Think About It: Parking Lot Lethargy - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 12, 2013

Think About It: Parking Lot Lethargy

The famous adage from the classic movie "Field of Dreams" was: "if you build it, they will come". Well, that doesn't always hold true, especially when government is involved. The brand-spanking new parking structure on King Street next to the Alapai Street police station has sat virtually empty now for 18-months. That's because the City of Honolulu and the Federal Transit Administration couldn't agree or formalize who could park there, as the stalls are supposed to be reserved for employees of the traffic center building, which won't open for three more years, so there are no employees yet for a non-existent building.

Rather than come to a quick resolution on what to do in the meantime, most city workers who work in the nearby municipal building or at Honolulu Hale trek about a half mile daily to and from the Blaisdell Center parking lot. Meanwhile, the big, new parking structure sits empty, save for a few HPD workers who get to park there. But now, finally, the Federal Transit Administration says as long as the car parkers are city employees and the funds generated from parking there go to the bus fund, they have no problem opening up the lot. That simple logic apparently took a year-and-a-half, which really means it took much longer to finalize, since concept and construction began long before the gate first went up; this deal should have been hammered out long before the structure ever opened. 

The city was able to persuade the FTA to approach the issue with open and more liberal eyes, and the feds said "go for it".  Thus, for the first time in the lot's 18-month existence, empty stalls will be filled, city employees will be pleased, and the city will make about a quarter of a million dollars a year for using a parking lot which sat mostly idle for too long for no really good reason, a classic case of your tax dollars not at work. Think about it….

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