Ask The Mayor

Mayor Michael Victorino answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.

Q: For years, I have watched children, including my own, walk and ride their bikes to and from school along the mauka side of Waiale Road below Iao Intermediate School. This section is pretty dangerous for kids who live too close to school to ride the bus. Is there something that can be done to help these children?

A: Thank you for the question, and this is a concern I share as well, especially with the pau hana traffic later in the afternoon. I’m happy to report that the county Public Works Department is working on a project to build a sidewalk from Kaohu Street to the Kehalani subdivision sidewalks. The current timeline for the project is to complete design by this fall, and depending on funding, proceed with construction in the early part of next year. In the meantime, the department has already constructed a raised curb to protect keiki and pedestrians along the Kihei side of Kaohu Street. We look forward to constructing many more projects, such as these to protect our residents and visitors.

Q: Is Waipuilani Park considered a dog park since there are so many dogs without leashes roaming around? I like dogs, but owners let them loose, bothering folks especially in the late afternoon. These dogs are a nuisance and the owners just don’t seem to care. What is the enforcement of leash laws on Maui?

A: I love dogs too, but you are correct — Waipuilani Park is not a dog park.

To report a leash law violation, please call the Maui Humane Society at 877-3680, ext. 211; you can also document the violation if you have a cellphone or other camera handy. Maui County regulations are intended to ensure the humane treatment of Maui’s pets and the safety of our community, and restraint regulations, such as leash laws, protect public safety, as well as your pet, from any number of dangers.

Maui Humane Society officers are tasked with enforcement of these laws; they also serve as educators and facilitators to pet owners all over the island. Under county and state statutes, MHS officers have the same authority and powers as a police officer to issue citations in the event that animal regulations or laws are violated, such as in the case of the dogs you observed at Waipuilani Park.

A loose dog presents a dangerous situation for both animals and humans. Dogs that are allowed to run loose are at great risk of becoming lost, injured or killed. For this reason, the county has opened three dog parks where pet owners can allow their dog to run leash-free in a controlled environment. The parks are located at Keopuolani Park in Kahului, Kilohana Park in Kihei and the Upcountry Dog Park at Mayor Eddie Tam Complex in Makawao.

Maui County Code requires that your dog be under restraint at all times on the owner’s property. On property other than the owner’s, a dog must be secured on a leash of not more than 10 feet in length and a responsible person must hold the leash. This includes all beaches and parks in Maui County, except leash-free dog parks.

Leash law violations bring fines $50 to more than $500. The minimum fine is not less than $50 for a first violation; a fine of not less than $100 for a second violation within five years after a prior violation; and a fine of not less than $200 for a third violation within five years after two prior violations.

Q: I am elderly and disabled and have to use the crosswalk at Ohukai Road to cross Piilani Highway. The 20-second timer on the crosswalk light is too short for people, like me, to cross four lanes of traffic. Is there anything that can be done?

A: I am sorry for your inconvenience and thank you for your question. Piilani Highway is a state highway, so it does not fall under our jurisdiction, but assisting our kupuna and disabled residents is one of my top priorities.

I have spoken to the head of the Maui District office of the state Transportation Department, and he told me that he will check the pedestrian times at the intersection to ensure it has the proper length. In the meantime, I would like to direct you to many of the services our county helps provide to our elderly and disabled.

The county provides an ADA paratransit service through the Maui Bus, which can be reached at 270-7511. Applications for the curb-to-curb service are available at the Department of Transportation’s office.

Maui Economic Opportunity’s Ala Hou program provides transportation to disabled residents through reservations. MEO also provides a curb-to-curb Rural Shopping Shuttle. To apply for both programs, visit www.meoinc.org or call 877-7651.

Kaunoa Senior Services provides transportation services to frail elders 60 years of age and older. Please call 270-7310 to sign up and begin scheduling rides.

For Maui County Office on Aging’s full resource directory list, visit www.mauicountyadrc.org/Portals/_AgencySite/Resource-Directory-2018.pdf.

* Want to Ask the Mayor? Submit your Maui County related questions to Mayor Michael Victorino by email at askthemayor@mauicounty.gov, 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 mayors.office@mauicounty.gov.

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