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County of Hawai‘i Planning Department Releases the Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan for Public Comment and Announces Community Meeting

The County of Hawai‘i Planning Department announces the release of the Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan (DHMMP) Public Review Draft and the kickoff of the public review period, which runs through March 6, 2017.

The DHMMP Draft can be downloaded online at www.hawaiicountycompletestreets.com. Written comments may be sent by e-mail to downtownhilo@hawaiicounty.gov, or by mail to the County of Hawaiʻi Planning Department at 101 Pauahi Street, Suite 3, Hilo, Hawaiʻi 96720.

A community meeting is planned for February 15, 2017 from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at the Mokupāpapa Discovery Center in Downtown Hilo, 76 Kamehameha Avenue. The event will include open house displays and a presentation on the DHMMP Draft at 5:00 pm. Discussion and input are encouraged.

Please contact Melissa White at (808) 628-5861 or mwhite@ssfm.com if you wish to request an auxiliary aid or service, other reasonable modification, or language interpretation to access this meeting no later than February 10, five days prior to the event, to arrange for accommodations.

ABOUT THE DHMMP

The Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan (DHMMP) has its roots in EnVision Downtown Hilo 2025: A Community-Based Vision and Living Action Plan, which set a community-defined and shared vision for Downtown Hilo as a vibrant, sustainable, safe, healthy, and active community.  Action item number 6.1 of the EnVision 2025 Plan is: “development of a master plan to include traffic circulation, parking, and pedestrian streetscape.” The County of Hawaii Planning Department initiated the DHMMP to fulfill this action item and craft a plan that can be implemented to achieve the community’s shared goals.

The Downtown Hilo Multimodal Master Plan was developed over a two-year period and refined through more than 15 community events, from focus groups with Downtown users, landowners, and businesses to a community event that included activities and demonstrations of complete streets concepts. Input indicated strong support for making Downtown Hilo more walkable, bike friendly, and vibrant for people of all ages and abilities.

Eight major themes emerged as part of the community outreach process that represented important needs and issues to be addressed through multimodal improvements.  These became the DHMMP’s organizing themes:

  • Improve Downtown Hilo’s multimodal environment and connectivity to key destinations;
  • Celebrate and elevate Keawe Street’s identity as Downtown Hilo’s “Main Street”;
  • Improve multimodal connections between Downtown Hilo and the Bayfront;
  • Highlight Kamehameha Avenue as a retail and visitor destination by improving the pedestrian-friendly environment along the building frontage and adjacent mauka-makai streets;
  • Make bicycling attractive and safe, with a more complete bicycle network and supporting facilities;
  • Calm traffic to slow speeds through Downtown and direct through-traffic to alternate routes to achieve a more walkable environment;
  • Incorporate parking and transit solutions that make it easier to “park once and walk” to destinations in Downtown Hilo;
  • Ensure improvements preserve and enhance Downtown Hilo’s character and charm and make it more inviting and safe.

Alternatives and final recommendations for six multimodal transportation components were developed and refined with extensive input from the community and key stakeholders: 1) circulation patterns; 2) pedestrian improvements; 3) bicycle facilities; 4) parking; 5) transit; and 6) streetscape design. The DHMMP includes phasing recommendations for implementing the proposed improvements.

For additional information, please contact Hans Santiago at (808) 961-8288 or downtownhilo@hawaiicounty.gov.

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