Biki Bikeshare Racks Taking Away Public Parking Spaces

Biki Taking Away Parking

Biki bikeshare racks are sprouting like weeds all over urban Honolulu taking away some valuable and cherished parking spaces that motorists regularly use. What’s up with this? What is this Biki thing?

The bikeshare operation is the latest effort in the City & County of Honolulu’s scheme of engineering and pricing motorists out of our vehicles (cars, trucks, motorcycles, etc.) by making driving and parking more expensive through higher taxes and fees.

Now we have Biki,  a private company to setting up rental bicycle racks all over town, taking away valuable, highly used, parking spaces away from the motoring public. Some of those spaces are places where motorists enjoy free, unmetered parking, such as in the area along Kalakaua Avenue near Kapiolani Park.

Biki is a non-profit bicycle sharing operation that is priced (like old fashioned cell phone service) at $3.50 per ride, per user for a 30 minute block. Bike renters can pick up a bike at one rack and return it to another. The service takes only takes electronic payments. No cash. Each rack is self powered with a small solar array mounted on a pole adjacent to the rack. The racks will hold about 20 or so bikes.

The bicycles are goofy looking and as this photo shows, may also contain advertising. It will be just a matter of time before some of the bike racks and bicycles are vandalized.

The per ride pricing is very high for most residents. The current bus fare is $2.50 per ride, unlimited distance and time. The per ride bus fare is going up to $2.75 after a recent bill was passed by the City Council. The $2.75 is still cheaper than the Biki $3.50 rental. Clearly the high priced Biki is aimed at tourists.

That said, why are Biki racks popping up in neighborhoods where tourists don’t travel to? Why are Biki racks taking up valuable parking spaces, metered or free, that residents use? I have to think this is part of the city’s larger agenda to get most of us out of our motor vehicles.

Biki should only be set up in places that target tourists. Biki racks should never replace any motor vehicle public parking. It is bad enough that the city has taken many parking spaces away to build bicycle lanes. Motorists are being shortchanged while paying ever increasing taxes and fees to operate a vehicle.

#Biki #Bikeshare

Additional Links:

Honolulu Residents Get Raw Deal With Bikeshare, Civil Beat Commentary

Attorney General’s office seeks answers to city’s new Bikeshare program, KHON on YouTube

Biki Pushback at Kapiolani Park, KITV 4 News

Vote No on City Charter Amendment 8, HawaiiFiles Blog Archive

 

Biki Taking Away Parking
More like “no parking forever” in this area next to Ross Dress For Less on Keeaumoku.

Biki Taking Away Parking
City parking meters and spaces are covered up to transfer revenues to Biki operations.

Biki Stations: EXPENSIVE!
Will you pay $3.50 to rent a goofy looking bicycle for 30 minutes (or less)?

Biki Station: Ala Moana Park
Biki logo on one of their Ala Moana Park racks as it is on all others.

South King Street - Honolulu HI
Honolulu’s street parking spaces are under assault by Biki and other bicycle policies being implemented by the City & County of Honoululu.

Rail: “It’s Too Big To Continue”

State Rep. Cynthia Thielen and former University of Hawaii Professor Randy Roth discuss the big, black, expensive hole called “RAIL“. Again the same thing is said over and over…. “rail is too expensive and must be stopped”.

The cost of rail over the next several years will be at least $5,000 per person or $20,000 for a family of four. Add to this the increases by the City & County of Honolulu to parking fees, vehicle registration fees, bus fees, issuing bonds and more, the cost will far exceed what most people can afford. These added costs will impact the low income people the most.

The Hawaii State Legislature is set to go into special session this summer to extend the GE tax or raise even more funds to finance this gigantic, expensive mistake. Tell your legislators to stop funding rail. sens@capitol.hawaii.gov | reps@capitol.hawaii.gov.

As I have said in this blog and previous posts, is that rail is a big mistake and should be stopped now. Professor Roth in says the same thing. Stop rail where it is and utilize the infrastructure already built for something else.

Watch the video above and the in the previous post. It all makes sense if we are to save our own money.

Video above: City rates for parking, vehicle taxes and TheBus are increasing.

“Rail is a Fraud”

Grassroot Institute of Hawaii‘s Dr. Keli’i Akina and University of Hawaii Law Professor Dr. Randy Roth talk about the extremely expensive and over budget Honolulu Rail Project.

“There was a great deception from the beginning”…..

As we have mentioned in earlier blog posts at the original Hawaii Files sites, rail is not a traffic solution but is a development project. The people and organizations making the most money out of this are the ones benefitting at tax payer expense. The current estimate to just finish building rail is $10 billion, with other estimates climbing higher to $15 billion.

Funding for the rail remains controversial, currently a 1/2% increase to the general excise tax that started in 2007. The rail tax period has been pushed out 10 years beyond its drop dead date to at least 2027.

With the remainder of the federal funding at possible risk and not enough to cover the rail, there are proposals to increase property taxes and many others in order to pay for rail.

How can the tax payers afford to continue funding this fiscal mistake and nightmare?

Video courtesy of ThinkTech Hawaii.

Gigantic Expensive Mistake//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

 

GOP Hawaii Elects New Leaders

 

Zoo-01s

Hawaii’s Republican Party met this past weekend on the island of Kauai for their annual state convention. Less than 400 people attended the event which saw the election of new state officers and revisions of rules.

The Hawaii Republican Party announced the following elected officers:

State Chair – Shirlene Ostrov
Vice Chair for Coordinated Campaigns – Pat Saiki
Vice Chair for Candidate Recruitment and Training – Lorraine Shin
Vice Chair for Communications – Jonathan Kunimura
Vice Chair for Community Service – Mele Songsong
Vice Chair for Coalitions – Cheryl Sora
Secretary – Jennifer Anderson
Treasurer – Gwen Honjo

According to the Hawaii Republican Assembly (HIRA), there was a major split within the small core group controlling the party as to what slate of candidates the rest of the party should vote for. The losing slate turned out to be “led” by State Rep. Andria Tupola. Her backers and those of winner Shirlene Ostrov flew in their slate of electors with free tickets financed by their campaigns. Looks like Ostrov got more of her supporters there.

Ostrov is backed by the entrenched GOP Hawaii leadership according to HIRA.

It has been many years since I was active in the Hawaii Republican Party or HIRA. I am still a member of the party but no longer participate in it. I lost interest in the party after working on a conservative party platform in 2008 that had planks opposing the Akaka Bill, tax increases and the rail project. Our platform committee spent many weeks in early 2008 crafting the platform.

From a blog post I wrote in 2008 this is what happened:

Current Hawaii GOP leadership who are loyal followers and appointees of Governor Linda Lingle apparently did not like the direction that the platform was taking. They summoned their loyal minions and stacked the Saturday meeting by first proposing to do away with rules of procedure and then proposing to adopt the 2006 platform as the new document going into the May 2008 State Convention. After an hour of debate, a vote was taken and the outcome was a 26 to 19 in favor of keeping the “status quo”.

I was also on the 2006 platform committee. That platform was “okay”. The 2008 platform that was trounced was better. In time the 2006 platform was dismissed and a “gutless” neutral platform was adopted and used ever since.

Today the Hawaii Republican Party is totally impotent for having no relevance in elected state politics. Statewide Republicans hold only five seats in the State House of Representatives and zero seats in the State Senate and County Councils. The Governor’s office, county mayors and the four member congressional delegation are all Democrats.

As a result much of Hawaii’s laws have been enacted by Democrats who espouse higher taxes, funding for rail, more taxes, gay marriage, pay raises for public sector union employees, a failing education system, poorly maintained roads, high consumer prices, over-regulation and much, much more.

I became dismayed with the party after the 2008 platform vote and withdrew my active participation. I remain hopeful that things may turn around, but I don’t see it happening in my lifetime.

Congresswoman Hanabusa Addresses Questions on National and Local Issues

Public Meeting with Congresswoman Hanabusa

U.S. Representative Colleen Hanabusa held a town meeting yesterday (May 9) at McKinley High School in Honolulu where she answered mostly partisan questions regarding issues effecting Hawaii and the nation. Among the items brought up during the 2 hour question and answer session were the budget including funding for rail, social programs, and the military; the status of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, education, security, Hawaiian sovereignty and the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Firing of FBI Director James Comey: Hanabusa would like to see a special investigative committee convened to look into the Comey case and reasons why the Trump administration took this action. She says the ball on this action lies firmly in the hands of the GOP majority in Congress.

Maybe so, but Trump took action to get rid of Comey because of his in-action on further investigation on the Hillary Clinton email scandal. Questions still abound about the President’s campaign connections to the Russian government if any. At worst the firing of Comey came at the wrong time. Democrats, some Republicans and the media are having a “feeding frenzy” on this one.

Rail: Congresswoman Hanabusa said that funding for Honolulu’s beleaguered rail project is in the budget. Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transit (HART) still has to satisfy the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) with its financial plan update in order to get the funds released. The Hawaii State Legislature did not include additional funding for rail this session. The City and County of Honolulu may pass legislation to enable other funding mechanisms such as raising the real property tax.

The over-budgeted rail project is costing taxpayers at least $10 billion. Estimates could peg the final cost of building rail to over $13 billion. Debate has been renewed again on whether to stop the rail at middle street, tear it down or bear the additional cost of a build-out to its intended destination of Ala Moana Center.

As I have stated many times, I remain opposed to the rail. It should never have been built.

Budget: Hanabusa says funding for Planned Parenthood is still in, while the President did not get funding to build “the wall”. The budget process will go through the till again as the government gets closer to the October 2017 fiscal year deadline.

Abortion funding with taxpayer dollars should be terminated.

Sanctuary Cities: The small partisan crowd of about 60 attendees was definitely for the concept of “sanctuary cities”, something that is opposed by the Trump administration. The Ninth Circuit Court on Appeals has invalidated the President’s executive order on banning immigration from some Islamic countries.

Sanctuary Cities are not a good idea since they allow illegal immigrants to stay in the United States. What part of “illegal immigrants” do Democrats and other bleeding hearts do not understand. Illegal means not sanctioned by law. Drunk driving is illegal. Stealing is illegal. Rape and murder is illegal. They all have dire consequences if people do these things. Illegal immigration is the same thing. Break the law, suffer the consequences.

Education: Hanabusa fears that Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos will “destroy public education” because she is an advocate of school vouchers. I think school vouchers are a good idea because parents will be able to use their tax money to fund their children’s education in institutions of their choice.

Local issues: Audience questions also touched upon the fuel storage tanks buried at Red Hill (most tanks are okay except for one of them); emergency access through the Kolekole Pass road; climate change; the military and Hawaiian governance.

Rep. Hanabusa stated that her stance on the issue of Hawaiian governance (restoration of the kingdom, federal recognition, or nothing at all) is up to the community to decide. “There is no right or wrong answer. It is about the process.”

I am firmly on the side of keeping Hawaii a part of the United States the way it is. If this issue came up for a vote, the entire state, regardless of race would have to have a say in it. The old Hawaiian Kingdom was not based on a tribe, but was a nation that included everyone. Like the vote that authorized the Territory of Hawaii to become a state in 1959, a vote to dissolve the State of Hawaii or change its governing status needs to be decided by everyone living in Hawaii, regardless of race.

Another issue that got some discussion was the status of the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. The monument falls under something called the “Antiquities Act” under which the President of the United States can create national monuments on federal lands through proclamation. The Papahanumokuakea monument, which is a large ocean area in the northern Hawaiian Islands has been targeted by the Trump administration “for review”. Commercial fishermen and businesses are opposed to the expansion of the monument.

I think a review on this is a good idea. People depend on fishing industry to get us fresh, affordable seafood. Environmental regulations are frequently passed that disregard the cost to consumers, adding inconvenience and negatively impacting the economy.

Lastly two interesting things that I got from the meeting.

  1. When people contact congressional delegations from outside their state or districts, many of the email programs automatically reject communications from out of state residents. Kind of makes sense since contact forms on Congressional web pages often point to pre-built pages asking for your name and address.
  2. Like a true Democrat, Rep. Hanabusa advocated that attendees hold the current federal government majority responsible by participating in a so-called “organic movement” exemplified by the recent Women’s March. She said “stay angry”.

Public Meeting with Congresswoman Hanabusa