UPDATED: Speed Limits Proposed for Hawaiian Paradise Park
***Updated on Friday, June 14, with information on a third bill.***
It looks like the days are numbered for motorists speeding in Hawaiian Paradise Park with impunity.
Three bills that would establish speed limits on the roadways in the sprawling Puna subdivision are making their way through the Hawaii County Council.
Bills 82 and 83, which the council will take up at a meeting Tuesday in Kona, would amend the Hawaii County traffic code. The first would establish a 15 mph speed limit on unpaved roads, and the second a 25-mph speed limit on paved streets in HPP except for the subdivision’s four main access roads.
And another bill is being prepared, a county official said, that would establish speed limits on those.
Lt. Reed Mahuna, acting captain for Puna patrol, said police get calls about speeding in HPP at least several times a week.
But since the roadways in HPP – like those in virtually all of the island’s big subdivisions – are privately owned, police authority is somewhat limited, he said.
Officers can cite motorists there for offenses that aren’t directly linked to a speed limit, such as reckless driving or driving under the influence, but not for speeding.
However, the Hawaii County traffic code allows the council to designate speed limits for private roadways.
Asked if establishing speed limits in HPP would help police, Mahuna said they would appreciate any tool that could increase public safety.
Although numerous private subdivisions have unofficial speed limits posted, there are currently only four on the Big Island with official ones.
That includes a 15 mph maximum speed on side roads in Ainaloa and some streets in Nanawale Estates.
If Bill 83 is approved by the council, the paved side roads in HPP would join Ainaloa Drive, some roads in Nanawale Estates and all streets in Hawaiian Ocean View Estates and Mauna Loa Estates in having a 25 mph speed limit.
Warren Lee, director of the Department of Public Works, said a Bill 84 is also in the works that would establish a 35-mph speed limit on Hawaiian Paradise Park’s main access roads: Shower Drive, Kaloli Drive, Paradise Drive and Maku`u Drive.
That would be the highest speed limit established on any private roads on the Big Island, as there are currently none above 25 mph.
Hawaiian Paradise Park Community Association President June Conant, who could not be reached on Thursday, told Big Island Now on Friday that the association will buy additional speed limit signs to post if the bills are approved.
She said residents would be informed of the new speed limit laws through the association’s newsletter and website.
Conant said observance of the new speed limit on unpaved roads would go a long ways toward solving HPP’s ongoing dust problem.
Editor’s note: For more on the subject, see BLOG: Dealing With Dust in HPP — UPDATED.