Letters 2-24-14


Our roads aren’t built to accommodate numerous bike riders

Charles Young expressed in print Feb. 15 his thoughts on what many share. I will confine my comments to three things he said that need no validation to anybody who has lived here more than two years.

He is correct about the first several Ironman competitions being a fun event for the community. So was watching the old King Kamehameha Hotel get blown up. The whole side of the island came out to watch. Then, corporate America and big money became involved. It was the kiss of death for residents who don’t own a business.

He notes that Kona has become a year-round triathlon and that is also true. Besides the Ironman, we contend with road closures in Kona and Kohala for the two big qualifiers at other times of the year. Not to mention Peaman Sean Pagett and his weekly events, though they aren’t nearly as disruptive on such a big scale. He should be grateful he didn’t get his okole run over when he used to luge down Palani Road on his skateboard.

But Mr. Young’s most telling statement was when he pointed out that with the exception, (sort of), of Queen Kaahumanu Highway, our roads are poorly equipped to handle the dozens, and at times hundreds, of bikes that use them. The only road I can think of that actually has a bike lane is the new Ane Keohokalole Highway — even if it is short and the lane is only about 14 inches wide. The shoulder of our main road is for cars and trucks to use if necessary — not bicyclists riding three abreast hugging the white line. Mo-peds that blow through intersections with connecting access roads but no light are equally as bad.

Mr. Young simply stated the obvious. He does not lack aloha. He expresses concern for the well-being of those riding bikes and vehicles with so little power they cannot drive the speed limit. Remember the tragedy that led up to all those “Share the Road With Aloha” bumper stickers? That works both ways. In the end, it does not matter who is right, all that matters is who’s left after an accident. The car will win that one every time.

Gregory Miller

Kalaoa