13 Great Things About Waikiki (Plus 13 Awful Things)

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Awful No. 1

Kuhio Avenue Needs Upgrade

Photo: Joseph Nishimiya

Keith Teranishi, a vendor for ABC Stores for the past 10 years, makes a circuit through Waikiki servicing 12 stores with golf souvenirs twice a week. Because it’s hard to park, he leaves his car by the boat harbor and walks the loop.

“Appearance-wise, Waikiki is nicer than it was, especially Kalakaua. It went more upscale. But they need to work with Kuhio Avenue a little more. It’s rundown.”

Awful No. 2

Graffiti and Hooligans

Photo: Joseph Nishimiya

Tim and Joyce Overmeyer from Chicago have been to Hawaii a total of seven times between them. They feel safe in Waikiki, but, “We notice a lot more graffiti. And we are up early, around 5:30, and notice a lot more street people and hooligans since we were here four years ago,” Joyce said. “They need to cover up the graffiti and make it look less trashy and do something with the homeless people. Build a shelter or something.”

“It’s kind of hard to see the homeless in the street,” said Christina Clayton from San Pedro/Long Beach, Calif. “Back home, we have them, too, but to have them on the main street in Waikiki is hard.”

Awful No. 3

Long Ride to Work

Winnie Del Rosario gets up at 3 a.m. to ensure he gets to work by 6 a.m. The 46-year-old lives in Ewa Beach, spends 1½ to two hours on the bus – sometimes asleep – to get to his job tending plants in and around the Royal Hawaiian Center. “It would be better if I worked close to Ewa Beach, but it’s hard to look for a job now.”

Another worker complained about how crowded TheBus can be for commuting Waikiki workers. “We don’t have enough buses for them. A lot of people have to stand all the way back to Ewa side,” he said.

Awful No. 4

Taxi Ripoffs

Photo: Thinkstock

Several tourists thought they were cheated by taxi drivers. Carlos Perez, 30, of Cheyenne, Wy., was on an eight-day Oahu vacation with friends and waiting to board the Na Hoku II catamaran for what he called a 90-minute all-you-can-drink “booze cruise.” “Waikiki is OK, but it’s a lot busier than I thought it would be,” he said. “It reminds me of L.A. Can’t believe the taxis are so expensive. We took one from my friend’s house in Aiea to Waikiki and the cab went three exits beyond. It cost $60. That’s even worse than Vegas.”

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Jan 13, 2014 06:57 am
 Posted by  sunlover

Enjoyed the article. We have a similar problem here in central Florida that is projected to worsen 15 to 20% this year. An interesting program, that would get the homeless permanently off the street, has been proposed that would be funded by local governments,the business and tourism community along with faith-based or nonprofit organizations. Details on the probram can be found here: http://www.news-journalonline.com/article/20140110/NEWS/140119875/1040?p=2&tc=pg#gsc.tab=0

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