Dave DeLeon

Built Environment Chair

 Dave DeLeon came to chair the Built Environment Task Force from a wide variety of experience in promoting non-motorized transportation. Dave is an avid cyclist who first began organizing other cyclists to develop a Maui bikeway system in the late 1980s. At the time Maui was growing leaps and bounds. The transportation system consisted of a rural highway system that was overwhelmed with traffic. Bicyclists and pedestrians were not even an afterthought. There were literally no shoulders or any other form of bikeways. Maui cyclists called themselves the "white line club" because was where they rode – on the narrow white line on the edge of the road.

 The cyclists formed Bikeways Maui in response and when Mayor Linda Lingle was elected in 1990, she gave the cycling community a seat at government's table.. Dave – then as the Mayor's Executive Assistant – staffed Mayor Lingle's Bicycle Advisory Committee and helped it draw up and promote a series of shoulder improvements that gave cyclists a safe place to ride. He has been actively promoting safe bikeway development on Maui ever since. For much of that time he has been advocating the development of the Northshore Greenway, between Kahului and Paia and the Kihei Greenway. As the obesity and child inactivity issues became better known in the late 1990s Dave increasingly promoted the development of non-motorized corridors within and connecting our committees as necessary facilities for providing our children safe, healthy options for getting around using their own bodies for transportation.

 "I literally grew up on a bicycle. Our kids today have lost the freedom we had, being able to transport yourself. With our uni-dimensional emphasis on motor vehicles, we have literally planned our kids and elderly out of being safe in their own communities. To have a healthy community, we have to correct that by providing them safe ways to get around on their own. That is why I am concerned about the Built Environment."

 Dave's day job is as the Government Affairs Director for the REALTORS® Association of Maui. He was Chief of Staff to Mayor Alan Arakawa, Executive Assistant to Mayor Lingle, the chief government reporter for the Maui News in the 1980s, and the editor of the Maui Weekly. Dave has a Masters in Political Science from the University of Hawaii and is a Viet Nam Veteran. And he rides the Hana Highway from Ulumalu to Kaumahina and back – 30 miles -- every Sunday.