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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, October 23, 2002

Ke'eaumoku traffic study urged

By Treena Shapiro
Advertiser Staff Writer

A group of residents who live near the "Ke'eaumoku superblock" have asked city officials to put the brakes on plans to build a 24-hour Wal-Mart and Sam's Club until an adequate traffic study has been conducted.

About a dozen people — carrying a petition with more than 200 names — tried to testify before two City Council committees yesterday but were too late to get on the agenda to air their concerns over traffic, noise and pollution.

Even if they had, Zoning Committee Chairman Duke Bainum said he was sympathetic but none of the pending building permits need council approval. Since the superblock falls in an industrial mixed-use district, an environmental impact study is not required.

Roy Nakamura, who lives on Cedar Street, said he was concerned about plans to have the loading docks on Sheridan Street, which means delivery trucks would constantly drive through a residential area. He would prefer all the vehicle driveways to be on Ke'eaumoku. "If they stay on Ke'eaumoku to enter and exit, it saves our community," he said.

Councilwoman Ann Kobayashi, who represents the district, said she has asked the city Department of Transportation to have a public hearing before the department approves a building permit.

She said that when the Department of Planning and Permitting issues the grading permit, "we're hoping that some conditions will be put upon Wal-Mart to abide by certain conditions that have been bothersome to the residents."

Reach Treena Shapiro at tshapiro@honoluluadvertiser.com or 525-8070.