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Independent Survey Confirms Majority of Oahu Residents Support Reopening Stairs Under Managed Access

Updated: Sep 29, 2022

(HONOLULU, HI - May 31, 2022) An independent survey commissioned by Friends

of Haʻikū Stairs confirms clear majorities of both O‘ahu residents and Windward O‘ahu residents, specifically, support keeping the Stairs under a managed access regime. The survey encompassed 492 residents island-wide and was conducted between April 13 to April 30, 2022. The results showed a strong preference for managed access over removal of the Stairs. 


More than 20 years of government documents (found at the end of this release and attached) and thousands of community members’ testimony have supported managed access scenarios for the Haʻikū Stairs. Despite this, the City and County is moving to demolish this safe and iconic hiking experience.


Sean Pager, president, Friends of Haʻikū Stairs said, “After hearing thousands of residents testify passionately in support of the Stairs, we wanted to confirm that their sentiment was shared more broadly among the community-at-large through a controlled study. The results strongly reaffirm majority support for the Stairs and for a community-driven managed access solution. We hope that City officials will heed the public and halt their current removal efforts.”


The poll results are attached; highlights include:

  • 55% of District 3 Windward O‘ahu residents support keeping the Stairs, with  32% opposed.  (The Haiku Stairs are located within the District 3 boundaries.)

  • 51% of residents island-wide support the Stairs, with only 26% opposed.

  • 52% of Native Hawaiians support keeping the Stairs, with 30% opposed.

  • 73% of Windward O‘ahu residents thought a non-profit managed access plan was either a “very appealing” or “somewhat appealing” alternative to removal.

The public opinion study was conducted by Lucid Marketplace using online panels. Lucent is widely used in the market research industry to source responses for studies. Google, Nielson, Spotify and Hubspot are examples of international brands that utilize Lucid.  Information on the research and sampling is provided in the attached PowerPoint.


Pager ended, “In unison with the Kaneohe Neighborhood Board, we ask the City and County to halt its demolition plans for one year to assess all costs related to demolition and, at the same time, to allow community stakeholders to unite behind a managed access plan that reflects a shared consensus.”


Listed below are documents from 2000 to the present that demonstrate support for opening the Stairs under a managed access regime:


2000 City and County Ko`olau Poko Sustainable Communities Plan

Calls for retaining the Haʻikū Stairs


2004 Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Resolution 


2014 Dist. 3 former Councilmember Anderson

Community Consensus Proposal for Managed Access


2017 C&C Ko`olau Poko Sustainable Communities Plan

Renewed with support for retaining the Haʻikū Stairs


2017 Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Resolution


2020 City RFI Process

A dozen entities submitted RFPs for private management of the stairs. Never executed on by the City.


April 2020 Board of Water Supply Board Meeting

3600 residents sent email comments in support of the Haʻikū Stairs, representing over 95% of total comments received.


Sept 2021 City Council Hearing 

1352 residents, representing 92.8 percent of public comments, submitted written testimony opposing the C&C's demolition plan.


April 2022 Kaneohe Neighborhood Board Resolution

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