Maui Business Brainstormers Community alert – Highway 30 to Close- Please Help!

One of my students brought this petition to my attention and I thought I should share it for anyone who wishes to sign it!  It was created by Maui Business Brainstormers.  Here is a link to their website:  Maui Business Brainstormers

A a service to our members, we are making you aware of this communication about the Lahaina Bypass, which in fact affects everyone on Maui and especially businesses in the tourism industry as well as West Side businesses. Any of you who have customers driving to or from the West Side to get to your business will be affected, and the reputation of Maui overall is likely to be impacted.

Please take one moment to help get some discussion and community input on the imminent opening of the new section of the Bypass, and  the CLOSING of highway 30 at that point – by signing the online petition here:

Please pass it along!

We think many folks on Maui don’t realize that in March when they open the southernmost section of the “Lahaina ByPass”, they will be permanently CLOSING Highway 30 (Honoapiilani Highway) at that point, near “cut mountain’.   ALL TRAFFIC WILL BE ROUTED ONTO THE BYPASS AT THAT POINT.   You will no longer be able to drive from Lahaina/Launioapoko through to Olowalu (or the reverse) – that section of road will be permanently closed. Coming from Kahului toward Lahaina, ALL TRAFFIC WILL BE ROUTED ONTO THE BYPASS just past Olowalu to go north.   To me, that means this is not a Bypass but a replacement highway – replacing 2 lanes (one in each direction) with 2 lanes, which does not help us with the traffic congestion to and from the West Side.  And worse, the northern end now stops at Keawe Street, with no real traffic plan there at all to manage all the forced Bypass traffic trying to go north that will now be dumped off at Keawe (where Barnes & Noble and Walgreens are).  Keawe Street is already dangerous (try exiting left from Walgreen’s, or worse yet, try crossing from Walgreen’s over to Foodland Farms…and we don’t even have the full ByPass traffic yet!!!  There are no stop lights or anything planned for Keawe, other than a new right turn lane onto the lower highway.  And with this plan, the lower highway that goes straight through Lahaina and out toward Kaanapali will become ONE LANE as it moves from Papalaua Street out towards Safeway (before and after Keawe), so Lahaina Town is going to get REALLY backed up going either direction across that intersection.

A meeting was held recently where the community attendees unanimously asked for the following:

1) Do not open the new southern Bypass section until there is a connector farther NORTH of Keawe, to bring the traffic pass Lahaina’s already-congested area

2) Keep the lower highway open permanently as an alternative to the Bypass. A “Bypass” means you can bypass another route – this plan shuts down any alternate route.

3) Improve Keawe Street to make it safe for the cross-traffic in and out of the Emerald Plaza  industrial areas and the 2 shopping plazas (B&N, Walgreen’s).

But we were told the project is moving ahead anyway as planned and will open in Feb/March.

PLEASE sign the petition to help us at least have some input to the plan. PASS THIS ON TO AS MANY MAUI RESIDENTS AS YOU CAN. This affects everyone really, since West Maui is a huge tax base for the whole island and the traffic is rapidly becoming an inhibitor to residents and visitors alike. And of course all of us on the West Side have a vested interest to get a plan in place that will actually HELP traffic, not make it worse. Please sign and forward this link to others!!! !

“Lahaina- if you are not aware of the entirety of the proposed upcoming changes to our only highway…please look into it to see how you WILL be affected. Our community has significantly changed since the drafting of this proposal and we deserve proper urban planning as well as safe, effective traffic management. Please sign the petition to buy us all more time, so that the project can be done correctly and efficiently!!”

You can see the actual road plans here: