Hawai'i Tourism Authority is Working to Mitigate Visitor Impact on Road to Hāna
News Release from HTA, July 8, 2021
The scenic road to Hana, officially known as Hana Highway, is one of the top points of interest for visitors to Maui, which has resulted in traffic congestion caused in part by illegal parking and unsafe pedestrian crossing along the highway. To help alleviate the situation for Hana residents, the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) continues to work with Maui County officials and other state agencies, and is also strongly advising visitors to join a tour from a permitted tour company instead of driving on their own or visiting other areas on Maui.
This ongoing effort is a part of HTA’s Maui Nui Destination Management Action Plan (DMAP), published in March, in which a number of the hotspot areas and sites listed are either located in Hana or along the road to Hana. Furthermore, Action H in the Maui section of the Maui Nui DMAP created by Maui residents calls for HTA to advocate for increased enforcement of current laws.
“We take seriously, the concerns brought forth by the residents of Hana and east Maui surrounding the impact of visitors in their community, especially along this main thoroughfare for which they rely on, and are committed to addressing them through viable solutions,” said John De Fries, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
HTA, in partnership with the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, encourages visitors to experience the road to Hana through a permitted tour led by professional guides. HTA has posted a list of tour operators with excursions to Hana on its website.
Since May, in an effort to mitigate the visitor impact in Hana, HTA has been convening collaborative meetings with Maui County, the Maui Police Department, the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT), the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Haleakala National Park Service and the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau.
HDOT announced in a press release on June 10 that it has installed approximately 70 “no parking” signs on Hana Highway, warning drivers about the $35 no parking fine and a $200 surcharge for illegally stopping on a state highway, to reduce the temptation for drivers to illegally park on Hana Highway. Approximately ten signs were installed at each location: Waikamoi Stream Bridge, Twin Falls, Bamboo Forest, Ching’s Pond, Waikalani Bridge, Puaa Kaa Park, and Hanawi Bridge.
According to Maui Mayor Michael Victorino’s office, between June 1 and June 23, the Maui Police Department issued 389 parking citations and 83 warnings to violators on Hana Highway between Haiku and Hana town.
HDOT developed educational flyers for use by car rental agencies and is working on posters at Maui’s Consolidated Rental Car or “ConRAC” facility at Kahului Airport.
HNN: To alleviate congestion on Hana Highway, HTA asks visitors to travel with tour companies