Q: What happens when people take over a public park and fill it with a fleet of appropriated shopping carts and heaps of bike parts, along with the usual tents, shacks, coolers, trash, and other stuff? A: If nobody does anything about it, they bring even more.
Scores of shopping carts disappear regularly from local grocery stores, and the customers end up paying for them in the end. Maybe some of these bikes, parts, and carts in Kakaako Makai Gateway Park were abandoned. Maybe they were “liberated.” Either way, should authorities just keep turning a blind eye when they end up in a big heap in the middle of a public park?
A local lawmaker was widely ridiculed in 2013 when he started busting up abandoned carts with a sledgehammer to keep homeless people from cluttering the streets and parks with carts full of junk. It certainly looked wacky and uncaring, and the “he-man” imagery seemed more than a little contrived and unconvincing. But nobody else was doing anything effective about the carts, and that still hasn’t changed.
If fact, nobody was doing anything about the huge shantytown that had sprung up in Kakaako until the same lawmaker got his butt kicked by local habitués for taking pictures of the shack village. Maybe something will change if he makes another visit and gets knocked out this time.