Ask the Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: There seems to have been an increase in homeless activity at the vacant lot behind Uilani’s (Old Suda Store) in north Kihei. There has not been a chain blocking the Uwapo Road entrance for nearly eight months. Traffic entering and leaving the area occurs at all hours of the day. Myself and other residents of Kihei Villages are awakened throughout the night by the traffic, noise and other activity occurring within the area. Parents in our community no longer feel comfortable allowing their children to walk up the street for shave ice or even wait at the bus stop by themselves. The activity allowed to happen in this area is unfair to those of us who live nearby, work hard and pay our taxes.

A: Thanks to your letter we are now aware of the situation and have contacted the property owner, who has since placed a gate on this property and is actively cleaning it out as we speak. Maui police tagged several abandoned vehicles as part of this cleanup, and they will be towed away on this coming Tuesday. Mahalo again for reporting this.

Q: I am a resident of Polipoli Road. On April 8, there was a flash flood, which washed out a portion of Polipoli Road. On the mauka side of the washout is a grove of eucalyptus trees that have been partially uprooted. These trees are leaning toward the road just before driveway 1523. I am writing to you to request an immediate removal of them as it is creating a hazardous situation to both motorists and pedestrians. Thank you for your time.

A: Thank you for contacting us about this and from what I understand, we have since had a Public Works employee check out the situation. However, I just want to use your query as an example of what not to send to the “Ask The Mayor” column, because this is a public safety situation that could have used an immediate response. In the future if you see another uprooted tree or other potential hazard along our county roads, please call the Mayor’s Office directly at 270-7855 or Public Works at 270-7845. You can also email or  

Q: As an employee of the Hyatt night shift for 30-plus years, it seems to me that if you could put a constant, green, blinking right-turn arrow at the Keawe Street intersection, where almost everyone nearly comes to a stop before turning right onto Honoapiilani Highway, people would continue into their right turn a bit quicker. When that third stoplight facing us on the far right turns red, people just naturally slow or even stop. Make it green all the time, with a right-turn arrow. It wouldn’t be a “silver bullet,” but it would definitely help.

A: Interesting thought. I’ve had our Department of Public Works pass along your idea to the state Department of Transportation, which controls that intersection, not the county. So far though I have heard less and less complaints about the new bypass and even a few compliments about how it is helping reduce the drive time to and from West Maui. Personally, I believe the state should continue extending the bypass by constructing more phases, especially to Kaanapali, where you and many others commute to and from work on a daily basis.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Alan Arakawa by email at, by phone at 270-7855 or by mail at 200 S. High St., ninth floor, Wailuku 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the “Ask the Mayor” column; to request a personal response to a concern, email