By David Corrigan and Stephanie Salazar
NAALEHU, Hawaii: In today’s Ka’u news report, we find the most controversial portion of the statewide pedestrian plan.
In Naalehu, the state has its eye on the mauka side of the Mamalahoa Highway, right here on this stretch of road.
The state plan states that the mauka side of the Highway lacks adequate pedestrian facilities. It also says that although the makai side has a sidewalk in good condition, the shoulders beyond the serviced area can be narrow for pedestrian circulation.
The state has given the area of concern the top priority among other Big Island problem areas, suggesting to add sidewalks from Mamalahoa Highway through the town of Naalehu to Ohai Road.
But the community is not sold on the need for the project, according to reports in the Ka’u Calander newspaper. Residents have dubbed the project the “Sidewalk to Nowhere” … and wonder who in the community even asked for the assistance.
Indeed, the draft plan shows that the Stakeholder Input used to Identify the Area of Concern was generated by a Technical Advisory Committee – or TAC – rather than a citizen group or the public.