It was encouraging to witness the Planning Department being inspired by the Health Careers Opportunity Program conference last fall, where the theme was creating walkable, livable communities.
It was great to have the county bring Dan Burden here to make recommendations for improving our bike and pedestrian paths. We applauded Don Couch for pushing forward the complete streets resolution so that our streets be made as easy for people to walk and bike as it is to drive cars. All these aim to reduce to our growing ill health and obesity and our increasing number of pedestrian fatalities.
And now it is equally frustrating to find that Kihei will be the home of new mega-malls that do not incorporate any of these concepts in their design. In fact, it will revise the Piilani Highway intersection at Kaonoulu Street to add four new turning lanes, so that a pedestrian would have to brave crossing eight lanes of traffic to get to from our residential area to the proposed malls. No provisions are being made for getting pedestrians or bicyclists to these malls.
Are there no ordinances in place to require a project, which was approved in the last century, when we had different standards and different ideas about what makes a healthy community, but not then built, to meet current standards if they want to build it now?
Many Kihei residents feel like the developer's needs are taking precedence over community good. What can our elected officials do about this?