Too many visitors
The increasing number of Japanese tourists coming daily to Kailua is raising great concerns. I think the community wants to welcome visitors, but this is our home, and it is really getting crowded. How many tourists can our small community manage? Is Kailua being loved to death as some of the national parks have been? Hanauma Bay is closed one day a week just for recovery time, and now Kailua seems to be at the point where the number of buses coming daily and unloading tourists need to be regulated.
Most mornings when I look out from my lanai at about 8:30 a.m. there are one or two tour buses in the Kailua city parking lot (between Kuulei, Aulike, Maluniu and Uluniu). This is a new occurrence. I have seen tourists with maps printed in Japanese walking around this area, but never tour buses letting out tourists. Is it legal for tour buses to be in city parking lots?
After I expressed my concerns about Japanese tourists getting hit riding bicycles and walking (as they do not seem to pay attention to traffic), I’ve had numerous residents tell me of their concerns. Most seem worried about the increasing numbers and for the safety of those visitors. Several people have nearly hit tourists and think these are accidents just waiting to happen, if they haven’t already. To be fair, one man said he disagreed with me and thinks “we should open our arms and hearts to visitors, regardless of nationality.”
One other place with daily tour buses is Ulupo heiau. They park at the YMCA or on Kailua Road. Do tour buses need a permit to drop off clients at the heiau? If yes, who is there to enforce this law?
Many questions and concerns with few solutions. Nationality is not the issue, the number of buses and tourists is the issue.
Maybe the bus companies can print safety rules for walking and riding bicycles on their maps. The community can work with Hawaii Tourism Authority on limiting the number of buses, and still have aloha for visitors. Let’s get the conversations started.
Claudia L. Webster
Lau lau sale a success
Thank you for the nice article in the Windward Islander highlighting the Kahaluu Lions community service projects and our lau lau sale. We received a positive response, and our fundraiser was successful. This will help us in the coming year with our community service projects.