Bikeshare rolls out: New program gives easy access to people looking for 2-wheel rides

  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0007.jpg
  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0008.jpg
  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0011.jpg
  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0026.jpg
  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0032.jpg
  • 4084819_web1_Bike-Share_0033.jpg

KAILUA-KONA — Members of People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, government officials and biking enthusiasts took shelter from the sun under a makeshift canopy at Hale Halawai Tuesday to celebrate the kickoff of Bikeshare Kona Hawaii Island and an accompanying Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign.

ADVERTISING


KAILUA-KONA — Members of People’s Advocacy for Trails Hawaii, government officials and biking enthusiasts took shelter from the sun under a makeshift canopy at Hale Halawai Tuesday to celebrate the kickoff of Bikeshare Kona Hawaii Island and an accompanying Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Campaign.

Tina Clothier, executive director of PATH, was the master of ceremonies and spoke of the multitude of partnerships with public, private and nonprofit organizations that helped make BKHI a reality.

“The reason it’s so easy to say yes to Tina and to PATH is because you know it’s sincere,” said Mayor Billy Kenoi, who made time for the ceremony amid multiple hurricane threats to the island. “You know it’s for the community. You know it’s to create a healthy, safe Kona and Hawaii Island.”

The program was primarily funded by $250,000 from the public Bikeway Fund, which is supplemented by bicycle and moped registration fees. That money, plus a substantial amount of volunteer work, manifested in the installation of 32 bikes across three stations at Hale Halawai, Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel and next to Huggo’s on Kahakai Road.

Rides will be available for $3.50 per half hour and payment can be completed at solar-powered kiosks with debit and credit cards. For residents, there is a program offering unlimited 60-minute rides for $25 per month. Hours of operation are essentially sunrise to sunset.

Expansion of the program is expected, but will rely on usage as well as community sponsorship. Clothier mentioned she was optimistic about extending the program all the way to Keauhou, as well as potentially further north, as several local institutions reached out to her in the previous days about sponsoring new stations.

More bikes on the road have, in turn, spurred more discussion about safety. Clothier said PATH will work in the coming months with Councilman Dru Kanuha, the Kailua Village Business Improvement District and the Departments of Public Works and Planning to implement and improve safety measures along Alii Drive.

“With our year-round temperate weather, most people enjoy walking and biking, and we want to make sure we keep pedestrians and cyclists safe,” she told the crowd.

Kenoi mentioned general awareness between motorists and cyclists in Kona as the reason it was chosen over other sites considered for the bikeshare pilot program, which included Hilo and the Mauna Kea State Recreation Area.

Pedestrian and cyclist safety is an issue close to Kenoi’s heart, as he lost a brother to a traffic incident a little more than two years ago.

“Our goal is to make sure it never happens again,” Kenoi said. “It’s not about reducing statistics, it’s about completely eliminating it.”

ADVERTISING


Police officers were also in attendance to promote the safety campaign. Sgt. Roy Valera of the Community Policing Section in Kona spoke on behalf of the department, saying new laws don’t need to be implemented to ensure safety, motorists and cyclists simply must follow the laws already in place.

“As first responders, police officers see the damage of crashes,” Valera said. “From a police department perspective, we want everyone to voluntarily comply with the laws out there. But if you don’t comply, please rest assured the police department will offer you some form of incentive.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Star-Advertiser's TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email hawaiiwarriorworld@staradvertiser.com.