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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, June 29, 2006

No plans for new barrier at city park

By Robbie Dingeman
Advertiser Columnist

Q. A truck apparently lost control coming down Ka'ahele Street on Friday morning and crashed through a low concrete retaining wall, drove across the volleyball court, and knocked down a fence separating the volleyball court and the baseball field at the Waimalu Playground. What happened and will the city build a new barrier to make it safer for the children who play there?

A. City parks director Lester Chang said the truck's owner fixed the wall the next day and removed the damaged pieces of fencing.

Chang thanked the company Island Topsoil LLC for working so quickly to fix the damage at no cost to taxpayers. "They have a masonry crew and they immediately went in and fixed it," Chang said.

"I wish everybody was like them. They're very responsive and very responsible." He said the city will inspect the work to make sure it complies with city specifications. Chang said the company plans more work on the fence and a gouge in the courts.

Island Topsoil owner David Souza said the driver broke her arm and "the truck is totaled," but he's thankful that there were no more serious injuries.

Souza said the company simply fixed the problem that they caused. "We did the damage," Souza said. "We fixed it right away so the kids can play there again."

Chang and officials at nearby Waimalu Elementary School couldn't recall a similar accident there, so there are currently no plans to build a barrier such as a bigger wall or a guardrail.

Q. We are longtime customers of Kahala Mall who often ride our bikes there and recently had a problem with security telling us our bikes should be locked and couldn't be parked where we'd left them. Can you find out the mall's bike policy?

A. Kahala Mall general manager Ron Yoda said the mall provides nine bike racks and most of them are rarely full. The security crews recommend that bikes be locked in and around the racks and discourage parking bikes where they may block a walkway. Yoda has spoken with security crews and hopes that the policy is clear.

"We don't allow bikers to just lock them anywhere," Yoda said, but he also wants to encourage bike riders to keep going to the mall as good customers who don't take up parking spaces.

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