Road would bypass more than fishing spot

The Maui News recently and responsibly reported (Nov. 4) the latest news from a public meeting of the Department of Transportation that the next phase of the Lahaina bypass would bypass a popular fishing spot on the pali/Lahaina shoreline drive. But it would bypass much more — the world treasure of a long stretch of shoreline drive from Olowalu to Lahaina where people can not only fish but stop anywhere to view, beach, surf, swim or camp out.

Without the existing highway and assurance of all beach access, it could be like from Lahaina to Kapalua for the public. Developers/landowners are anxious to “develop” between the bypass and the shore. But the existing highway could be maintained and only moved where necessary a distance needed to preserve the shore. The land between it and the shore should be left for the people — natural and for parks and parking.

The present first phase of the Lahaina bypass goes only from just south of Lahaina to Keawe Street, the busiest intersection in mid-Lahaina. This new phase of the “Lahaina bypass” would not bypass any of Lahaina, only the public’s shoreline drive. The new phase should extend from Keawe Street north, which would assist the flow of Kaanapali, Kahana, Napili and Kapalua, and ease the traffic in Lahaina.

This department’s next phase as planned would still be two lanes, but once expanded could increase flow into Lahaina, like H-1 on Oahu, converting Lahaina into a “mini-Honolulu.” We need to be careful what we wish for.

George S. Lavenson