(BIVN) – PATH, or People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaiʻi, is helping the public rally around the delayed Hilo Bayfront Trails project. The non-profit active transportation organization shared a news release on Tuesday, announcing the start of its Building Better Ways for Hawai’i (#BW4H) campaign.
The campaign will promote Hilo Bayfront Trails, as well as Waimea Greenways and Trails and Queens’ Lei in Kona.
“The Building Better Ways for Hawai’i campaign will celebrate the work that has already been done on these trails, and emphasize that these walkways/bikeways did not appear overnight – Existing trails are the result of decades of community influencers who continuously encourage Hawai’i County to create safer spaces for walkers, runners, bicyclists, and trail users,” the PATH news release stated. “Part 1 of the #BW4H campaign highlights Hilo Bayfront Trails, a local project created to be a system of paths connecting existing recreational sites along the Hilo Bayfront area, as well as enabling residents and visitors to enjoy the bay’s shoreline by biking, walking, or using other non-vehicular modes of travel.”
The project, which is ultimately the responsibility of the County of Hawaiʻi, entails “completing the build-out of approximately 6 miles of trails to connect more than 700 acres of land with dedicated bicycle lanes, pedestrian sidewalks, and multimodal paths” along the bayfront area.
“Access, awareness, and connectivity. That’s what the trails are all about,” said Matthias Kusch, Vice President of Hilo Bayfront Trails. “And with a pedestrian loop in Downtown Hilo passing by so many historical buildings and artifacts, it can connect users to Hilo’s rich history.”
“Currently, Hawai’i Residents have about 7 miles of fully protected bikeways and walkways in completed sections of Queens’ Lei in Kona-Kailua, Waimea Trails and Greenways, and Hilo Bayfront Trails,” says Jessica Thomson, Executive Director of PATH. “Once all sections of Hilo Bayfront Trails are completed, Hawai’i residents will have almost double that!”
“2020 reminded us of what’s really important, like slowing down, and getting outside,” says Sally Ancheta, the Eastside Hawai’i Island Community Coordinator for Hawai’i Public Health Institute and HBFT board member. “And Hilo Bayfront Trails became a place where we could all relax and feel safe outdoors.”