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David (Duke) Bourgoin



FHS Candidate Questionnaire Responses

Many Haʻikū Valley residents are rightfully concerned about trespassing by hikers illegally accessing the Stairs. Trespassing is entirely a government-created problem caused by closing off access. When the Stairs were open to the public under the Coast Guard, trespassing was virtually nonexistent. Moreover, spending millions to remove the Stairs will not end trespassing. The City plans to leave behind the anchor pillars underneath the Stairs, providing a ready-made scaffolding that will encourage climbers to attach ropes and scramble to the summit. More effective solutions to trespassing merit exploration: As an interim measure, barriers could exploit natural chokepoints along the Stairs’ steep terrain. Combined with community-driven policing and smart technology, trespassing could be curtailed cheaply and effectively. The longer-term solution would be to reopen the Stairs, providing public access that alleviates the incentive to trespass and generates revenue to pay for ongoing security. What is your opinion of these cost-effective, public-private solutions to address trespassing?

Ha’iku Stairs is a historical opportunity to view Hawai’i
beauty from the mountain top with value to many locals and tourists alike. Surely more time should be given for the People to find an alternative managed access solution. Trespassing - the Government should find a solution to trespassing using a cost effective, public-private approach as a DAO.

The Ha‘ikū Stairs— aka “Stairway to Heaven”— originally built in the 1940s, is an iconic structure that has been used by visitors and residents as a safe way to ascend the Windward Ko‘olau peaks. The City intends to demolish this landmark soon. Stairs supporters and the majority of O‘ahu voters polled agree that the City should explore managed access alternatives before proceeding. What is your opinion?

The City should explore Alternative managed access to Ha’iku Stairs, “Stairway to Heaven”, before City demolishes the landmark. My concerns remain making Hawaii safe by eliminating pollution into our environment and creating a sustainable circular economy — see

The surrounding land abutting the Ha‘ikū Stairs is owned entirely by state entities, including the H-3 access road. This road had been used to access and maintain the Stairs, but it is currently closed. The BWS 2019 Environmental Impact Statement recommended using the H-3 access road to provide public access to the Stairs, which would bypass residential neighborhoods. Other community groups have also expressed an interest in using the H-3 access road. For example, the road was listed as a potential bike path on the City & County of Honolulu’s 2012 Bicycle Master Plan. What are your views on opening the road to public use?

The H-3 access road should be used for public use-as a
Bicycle Path or access to Ha’iku Stairs. If the People want to take responsibility for making the access safe while covering insurance for any harm, this is a positive solution. Likewise, the danger of this steep steel climb should be monitored by the Government. Some solutions would be to make this area a natural park offering nature trails and quiet; Making the housing
near the Stairs a gated community; A gondola with a secure and safe landing with observation comfort and educational provision is a possibility.

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