities of Wailua Beach. Apparently, the community thinks it’s never too late, despite cost and inconvenience, to do the right thing -- basically, to put the path mauka of the beach. Though the Path people (O’ahu designers, Kaua’i managers), truthfully, maintain that no matter what they come up with, there will be criticism and complaints, there was too much powerful sentiment last night to ignore. And by evening’s end (eleven o’clock), after the forum peetered out to more of a pow-wow, and Path people obligingly heard every last word, there was a sense of true communication. As it often is here, there’s no dislike or animosity, and essentially we all want what’s best.....we just have to work it out. And that willingness to try, the generosity of both giving and accepting mana’o, is a real strength of our island. This is not to say the Path won’t go in exactly as the diagrams intend, but there will be another community meeting, the community is tighter, and the facts, including the spiritual ones (if there’s such a thing as a spiritual fact), are on the table. If the Path were to proceed as planned, it would be against the wishes of the people. Of all the testimony, there were only two in support. So thank you, again, from the sands under Wailua Bay to the waters atop Ale Ale, for not just your presence and testimony at the meeting, (or for wishing you could be there but couldn’t), but for the deeper reasons why you care. see also:


Anonymous said...

IMPORTANT! Please note that this notice was written (by me) on Dec. 5, 2008, after the meeting the night before. I'm glad Ken re-posted it, because the issue has gotten hotter and somehow remains way under the public radar, but there is a lot of new info and curious entanglements. Residents who want to both protect Wailua Beach -- from being ruined by a bike path and from sacred land being desecrated -- but would still like to have a bike path that crosses the Wailua River and continues south SHOULD ACTIVELY LOBBY TO RE-ROUTE THE PATH MAUKA, BEHIND COCO PALMS. There is already a paved path there and it would be cheaper, safer, easier to implement, would protect the beach, would honor the views, history, burials, and cultural activities of the beach, and would offer a breathtaking vista of Sleeping Giant valley areas. Please keep your eyes/ears open for another community meeting VERY SOON, probably at Lydgate Park, re-addressing this issue. Also, the Mayor and OHA are key to the puzzle of who decides what, so contact them if you have strong sentiments. I am happy to help clarify questions about some of the whys and wherefores of this, if you'd like to email: wendywailua@gmail.com. Thanks for caring. Your voice can make a real difference right now.

Wendy Raebeck said...

FYI: The photo depicted here (where the woman was run over) is NOT Wailua Beach. This photo is south of Lydgate Park, Wailua Beach is north of the river.

Juan Wilson said...


Thanks for the correction. I've removed the image from TGI and replaced it with a GoogleEarth view of Wailua looking east.

Juan - Publisher of Island Breath.

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