Ala Moana Beach Park is sometimes described as the “Crown Jewel” of Oahu’s park system, and for good reason. It’s large, centrally located, includes good beaches and surf breaks, ponds, walking paths, picnic tables, tennis courts and other nice amenities.
But the park has had significant problems related to homelessness for many years and they seem to have gotten worse in recent months as the city cracked down in nearby Waikiki.
It seems like there’s now an “illegal camper,” or group of them, on every Ala Moana beach section and lurking around every banyan tree. Have Waikiki’s problems been driven into Ala Moana park? It sure looks that way.
And there doesn’t seem to be any police presence or enforcement. It’s mind-boggling that authorities have allowed people to construct rudimentary shelters around the trees and bushes for so long.
The park is supposed to be closed to everyone at 10 p.m. each night, but it seems that authorities barely enforce that rule, and only make sure that no cars are left in the parking lots. Bodies strewn along the beach? Not my department, not my job.
And, of course, there are the monstrous potholes, which just keep getting worse. For all Mayor Caldwell’s triumphant crowing about repaving streets and improving parks, you’d never know anything was getting done by the looks of Ala Moana these days.