Fix bus stop
I was happy to read in your Saturday (Nov. 23) edition that Hawaii County has gotten a $6.5 million grant to buy more buses.
Maybe now they can find the cash to replace the missing bus stop shelter on Highway 19 at mile marker 52, near Lakeland, at the intersection of the highway and Mud Lane. It is going on three years now since it was destroyed in some sort of car crash. Ever since, if you are waiting there for the Waimea-bound bus, your only shelter is on the other side of that busy highway.
Sooner or later, someone in that shelter, waiting for the Waimea-bound bus, is going to look up from their phone just in time to see that bus about to leave, and try dashing across the highway to catch it, only to be hit and killed by a car instead.
I have brought this to the attention of the community association, my council representative and my congressman, only to be told that they are waiting for the insurance. Waiting for the insurance, on a traffic safety issue like this!?
You can bet they will be replacing that shelter the day after such a collision, but the lawyers will just be getting started, and it will be too late for someone newly dead or seriously maimed.
It has been relatively dry up there lately, but they call it Mud Lane for good reason!
A ‘hope and prayer’
A thousand mahalos to everyone for the holiday gift of a new highway for all of us stranded here in the kipuka.
Huge and special thanks to Puna Geothermal Venture and Lono Lyman who, despite the significant cost and great inconvenience to themselves, stepped up to help their (often unruly) neighbors in a time of real need. We are truly grateful!
Many of our government officials also understood the urgency of our situation and did their best to navigate our emotionally reactive state, FEMA funding, county budgets, federal requirements and the like to make this all work out. We thank you all, too!
Despite these best efforts, however, and the fact that we can now finally go home, I can’t help but feel or at least hope that, as a society, we can do better than this.
Though the impacts for us personally were fairly minor, there were families with children, working farms, businesses, people whose whole lives were put completely on hold for well over a year, when a simple gravel road — which in the end took less than two weeks to build — could have saved them untold grief.
I understand the difficulties in county planning with Pele alive and well — and in the neighborhood. Nevertheless, with 50 homes inaccessible by road, waiting for the results of the “risk assessment” was meaningless for us; returning to our homes was inevitable, and the sooner the better.
Unless it is directly experienced, one perhaps cannot understand the urgency of having a home and not being able to reach it, which is why I am sharing this note. My hope and prayer for the next time this happens is that we can more readily generate the community will to overcome governmental, legal and financial inertia to help those in need in a more timely manner.