Traffic, parking problems persist at Camp Smith[MIGRATE]

By Pfc. Bernadette L. Ainsworth | May 07, 2004

If there's one thing Camp Smith is known for, it's the parking or lack there of.

Parking at Camp Smith isn't a new problem.  It has been a problem since Camp Smith became a headquarters command, according to Sgt. Amber D. Shipley, physical security, Camp Smith Provost Marshal's Office, who has worked at Camp Smith for two years.

Most of the legal parking stalls on Camp Smith fill up by 7 a.m.  This causes service members, civilians and visitors to park illegally, said 2nd Lt. Christopher P. Lanum, operations officer, Camp Smith PMO.  "If a car is illegally parked and blocking the flow of traffic, we will do our best to contact the individual.  If we fail to contact them, we'll call a tow truck to get the car removed," he said.  "We can't have unsafe parking conditions." 

If the military tow truck from Marine Corps Base Hawaii can't tow the vehicle a civilian tow truck will be called to remove an illegally parked vehicle.

There are 1,800 parking stalls aboard Camp Smith, however, with the combined base work force and daily visitors, the base has approximately 3,500 vehicles on any given work day.

At one time, a section of Bordelon Field was open to create extra

parking, but it is now closed.

There are a few plans on the table to alleviate the parking problem.

There have been requests made to pave a portion of Bordelon Field.  That would provide approximately 200 stalls.  If approved, this would probably come from an end of the year funding program.

Another plan that is being discussed is a parking structure.  This structure would be built where the tennis courts are now, but, if approved, would not be completed for several more years, according to Lanum.

Parking hasn't been the only ongoing traffic violation on base.  Along with the parking issue, there are other traffic problems, such as congestion.

Camp Smith has two gates open during the peak hours of 5-8 a.m. and 4-6 p.m.

"If more people used echo gate, located past the main gate on Halawa Heights Road, it would alleviate much of the congestion", said Lanum.  Something that would help with the congestion is people having their identification cards ready when they come through the gate, he said.

There are also two plans to relocate the main gate.  Both plans include a new main gate, while still utilizing the current gates.  The difference is the direction of flow of traffic through each.

The last big traffic issue on Camp Smith, according to Lanum, is motorcyclists not wearing the appropriate gear while coming on and going off base.

"We're still seeing people riding motorcycles and not following the base regulations on reflective and protective gear.  Regardless of where motorcycles are registered, this is a Marine Corps base and regulations will be followed," said Lanum.

If someone is trying to come aboard Camp Smith on a motorcycle without the proper safety gear they will not be let aboard the base, said Lanum.

Although the traffic issues on Camp Smith can be frustrating at times, PMO is just doing their job by enforcing the base regulations, said Lanum.