Categorized | Opinions

Shively: Support Waimea Nature Park, not the concrete path

(Reader Opinions Disclaimer: This column allows members of the community to share their opinions and views, which do not necessarily reflect those of Hawaii 24/7, its staff, sponsors or anyone other than the writer. Hawaii 24/7 reserves the right to refuse any column deemed to be misinformation, of an unethical nature, a personal attack, or a blatant commercial pitch.)

The county Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), in conjunction with Waimea Trails and Greenways, is proposing to construct a 4.8 mile multi-use path from Church Road, through Waimea Town, and continuing west to Kamuela View Estate. The concrete of the project will be located adjacent to Waikoloa Stream
for most of its length.

In considering any development, all the consequences should be considered. Sometimes, we need to put ourselves in our neighbor’s shoes to see all the consequences. Imagine you are living near a trail, either at the trail head or along the alignment.

You might think, “Cool, I can walk anytime I want.” Now consider that every other resident in your community can do the same and walks by your home all hours of the day. Add to that a healthy visitor population who learn of the trail through guidebooks. Visitors and residents drive to the trail head and park in front of our house and your neighbor’s house. Your neighborhood becomes
a parking lot for a tourist attraction.

But this isn’t just a trail that is being developed. It’s a 10 to 12 foot wide concrete path with 10 feet clearing on either side. The concrete is attractive to skaters, skateboarders, not a very quiet activity.

Before the path is constructed, there is not public thoroughfare behind your home. People used to approach your home from the public street fronting your home. You had privacy in your back yard where your children could safely play.

After the public path is constructed, you no longer have privacy in your own backyard. Since a public thoroughfare now runs behind your home, your children are no longer safe from trespassers and other evil-doers. The path allows strangers to see the part of your home where you once enjoyed privacy.

You have the power to stop this nightmare. A dirt trail in Waimea is already established as a basic infrastructure that ties the village together, where people can walk and run to their work site and schools. The trail now consists of wood chips and dirt. This is how the trail should remain.

Do not cut down the 357 heritage trees that are marked to be destroyed! Do not pave the trail with concrete!

The near by schools can already use the Nature Park for field trips and outings. The trail should not be developed any further east of the Nature Park. On the west side of the Waimea Nature Park, the trail should only be developed as far as the Lalamilo Research Station. The Waimea trail should be left as it is now.

The proposed expansion of the trail is not necessary. These undeveloped increments would be purely recreational and would only serve as an alternative transportation facility for very few residents at a high cost to all Hawaii County taxpayers: $18 million.

Please step up and stop the massive concrete path. All of Hawaii County taxpayers are going to pay for this unnecessary 4.8 mile concrete path for many years to come. This project’s cost is upward of 18 million in cost, an unknown amount to maintain, and only benefits a very small fraction of the island’s population.

LaDonna Shively

One Response to “Shively: Support Waimea Nature Park, not the concrete path”

  1. jde says:

    100% concur-a trail is not a cement corridor-let’s keep it organic. I do live in a Waimea neighborhood that has been turned into the town dog park, excercise loop, cell phone walker-talkers,baby strollers and it’s a one lane road MESS for local residents. You are right, it’s very intrusive when there’s half the town in your yard every day. Keep the trail quiet and low key and then it will be Naure-All


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.