DLNR News Release-No Plans to Eliminate Free Parking at Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor

Posted on Feb 15, 2023 in Latest Department News, Newsroom

(HONOLULU, HI) – Free parking will remain at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor on O‘ahu.

Ed Underwood, Administrator with the DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation (DOBOR), said, “There is no truth to claims that we intend to eliminate free parking, which includes some spaces facing the lagoon, and many others at the coastline.”

“There are no immediate plans to change any of the free parking at the Ala Wai SBH,” added Assistant DOBOR Administrator Meghan Statts.

Of the 900 parking spaces at the Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor, one-third are paid, one-third are for those with long-term permits, and the remaining 300 are set aside for free parking for recreational users.

Some of the misinformation may be the result of proposed legislation that would require DOBOR to set aside 300 free parking spaces. “In the very near future, we are going to do a request for proposals for the development within the facility itself. Since this is envisioned as a public-private partnership the current parking layout may shift some in the future. That could include a parking structure at the harbor,” Statts said.

Right now, it is hard to manage the six-hour free parking time limit. Signs indicate that the 300 slots are for recreational uses such as surfing, swimming, boating and paddling.

“The problem is we have hotel workers, construction crews, and people living in their cars who are occupying a fair number of spaces,” Statts explained. “What often happens is workers come back during their lunch hours and simply move their cars to avoid being towed. That’s not a fair way, especially for recreational users.”

The DOBOR leaders feel the appointed Board of Land and Natural Resources should be the body that decides on parking at the Ala Wai. “That’s the way policy decisions are managed at all other state small boat harbors,” Underwood concluded.

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(All images and video courtesy: DLNR)

HD video – Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor free parking (Feb. 14, 2023):


(SOTs-Meghan Statts, Assistant Administrator DLNR Division of Boating and Ocean Recreation)

Photographs – Ala Wai Small Boat Harbor free parking (Feb. 14, 2023):



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