“If you build it, they will come”. Yes, this is from the movie Field of Dreams, but it’s also my mantra in life. As a daughter of a Contractor, a realtor, and a part time remodeler myself, I find myself constantly saying it out loud. Whether I’m working on ideas for a remodel job with my dad or coaching a home buyer on ways to improve their new home, or coming up with a new yard design for an undesirable corner in my yard, that slogan seems to roll off my tongue time and time again. And it’s true!! This mantra also applies to one of the newest and best features of Kauai’s East Side; our bike path, Ke Ala Hele Makalae.
I live in Wailua, on the East side of Kauai, and was also born and raised here. I take great pride in my community but Kapaa/Wailua has probably the worst traffic on Kauai. Gridlock usually occurs in the morning hours (7-9am) when people are trying to get to work and school then again at Pau Hana time (quitting time, 3-6pm) in the afternoon when we’re all coming home. The County implemented a Contra Flow system for these hours to help minimize the congestion and that works pretty well. However, since the latest road construction projects have been in full force, it’s been a nightmare of snarled traffic at almost all times of the day through Kapaa. That latest road construction being an addition to our beloved bike path.
As of last week (July 2013) our bike path grew about a mile :). At a cost of nearly $5.3 Million, we added 2 new legs to our existing bike path. The 2 new segments are from the Wailua River to the far end of Papaloa Rd (behind Kintaros), and from Safeway shopping center area to the Lihi (Kapaa Boat Harbor). Although the path is still severed in the middle at the moment (from Foodland to The Coconut Marketplace) the gap is far less dramatic and many people can now enjoy an 8.17 mile paved path for biking, walking, running, crawling, hopping, skipping, jumping or rolling.
Thanks to Mayor Bernard Carvalho’s Holo Holo 2020 visionary plan, this project is on the books. With the help of many other visionaries, developers, engineers, surveyors, construction crew, and tons more this dream by many is becoming a reality for all. This will undoubtedly bring much needed income to businesses along the way including bike rentals, snorkeling gear, restaurants, the shave ice stand, etc. Originally started a few years ago to encourage local people to get out and get active it also attempted to connect several hotel areas with each other for tourists to get to restaurants, shops, and beaches easily, more economically, and keeping people out of cars and off the street.
The grand plan is to connect Lihue to Anahola and today we are 2 steps closer to making that happen. Thank you, Mr. Mayor, for connecting many people with happiness in an active lifestyle. If you build it, they will come.
Hotels and Condos near the path are: Kaha Lani, Aloha Beach Resort, Wailua Bay View, Hale Awapuhi, Lae Nani, Kapaa Sands, Lani Kai, Kauai Sands, Islander on the Beach, Kauai Beachboy, Plantation Hale, Marriott Courtyard, Mokihana, Waipouli Beach Resort, Kauai Kailani, Kapaa Shores, and Pono Kai.
Restaurants near the path are: Kintaros Japanese Restaurant, Monico’s Taqueria, Korean BBQ, Brick Oven Pizza, Caffe Coco, Hukilau Lanai, Hula Girl Bar and Grill, The Bull Shed, Waipouli Restaurant, McDonalds, L&L Drive Inn, Wahoo’s Grill and Bar, Bobby V’s Pizzeria, Starbucks, Eggberts, Oasis on the Beach, Subway, Panda Express, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Lemongrass, Kauai Family Café, Kauai Pasta, Shrimp Station, Sukhothai , Verde, Ono Family Restaurant, Noodle House, Olympic Café, Java Kai, Mermaids, Backyards Grill and Bar, Eastside Bar and Grill, Sushi Bushido, Kountry Kitchen, Scotty’s Beachside BBQ and many misc. food trucks at the end of Kapaa.
Shopping and Grocery Stores near the path are: Coconut Plantation Marketplace, Foodland, Safeway Shopping Center, Choi’s Village, Kapaa Shopping Center, ABC Store, Kojimas
Beaches and Parks that are connected by the path are: Lydgate Beach Park, Kamalani Playground, Wailua Beach, Kapaa Beach Park, Kealia Beach.