On a rain soaked evening at the Koloa Community Center our Mayor and staff shared their vision of a future for this island that embraces an enlightened approach to challenges that face our community. Admittedly, living on an island ones problems can seem more acute. Our issues are in our face and we sometimes trip over them. Perhaps that’s a good thing. Like a leaky faucet that reminds you, I am not going away and you had better deal with it.
I have highlighted a few topics discussed that will bring a better quality of life to the residents, and a better experience for visitors to Kauai Hawaii.
Increase Walking Paths
Our community like many have been designed around the use of the car at the expense of moving about by human power. It is recognized that healthy communities begin when there are opportunities for its residents to have ready access to walking paths and sidewalks. Besides the obvious benefit that less cars on the road equates to a decrease in volatile pollutants. Overall public health improves, interactions on pathways encourage cohesiveness of neighborhoods. Casual, friendly engagement with local residents enhances the Kauai experience for visitors.
The Western bypass, completed in 2009 offers wide paths for the community to enjoy and ready access to Kukuiula Village, and local vendors. The Kukuiula project, offers safe paths all the way to Kukuiula Harbor and is used daily by hundreds of guests and residents. Skirting the ocean in some spots, the pathways offer scenic mountain and pastoral vistas too.
Solid Waste on Kauai
A critical fact of life on an island is how to handle the ever increasing amounts of solid waste. We have written on the setbacks to the identification of the new landfill/ waste recovery park in earlier posts . It was encouraging to hear that the new site above Lihue is in the vetting stage, albeit behind schedule but pushing ahead.
Increasing the number of recycle locations around the island has led to a 74% rise in collected recyclable tonnage. Attitudes have shifted, recyclable materials are being viewed as a valuable resource to be captured and sold.
Regulating Commercial Activity In County Parks
With the federal court decisions in favor of commercial boating operations in public spaces. The County of Kauai has made the wise decision to regulate commercial services where visitors and residents gather.
The benefit to park users will be a few regulated vendors at beaches that are licensed and carry all the credentials to operate a business safely. Now when we visit the beach there will not be 4 surf schools vying for business. Providing a balance where the visitor can experience the excitement of a Hawaiian water sport or relax calmly on one of our great beaches.
While many challenges remain on our tiny island we are encouraged that the plan forward will improve the quality of life here in Kauai Hawaii. We encourage you to tell us of ways we can improve. Often being isolated we do not have the opportunity to see how other communities have adopted strategies that lead to efficiencies and an increase in quality of life.