LOS ANGELES — Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell joined bicycling advocates and federal and state officials Thursday for a demonstration bike ride around Honolulu to emphasize the importance of multi-modal transportation connectivity.
Caldwell was elected mayor in November after running on a pro-rail platform supporting plans to build a $5.2 billion elevated rail line in the city.
The bicycling event was held to raise awareness as the city analyzes and prepares streets and intersections for changes that will come as more people walk and bicycle to access planned rail transit stations in connection with the elevated rail line now under construction, according to a news release.
The project has been a controversial one slowed by lawsuits on environmental issues and was a hot-button topic in the mayor's race.
"Bicycling can be a healthy and fun way to commute, and will be an important part of Honolulu's transportation future, along with walking, driving, rail transit, and our award-winning bus system," Caldwell said in a prepared statement.
The mayor budgeted $100,000 for the coming fiscal year to study off-grade bike paths, including a potential path along the future rail route and one on King Street.
The city is also collaborating with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state government, Hawaii Bicycling League, Blue Planet Foundation, and other partners to create a bike share program in Honolulu, according to the release.