Maui County is asking the public to share thoughts and suggestions about a new paid parking program it plans to implement over the next year.

Maui County locator map

The county is hosting two virtual meetings on Wednesday Aug. 24 where residents can share their feedback on the county’s proposed paid parking system that would charge visitors while setting aside free spaces for residents at some of Maui’s busiest destinations. This comes after the county recently put $3.8 million toward creating the system, which is designed to ease frustration among residents who have been increasingly forced in recent years to compete with tourists for scarce spots.

“We often hear about the feeling of being ‘squeezed out’ by visitors,” Julie Dixon, a parking consultant, said in a county news release. “Managing parking can go a long way towards regaining access to your own ‘local spots.’”

A photo of the county-owned parking lot at Polo Beach.
The county owns the parking lot at Polo Beach, which means it could eventually decide to charge visitors to park there. Marina Riker/Civil Beat/2022

The county is planning to roll out the paid parking system in two phases, according to the news release. During the first phase, the county wants to hear from residents about where parking problems are most in need of solutions. In early 2023, it’s also planning to install paid parking equipment at the lots serving Ulua, Mokapu and Kamaole beach parks. Officials plan to learn from those projects and tweak the system as needed.

Later down the line, the county wants to stand up other pilot projects in Lahaina and Wailuku — places where commuters and residents who need to attend to business often have to vie against visitors for spots. As part of phase two, the county will again ask residents for their thoughts.

In a news release, Mayor Michael Victorino said the money earned from the paid parking system will cover the costs of running it and could also pay for projects like beach restoration, environmental protection and cultural preservation.

Next week’s virtual meetings are scheduled for 9-10:30 a.m. and 5:30-7 p.m. on Aug. 24. The meeting link will be posted on the Park Maui website two days ahead of time, according to the county.

Civil Beat’s coverage of Maui County is supported in part by grants from the Nuestro Futuro Foundation and the Fred Baldwin Memorial Foundation.

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