The Hawai`i Public Health Institute (HIPHI), in collaboration with the State Department of Health’s Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Division, is supporting Hilo Bayfront Trails (HBFT) in the development of a community plan to promote walking and cycling among residents and visitors. HBFT is a volunteer group of community members dedicated to the implementation of a complete trail network and its supporting elements, as envisioned in the Hilo Bayfront Trail Master Plan.
Since 2012, HBFT has been planning the construction of a path system designed for walking, biking, and other non-vehicular modes of travel. The system will run from the Wailuku River at Reed’s Island to Hilo Harbor’s cruise ship terminal and will connect existing recreational sites along the Hilo Bayfront area, both mauka and makai of Kamehameha Avenue.
To facilitate use of the HBFT path system, HIPHI and its partners have developed a wayfinding plan and accompanying signage. Wayfinding helps path users orient themselves along a specified route by posting frequent signage providing distance and directional information. The addition of wayfinding signs to the path system will provide a safer place for daily physical activity and active transportation in the Hilo community, and attract more residents and visitors to use the route. This initiative is partially funded by HIPHI through the Hawai`i State Department of Health, under a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Both the path system and wayfinding signs are being developed with feedback received from community stakeholders in HBFT committee meetings. The community decided that the path system should: 1) Enhance the area’s natural beauty; 2) Increase access for residents and visitors; 3) Highlight the site’s cultural significance; and 4) Protect the fragile coastline and waterways surrounding the Hilo Bayfront. In a meeting on December 29, 2015, community members discussed wayfinding signage for Phase One of the trail, which will span from Mo`oheau Park to Pauahi Street, running through Hilo Bayfront Park Canoe Hālau. HIPHI’s Sally Ancheta has since met with HBFT board members to finalize the wayfinding plan for Phase One, which will begin construction in March 2016.
Wayfinding will also be incorporated into Phases Two and Three of the HBFT path system. Phase Two construction is planned to begin in 2017 and will feature many Hilo Bayfront attractions, including Wailoa State Park, Wailoa Art Gallery, Queen Lili`uokalani Park, and Banyan Drive Peninsula. Phase Three construction will begin in 2018 and will connect Banyan Drive to the Port of Hilo, culminating in a total of six miles of trail.
Below is an image of the completed trail system. For more information about Hilo Bayfront Trails, please visit: http://hilobayfronttrails.org/.