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Access is a right: O’ahu fights for parking

December 13 2007 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

There are certain things that just seem innately wrong.

The idea of getting a ticket if you go surfing hits me that way, so does being blocked from walking on the beach.

Our beach manifesto states our position on this clearly:
Beach access would be free and uninterrupted. You could get to the beach to check the surf or stick your toes in the sand at least every half-mile in urban areas. There would be adequate parking, restrooms, and other amenities. Money would be budgeted for the acquisition of coastal open space.

This isn't rocket science we are talking about. These are simple human rights. What if you lived in Colorado or Switzerland but couldn't access the mountains? What if you lived in Arizona and couldn't view the Grand Canyon?

What if you lived in Hawai`i and couldn't get to the beach?

I remember one of my first trips to this part of the Hawaiian islands. I was all stoked to find Queens, Waikiki, Canoes and all the other famed breaks I'd heard about. The problem was... I couldn'd find parking. I felt like I was in downtown Manhattan... drove around for 20 minutes and finally gave up and paid some crazy amount for a place to park. I wondered how the locals got around this, where all the free parking was for everyone that wanted to surf Pops and Number Threes...

On O`ahu they are fighting for this very issue. Access can be blocked in many ways. One way is to simply not allow the public to access the beach, to privatize much of the land around the beaches. They do this in Maine, a majority of the coastline of Maine cannot be accessed.

On O`ahu, specifically in Town, they are decreasing beach access by decreasing parking. If you can't park then... how can you get to the beach.

For more coverage on this go here and here.

The O`ahu chapter kicked it into gear this past weekend to take this issue on. Here are some pictures. Kudos to all that were involved in this, one thing is crystal clear... if you don't stand up for what you believe is yours then it will abosulutely be taken away.

I believe Scott Werney took all these pictures.
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