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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, August 17, 2006

Council limits street closures in Waikiki

By Robert Shikina
Advertiser Staff Writer

Parades, protests, ho'olaule'a and other events that require street closures in Waikiki will be limited to 39 per year, beginning in January.

The Honolulu City Council voted 8-1 yesterday to cap the number of street closures in Waikiki.

"I personally wanted to be a little bit more aggressive, but I still think it will make a significant and meaningful reduction in the number of street closures in Waikiki," said Honolulu Councilman Charles Djou.

Councilman Nestor Garcia, who voted against the proposal, was unavailable for comment yesterday.

Djou said the street closures, which totaled 58 last year and are expected to hit 60 this year, disturb small businesses, hotels, truck drivers, employees and residents of the area.

"It just becomes incredibly difficult to get in, out and around Waikiki," Djou said, adding that he believes the permit limit strikes a reasonable balance between those commuting on the street and those wanting to hold events.

The proposal stalled for two years while numerous changes were made to prevent First Amendment violations, Djou said.

The 39 street closures are restricted to:

  • 14 legacy events, such as the Honolulu Marathon, King Kamehameha Day Parade, and Aloha Festival Floral Parade, which the proposal grandfathered in because they have been held in Waikiki for 15 years or more.

  • 15 street closures for parades, protests, city events, athletic events and other happenings. These permits are open to the public on a first come, first served basis.

  • 10 mayoral exemptions.

    Reach Robert Shikina at rshikina@honoluluadvertiser.com.