Hai'ku Stairs

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The Hai'ku Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haiku Ladder, is a series of galvanized-steel ship ladders to the top of Puu Keahiakahoe on the Koolau Range on the island of Oahu. There are 3,922 steps up the Koolau Pali (cliff) to the 2800-foot summit of Puu Keahiakahoe overlooking Haiku Valley.

Ha'iku is a Hawaiian word meaning Kahili flower and has no connection to the Japanese word for a poetry genre. [1]

In a Honolulu Advertiser articel dated December 4, 2006, Eloise Aguiar reported:

The historic stairs were built as a World War II access to radio equipment, and the public was allowed to climb there until 1987 when the facility was closed for refurbishing at a cost of $875,000 in 2002. It was never reopened, which led to trespassing and other problems.
Since completion of the repairs, the city has come close to opening the stairs several times but kept running into problems, the biggest of which has been access. Having several landowners in the valley complicated the access problem.
While working through this issue, trespassing became so extensive that neighbors were pleading with officials to intervene, close the trail permanently and tear down the stairs.
Supporters continue to say that opening the stairs and providing access and parking would end the neighbors' problem.
Meanwhile, the city has been spending about $1,500 a month to keep a guard at the site to stop hikers. The number of people turned away or cited was not immediately available on Friday.
"I think we have enough money to keep a guard there through March," Brennan said.
In his letter, Hannemann said the city doesn't have the experience or expertise to operate and manage the nature hiking trail.
"Prior to finalizing a decision on the disposition of Ha'iku Stairs, I wanted to provide a last offer to transfer ownership of Ha'iku Stairs to the state for inclusion in the Na Ala Hele Statewide Trails and Access Program," Hannemann wrote.
Peter Young, director of the state Department of Land and Natural Resources, which manages the Na Ala Hele trails, said the Ha'iku Stairs doesn't fit into that program.
"Our Na Ala Hele trails are essentially nature trails out in the wilderness," Young said. "They're not manufactured stairs going up the side of a mountain."
Brennan said he thought the city would have to make a decision about what to do with the stairs before formulating the city budget, which must be submitted at the beginning of March (2007).
One option the city has considered in the past was to have a community group operate the facility, but that would have to include a partnership for operations, maintenance and liability, he said.
The Friends of Ha'iku Stairs was interested in the concept several years ago but it never materialized as the city struggled to resolve access issues, said John Flanigan, a member of the Friends. The Friends maintain the stairs three or four times a year but aren't pushing to open it, Flanigan said. [2]


External links

  • Friends of Hai'ku Stairs
  • Kua, Crystal. Haiku Stairs in legal hitch -- The Council needs to pass a special bill in order for a land swap to go through Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 13, 2005.
  • Leone, Diana. City offers Haiku Stairs to state Gov. Lingle says the mayor's proposal for reopening the popular hike is under review Honolulu Star-Bulletin, May 4, 2005.
  • Leone, Diana. Mayor again asks state to manage Haiku Stairs -- "No" is the expected reply to the final offer on the troubled trail Honolulu Star-Bulletin, September 27, 2006.
  • Leone, Diana. Haiku Stairs partnership proposed Honolulu Star-Bulletin, October 6, 2006.
  • Aguiar, Eloise. It's 'back to the drawing board' as transfer of Hai'ku Stairs is rejected Honolulu Advertiser, December 4, 2006.
  • City should make one last try at saving stairs Honolulu Advertiser, December 6, 2006.
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