Mayor Alan Arakawa answers some of the most-asked questions submitted to his office staff.
Question: During Tropical Storm Flossie, the lightning in Central Maui was the most frequent and strong I have ever seen on Maui over many years. I grew up in Illinois, and all the residences there had lightning protection. Does Maui County have any regulations about lightning protection?
Answer: According to our county Public Works and Planning directors and staff, Maui County does not have building code or electrical code requirements regarding lightning protection, because it is not mandated in the national codes that our local codes are based on. Homeowners may opt to have a licensed electrician install a lightning protection system as long as it meets existing standards for height and other code considerations. Home Lightning Protectors (HLP) are recommended for areas that are susceptible to common lightning strikes, mostly in the midwest of the U.S. Many utility companies install lightning protectors on their lines to help prevent such accidents from happening.
Question: Makena Surf has one of the most beautiful beaches on the South Side. With the condos built, there is only very limited parking spaces available for the residents and visitors to park and be able to experience this very special beach setting. Parking along the street was acceptable until recently, when tickets have been issued for illegal parking, even though there are not any "No Parking" signs anywhere, nor are the curbs painted red or yellow. As a resident of Maui, I would appreciate it if you could ask the Police Department to stop ticketing cars parked along the curb, so more people can enjoy this very beautiful location.
Answer: According to Maui Police Department (MPD), the area you are referring to is a marked bicycle lane. Driving or parking on a bikeway is prohibited by state law under Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) 291C-123. Unless exempt due to being stalled; broken; assisting a stalled or broken vehicle; a federal, state or county vehicle; an authorized emergency vehicle; or as otherwise provided by law, anyone violating the parking prohibition shall be fined not more than $500. MPD officers will continue to enforce this state law when violations occur. The roadway is marked with the bicycle symbol, with signs posted in the area. From a planning perspective, it's important that we picture what we want our community to look like 50, 100 or even 200 years from now, so we can work to create that vision. Open space and parking access are two components we need to plan for.
Submit your questions about County of Maui programs, services, operations or policies to Mayor Alan Arakawa via e-mail at AskTheMayor@mauicounty.gov, phone 270-7855 or mail to 200 S. High St., Ninth Floor, Wailuku, HI 96793. Questions submitted will be considered for inclusion in the "Ask the Mayor" column.