Letters 12-16-13


Swap meet parking a hazardous proposition

The Ocean View swap meet has been operated by Bill Peebles and Oceanview Partners LLP. They own well over a dozen lots in Ocean View Ranchos where the swap meet is held. All the roads in the Ranchos are privately owned and maintained by the property owners of the Ranchos via its road maintenance corporation.

As the popularity of the swap meet grew its associated traffic problems became more evident. Several meetings were held with the swap meet representatives, Ranchos residents, road corporation members and the police and fire departments in an effort to come up with solutions to the traffic safety and parking problems. Suggestions included more off-street parking, signage directing traffic to parking and parking attendants. The swap meet operators bulldozed a “parking lot” on another of their lots and put up small signs. The road corporation eventually tried a parking attendant on its own to see if this was a workable solution to the street-side parking and roadside vendors. The attendant seemed to work pretty well, but the new parking lot was underused.

The swap meet also created a difficult situation to the Hele-On Park and Ride lot. OceanView Partners LLP leases this lot to the county for the Park and Ride. On Saturday, this lot is crowded by swap meet attendees and nonswap meet vendors and the Hele-On bus cannot get in and must go around the block in the Ranchos. This puts additional pressure on the private roads and helps accelerate the wear and tear.

Peebles said in a recent West Hawaii Today article — “Planning Commission: Swap meet must control traffic,” by Nancy Cook Lauer, Dec. 6 — he can’t enforce the no-parking rule on a private road. The Planning Commission is now going to require the swap meet operators to better control the traffic and parking, which includes several of the ideas from our earlier meetings. Peebles and Oceanview Partners LLP still need to do something to keep the Hele-On lot open on Saturday morning. They should also look at their property on Tuesdays as several people are vending from the swap meet lot.

I look forward to going to the swap meet to pick up a few veggies and knickknacks and not worry about traffic safety and a crowded Hele-On lot.

Lester Lowe

Captain Cook