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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, January 11, 2002

City agrees to lower height of KCC bike building

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

Bowing to community concerns, the city has agreed to lower the roof of a bicycle staging building at Kapi'olani Community College so it blends in better with the terrain.

But City Council members said it would not be practical to move the building, as some people have suggested.

The $600,000 bicycle staging area, which received preliminary approval from a City Council committee Tuesday, will give cyclists a place to rendezvous, stash their gear, have a picnic and shower. It would be the first of its kind on O'ahu.

Preliminary approval clears the way for a full council vote on Jan. 30 and the start of construction. But some members of the Diamond Head Citizens Advisory Committee, a group of private individuals and state parks officials that oversees development around Diamond Head, worried that the profile of the building as planned would interfere with the view around the state monument.

The council agreed to lower the roof from 20 feet to 16 feet.

The citizen committee also objects to the building site.

Advisory committee member Michelle Matson said the planned location is too close to the old steepled church on Diamond Head Road, and should be moved toward the college parking lot because it encroaches on open space at the entrance to the Diamond Head State Monument.

Moving the building is impractical, responded City Councilman Duke Bainum. Soil conditions nearer the parking lot won't support a building, he said.

Bainum, who represents the area, said he hopes the facility will be the first of many such sites on O'ahu.

"It just confirms our commitment to alternate forms of travel," he said. "It represents to me the triumph of community input."

The project, in the drafting stages for more than two years, is the vision of cyclists, residents and the city. It fits in with the city's plan for bike lanes around the island and will benefit the college's cycling commuters.

Last year the city began several bike lane projects in East Honolulu, notably in Kahala, Kaimuki and on Kalaniana'ole Highway.