John Cater and his '69 bug
John Cater (70), is a longtime surfer, and has been trying to voice the concerns of the beach and park users in the hopes that the City will revisit the goals of the Diamond Head Road construction project. These are some of his thoughts (6/9/02):
"On February 7, 2001, I hand-delivered a letter to Ms. Mary O'Leary, designer of the Diamond Head Road construction project. Half the project was intended to improve the looks of Diamond Head by burying the (power and phone) wires underground [the other part was to improve on pedestrian and bicyclist safety]. However, they have paid no attention to the park part of it."
"The proposed sidewalk and bike lane design will eliminate 46 parking stalls along the road. The effect of taking away the 46 stalls is to deny access to the park. Those who walk can walk to the park. Those who drive have about 51 stalls (unmarked) that they could park on on the crushed coral on the mauka side. We need to replace those 46 parking stalls. We don't have enough parking already with the existing setup; and to take away 46 stalls is like taking away about 40% of the parking that existed."
"Those of you that have attended surf meets or windsurf meets know that parking is very difficult on those days because you have an additional 100-200-300 people coming and parking."
"So, what we want to do is talk to the City and County Planning and Permitting Department, Ms. Rae Loui is head of that. And tell her that they did not consider in this plan, which was road only focused, that the effect was to block off access to Diamond Head Beach which is used by a lot of people."
"What we'd like to see is this project go forward with the parking. And in fact because they're going to take away those spaces, the new parking should take precedence. There is a place for it. It is the Koko Head side of where the smooth path goes down and has the water fountain and there's quite a large space there (70x140 ft)."
"Diamond Head Park is the only park of that size which has no bathroom facilities at all until you get down to Kapiolani Park on one side and the park at the end by Triangle Park on the other side."
"Those are my thoughts at the moment. Our plan at this time is to ask for a delay for the putting out of bids so that the input of the surfers, windsurfers, contest givers, beachwalkers and fishermen be considered."
"We're not against the project. What we want, at the very least,
is the number of parking slots that we had before; it would be nice
if we had more. As an extra, yes we would like a rather simple bathroom
for the walkers, the bicyclers, the surfers, and others."