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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 31, 2002

City Council approves KCC bike facility

By Suzanne Roig
Advertiser East Honolulu Writer

A proposed bicycle staging building at Kapi'olani Community College received final approval yesterday from the City Council, culminating two years of planning and clearing the way for construction.

The $600,000 facility in the shadow of the Diamond Head Monument will be the first of its kind on O'ahu and will complement the city's plan for bike lanes around the island.

The facility will be a place where cyclists — either for recreation or commuting — will be able to stash their gear, have a picnic and shower, if need be. The idea was to encourage students to use their bicycles to commute to the college and to provide a meeting place for cyclists.

The council's action — approval of a permit for special management area use — was applauded by one cyclist who saw this facility as a sign the city is serious about bicycling as a form of commuting and allows the college to be at the forefront of that.

"It opens the door for the college to become a place where it's responding to the livability of the community it's in," said Eve DeCoursey, a member of the Hawai'i Bicycling League. "It will give the cyclists a sense of place rather than using Triangle Park (by Kahala), which has no facilities."

The building designs were recently revised after members of the Diamond Head Citizen Advisory Committee expressed concern that the building's profile would interfere with the view around Diamond Head. The roof was lowered and the color changed to better blend in with the arid terrain around the monument.

"I'm very pleased," said Councilman Duke Bainum, who represents the area. "It benefits the college and the community. Certainly, if you're a commuting cyclist you'll have a place to freshen up and if you're a recreational cyclist you'll have a place to meet."

The project came out of the city's vision program.

The city is in the midst of a multi-year reassessment of all its bike paths and has done work around East Honolulu to improve the safety of cyclists and motorists who share the road. Last year the city began work on several bike-lane projects in East Honolulu, and made room for cyclists when it widened Kalaniana'ole Highway about 10 years ago.

"People like going around Diamond Head; there's a draw there," DeCoursey said. "This is right there and will provide a place for tourists and residents who are out for fitness. It's a community thing."

Reach Suzanne Roig at sroig@honoluluadvertiser.com or at 395-8831.