Mayor Michael Victorino invites interested Maui County residents to participate in two virtual meetings on August 24, to hear the community’s thoughts and suggestions about plans for “PARK MAUI,” a new parking management program for beach parks, business districts and streets in Maui’s most heavily visited areas. Virtual public meetings are scheduled: 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Wed. August 24 and 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Wed, August 24. The online meeting link will be available two days prior on Mon., August 22 at www.parkmaui.com
“PARK MAUI is one of the ways in which the County of Maui can help to restore balance between our community and our hospitality industry,” said Mayor Victorino. “Our vision is to ensure residents have free access to shorelines, beaches and parks while non-residents pay to park in these places. The revenue generated by this program will fund operational expenses and may also be used to fund facility improvements, cultural preservation, environmental protection, and beach restoration efforts.”
National parking expert, Julie Dixon, president of Dixon Resources Unlimited, has been contracted to help establish the framework of the PARK MAUI program. “Having assisted many other tourist destinations, we often hear about the feeling of being ‘squeezed out’ by visitors. Managing parking can go a long way towards regaining access to your own ‘local spots,’” explained Ms. Dixon. “Parking should be easy, convenient and accessible for the local community, while allowing visitors into Maui’s special places on the residents’ terms.”
PARK MAUI will be implemented in two phases. During Phase One, regional stakeholders participated in focus groups to identify sites where parking solutions are needed. Next, the County will seek input from the wider community and implement pilot projects at Ulua/Mokapu Beach and the Kamaole Beach Parks in South Maui. These parks were chosen for the ease of installing parking equipment on-site. The County will evaluate the pilot projects and consider additional community feedback to further refine the program. The results will be used to expand PARK MAUI to other beach parks as timing, funding and permitting allow. The County of Maui anticipates launching the Phase One pilot program in early 2023.
Focus Group member Kai Nishiki has long advocated for the County to implement a parking program at County beach parks. “I am thankful to Mayor Victorino for putting the community first in the PARK MAUI program,” Nishiki said. “Making it easy for local families to enjoy our beaches and parks is the right priority and I look forward to getting this program started and expanding it throughout Maui so residents can feel welcome in their own backyards again.”
Phase Two will involve pilot projects in Lahaina and Wailuku. These towns were chosen for the large numbers of employees competing with residents, visitors and businesses for limited parking. The County will seek community input into how these pilot programs should be structured. Possible solutions include charging non-residents for parking while offering 1-2 hours of free resident parking and/or discounted parking for residents and/or designated parking for area employees.
To take an online survey about PARK MAUI, for details about the virtual public meetings on August 24, and to find FAQs and more information, visit www.parkmaui.com.