|OUR DREAM: A 25-MILE MULTI-USE TRAIL
The West Maui Greenway is a proposed 25-mile multi-use trail in the corridor between Olowalu and Lahaina in West Maui.
The greenway will transform abandoned cane haul roads and a railroad right-of-way into a recreational ribbon for residents and visitors. The trail is intended to provide a safe and family friendly place to enjoy the outdoors away from the heavy traffic on Honoapiilani Highway and connect communities and destinations. It will also help ease congestion on the Honoapiilani Highway by offering a safe bicycle and pedestrian transportation alternative. Learn more.
The goal is to construct the trail in phases from Ukumehame to Lipoa Point, with Phase I running parallel to the Sugar Cane Train tracks from Ka’anapali to Lahaina.
To create this new freestanding bike path, Maui Bicycling League is working in partnership with the West Maui Greenway Alliance, the State of Hawaii Na Ala Hele Program, Hawaii Department of Transportation, County of Maui, West Maui Taxpayers Association and West Maui Rotary Organizations.
The idea for the West Maui Greenway grew out of a 2014 exploratory ride to expand the Na Ala Hele Program Trails system on West Maui with Bill Frampton, Torrie Nohara and Lee Chamberlain.
Interest and excitement for this project increased, fueled in part by a series of exploratory bicycle rides led by MBL’s Lee Chamberlain, with Maui County Councilmembers Mayor Alan Arakawa and Maui County Public Works officials. Lee also created a video presenting his vision for the greenway.
In 2016, a grant from the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program funded a design workshop (charette) for the West Maui Greenway which brought together community members, local landowners, bicycling enthusiasts and public officials. This event was hosted by Maui Bicycling League, County of Maui and the State Na Ala Hele Program, in partnership with the National Park Service’s Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. The group agreed on a plan that included constructing the trail in phases, with Phase I from Olowalu to Lahaina.
Click here to read more about their vision for a continuous 25-mile trail in West Maui.
|Adjusting the plan
In 2016, the Hawaii Department of Transportation announced a new plan to move the lanes of the Honoapiilani Highway in Olowalu inland (mauka) away from the ocean after concerns were raised by community and environmental leaders regarding the Honoapiilani Highway shoreline protection project at Olowalu. While all of us working on the West Maui Greenway project supported this change, it required new advocacy for the greenway. That’s because the original proposal (2003) of the Lahaina Bypass 1B-2 Design Build Project did not consider the integration of West Maui Greenway.
At the December 2016 Maui County Planning Commission Meeting, testimonies were provided by MBL members, West Maui residents, and HEAL, along with a key request from Public Works Deputy Director Rowena Dagdag-Andaya, to include a route for the West Maui Greenway in the highway design. Our advocacy was successful!
At the meeting, Thomas Parker of the Central Federal Lands Highways Division, Federal Highways Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation requested a Special Management Area Use Permit and Shoreline Setback Variance for the Lahaina Bypass 1B-2 Design Build Project. We are happy to report that the very next day Chris Offe from the FHWA design/build team provided a route design for the West Maui Greenway that will be constructed with the bypass.
The Hawaii Department of Transportation is now planning to include the West Maui Greenway in the plans for the highway relocation.
Due to MBL’s continued advocacy efforts along with meaningful testimony, success was achieved in overcoming another hurdle that could have sidelined this project.
Relocating Phase I to the Sugar Cane Train right-of-way
The result was a shared “Love the West Maui Greenway” event held on Earth Day (April 22, 2017) at the Kaanapali Station. This event raised public awareness and helped raise funds for the West Maui Greenway Alliance to help fund the West Maui Greenway project.
For continued updates about this project, please visit the Friends of the West Maui Greenway website.