Creating a pedestrian walkway in Waikiki

For the past few months, I’ve been thinking about how we can improve Waikiki, starting with traffic flow. Kalakaua Avenue runs along a beautiful stretch of beach that is dominated by large hotels, a lot of cars, and eager swimmers, surfers, and sunbathers. The numerous events and parades make the area even more congested. I don’t have all the details yet, but I have a radical idea to restore one of the most recognized beaches in the world. Maybe you can help with the details.

Here’s my radical idea for Waikiki: turn Kalakaua Avenue into a pedestrian walkway, from Kaiulani Avenue (at the Hyatt Regency) to Kapahulu Avenue (at the Honolulu Zoo). Only the far left lane would be open to buses, trolleys, bicycles, and emergency vehicles.

In fact, I would close more of Kalakaua Avenue, perhaps from Royal Hawaiian Avenue or even Kuamoo Street (at the King Kalakaua Statue in Waikiki Gateway Park), but I can’t figure out how visitors would get to their hotels.

With a Waikiki Pedestrian Walkway, we could have a safer, cleaner, and more attractive beachfront walkway. Visitors could enjoy the sunsets, landscaping, and entertainment at the Kuhio Beach Stage without blocking the sidewalks. Drivers could avoid the frustration of traffic and inattentive pedestrians. Events and parades would be easier to coordinate, because a third of Kalakaua Avenue would already be closed to motorists.

How would visitors and residents get around Waikiki?

* Waikiki Trolley: There is already a Waikiki Trolley that runs between Ala Moana Center and Waikiki, so that visitors and residents don’t have to drive in the area.

* Waikiki Bike-Share: Working with a private company, we could offer a Waikiki Bike-Share service with multiple stations. People could rent a bicycle, use it anywhere within Waikiki, and return the bike to any station to receive their deposit

What do you think about changing Waikiki traffic? Would a Pedestrian Walkway make Waikiki safer and more beautiful? How can we make sure that people and delivery trucks can get to Waikiki hotels? Do you have other concerns?

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