Big Island Now poll no. 31: Are paid parking lots keeping you from Ali‘i Drive?
There are dozens of parking lots in Historic Kailua Village but only one is free.
Owned by Hawai‘i County, the parking lot off Kuakini Highway encompasses approximately 100 stalls. There is some off-street parking along Ali‘i Drive but it’s freight-zone parking from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
From Courtyard by Marriott King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel to the Royal Kona Resort, the numerous plazas and shopping centers scattered along the oceanfront roadway have all gone to a paid parking system. Most recently, Coconut Grove Marketplace went to a paid parking program with Hawai‘i residents parking for free for 90 minutes. If a resident is parked past that time, they can get their ticket validated.
As the free parking has dwindled, it makes it difficult to eat, shop or cruise Ali‘i Drive without it also impacting the wallet. Most parking lots require payment ranging from $9 an hour to $15 an hour.