A group known as the Save Laniakea Coalition has filed suit against the State of Hawaii in response to the newly implemented parking barriers at Laniakea beach on Oahu’s North Shore. In December of last year, as a means to alleviate growing traffic congestion caused by visitors and locals crossing the street at Lanis, the Department of Transportation blocked off parking in front of the famed right-hander. The group suing the state includes surfers like Mark Cunningham, Reno Abellira, Jock Sutherland, and Keone Downing, and argues that the state should have completed an environmental impact study and obtained a special permit before erecting the parking barriers.
According to a report from Honolulu-based CivilBeat.com, one of the plaintiffs involved in the suit, Bill Martin, uses a wheelchair and believes that the traffic barriers limit his access to the beach.
Traffic issues have plagued the North Shore for years and are especially heavy in front of Laniakea. Throughout the day, buses unload tourists yearning to catch a glimpse of the sea turtles that frequent the area. The barriers were implemented late last month after a controversial study conducted by the state concluded that blocking off parking in front of the beach would best fix the traffic. Critics argue that the state—after spending more than a million dollars to conduct the study—could have come up with a better solution than simply eliminating parking.
Click here to view the formal complaint.