(BIVN) – There will be a number of opportunities for the public to give input on the future location of a new library and transit hub planned for Pāhoa.
The first community event will be on Sunday, February 26, during a “Pop-up Event” at Maku‘u Farmers Market from 7 a.m. to noon. (15-2131 Kea‘au Pāhoa Rd)
The next event will be a community meeting on March 1st from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pāhoa Neighborhood Facility. (15-0322 Kauhale Street)
The County of Hawaiʻi had the details in a recent news release:
The County of Hawai‘i Mass Transit Agency (MTA), Planning Department, and Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS) invites the community to provide input to inform the final site selection and planning for a proposed new transit hub and co-located library in Pāhoa Town. The transit hub and library are intended to support comfort and safety for transit riders, promote other multi-modal uses such as walking and biking, and provide amenities and gathering spaces for the greater Pāhoa community.
A display with information about the project and ways to provide comments will also be available at Pāhoa Public Library starting Monday, February 27. The community can learn about the project and provide comments through the project website: pahoatransithub.info.
An environmental assessment (EA) will then be prepared for the project. Additional community consultation is planned for the release of the EA in the Summer of 2023.
Community members needing an auxiliary aid or other accommodation to attend a meeting due to a disability may contact Melissa May at (808) 628-5861. Inquiries should be made as soon as possible before the event to allow adequate time to fulfill the request.
This effort builds upon public outreach previously conducted by MTA to identify initial locations for the proposed transit hub. Community meetings were held in March and July 2019, where 13 possible locations for the transit hub were proposed and ranked. Of the 13, three sites were removed from consideration. The current project conducted a site suitability analysis of the remaining ten sites based on various factors and identified three preferred sites. Community input is currently being sought on these top three sites.
In addition, MTA entered into discussions with the Hawai‘i State Public Library System (HSPLS) regarding the co-location of the transit hub with a new State Library. HSPLS intends to construct a new library in the Pāhoa region and desires to support the County’s Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) initiatives. Co-location of these critical public services will enhance the ability of both facilities to serve the Pāhoa community and advance TOD principles. This project received $100,000 from State TOD Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) Planning funds and $350,000 from HSPLS CIP funds to support the planning study for the transit hub and co-located library.