Groundbreaking for underground infrastructure improvements along Vineyard and Church Streets is now scheduled to begin in August. At a May 24 meeting of the MRA, the agency announced that work on these offsite improvements (dubbed Phase 1-A) of the Wailuku Civic Complex project is anticipated to last 18 months. The department also released a draft of interim parking and shuttle plans for displacement caused by construction. A public meeting to discuss these plans is scheduled for Thursday, June 20 at 6pm at the Iao Theater.
Phase 1-A of Wailuku Civic Complex will dig up Vineyard Street between Market and High Streets, and Church Street between Vineyard and Main. It will remove an estimated 40 on-street parking stalls. Some or all of the current municipal parking lot consisting of 214 stalls is anticipated to close in July of 2020. While construction is underway, parking and travel to, through, and within Wailuku is expected to become difficult, particularly at peak periods.
Erin Wade, Maui Redevelopment Agency planner and WCC project administrator, provided a map and key to temporary parking options now under consideration. These include six sites with paid parking by permit at monthly rates ranging from $35-$60 per month and providing a maximum of 112 stalls. (See map, sites A,B,C,D,E,F). Management at site A told MauiTime that the monthly rate will $75.
Three sites were identified as providing daily paid parking at rates $4 per day and at variable prices. (See map, sites D,E,G. Lot G will be reserved for County workers only.)
Two of the sites farthest from the heart of Wailuku Town were indicated as free parking (See map, sites H,I).
Wade’s presentation targeted workers for larger employers like the State and County. Little mention was made of what parking would be available for merchants and their customers, or what steps would be taken to mitigate congestion and delays for those traveling to or through Wailuku once work is underway.
She said two kinds are shuttle service are being considered. One is a fixed route that would run every 15 minutes and let passengers off at designated stops along the route. This kind of service is envisioned primarily for employees during regular business hours. It was not yet determined if this service will be a free or paid option, and whether it will run at night.
A second service, patterned after the “Free Ride” program in San Diego, is being considered and is envisioned as a fleet of six-seater electric vehicles summoned by a phone app which picks up and drops off passengers at their destination. No timetables, costs, or start dates were given for either of these services.
Wade said it has not yet been decided how shuttle service will be configured or when the service(s) will begin.
The agency is in the process of conducting a parking survey among area employers and has already received substantial feedback. Concerns include lack of flexibility, cost, and difficulty in accessing vehicles during lunch hour. It was also noted that the War Memorial lot, once thought to be an option for alternate parking, will be undergoing resurfacing during this time frame, and is unlikely to be a viable alternative.
Other concerns raised during the meeting included the allocation of parking behind the Iao Theater and whether it would be available to merchants and their customers, and whether parking in those spaces would be short or long term. It was also noted that it is difficult to get into and out of that lot.
In the brief discussion of the MRA’s finances it was pointed out that a potential shortfall may make it difficult to carry out the shuttle plans.
In follow-up communication, Wade said the County has issued a request for proposal (RFP) for an information officer to keep the community abreast of developments as construction progresses. She said three responses have been received and are under consideration. According to the RFP, the public information and communications contract is expected to be for a one-year term, beginning June 15, 2019 with the expectation of extending the contract for an additional three years if funding is available.
It is not known yet when or if Phase 1-B, the proposed multi-story parking garage on the site of the present municipal lot, will begin or how much longer construction will continue if plans for the garage go forward.
The meeting was attended by commissioners DeRego, Ridao, and Ball. Absent were commissioners Lindsey and Hiraga. An estimated 20 residents were also present.
The next meeting of the Maui Redevelopment Agency is Friday, June 28 at 1 pm in the County of Maui Planning Conference Room in Wailuku.
A public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, June 20 at 6pm at the Iao Theater.
Parking, traffic, and shuttle plans during construction will be discussed in more detail.
[Correction: The version of this story that appears in the June 13 print version of MauiTime states in the last paragraph that MRA Commissioner Ohigashi was absent from the meeting. It should have stated that absent from the meeting were commissioners Lindsey and Hiraga. The story has been corrected. MauiTime apologizes for the error.]
Images courtesy Erin Wade