Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

skewed assumptions

Expand Messages
  • billt44hk
    A Mr Cowan wrote a letter to the newspaper in which he complained that at an extremely busy light-controlled pedestrian crossing/road junction he and fellow
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 12, 2002
      A Mr Cowan wrote a letter to the newspaper in which he complained
      that at an extremely busy light-controlled pedestrian crossing/road
      junction he and fellow pedestrians are being put under threat by
      drivers trying to beat the lights.
      We will all know of similar situations, though here in Hong Kong with
      very high pedestrian densities it is magnified.

      Like many such controlled crossings in this city, thousands of
      pedestrians per hour walk across the road, massing on the footpath,
      waiting patiently amidst noise and fumes till their turn comes to go
      with the 'green man'. At peak times they number, at some crossings I
      am personally familiar with, 18,000 and 25,000 people per hour. The
      corresponding traffic, to whom these thousands of walkers defer, is
      if memory serves me correctly, 700-800 vehicles of which 450 are cars
      and 200 taxis. I do not have much personal experience of Mr Cowan's
      crossing but it is very similar to those I describe.

      Now here is a letter in reply to Mr Cowan's from the Transport
      Department spokesperson:


      I refer to the letter by Stuart Cowan headlined ''Dangerous drivers''
      (South China Morning Post, December 18).
      The Transport Department has investigated Mr Cowan's complaint. The
      Nathan, Salisbury Road junction is a signalised, controlled junction.
      Signalised pedestrian crossings are provided for people crossing
      Nathan and Salisbury roads.
      This is one of the busiest junctions in Kowloon and we have it under
      constant closed circuit TV surveillance. Using our centralised
      traffic signal computer system, our traffic control unit regulates
      signal timing to optimise the junction's performance for vehicles and
      pedestrians.
      We must have adequate ''inter-green'' times (that is, when the lights
      are amber or red) to allow vehicles to drive away from the junction.
      However, these ''inter-green'' times cannot be extended beyond the
      present limit, or traffic flow would be affected.
      I share the concern of your correspondent about red-light jumping. It
      is a serious offence.
      However, according to accident statistics, there is no evidence red-
      light jumping is a problem at this junction.
      There were only four accidents in 2000 and three last year at the
      junction and all injuries sustained were minor. It is not an accident
      black spot.
      DANIEL LAM
      for Commissioner for Transport

      Now, I don't know Mr Cowan, who took the trouble to write to the
      paper about the issue, but i suspect he will be suffering like me,
      some feelings of insult added to injury, impotent frustration upon
      reading the above.

      My questions;
      How to articulate the disgust we feel and reasonably query the
      skewed assumptions underlying these traffic priorities, the notions
      of "accidents", and safety?
      How to challenge the official discounting of permanent duress and
      inconvenience to the ordinary business of walking....etc.
      I glean a lot of thought has been going into these issues from some
      UK references I've heard about, but
      I dont have sufficient handle on this issue to know where to take it.

      I'd really appreciate from members of this list some thoughts,
      feedback, assistance please.

      Bill Telfer
    • dubluth
      Bill Keep making your points and some light of reason may reach into the transport department. I m not familiar with your transport department. Can I assume
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 13, 2002
        Bill

        Keep making your points and some light of reason may reach into the
        transport department. I'm not familiar with your transport
        department. Can I assume that they think of transport as a strictly
        motorized affair. If that is the case, they are missing a big part
        of the picture of how people and goods move about. Since foot travel
        serves so many in Hong Kong, the authorities are potentially
        alienating a large part of the constituency by granting car mobility
        its level of priority. Many in Hong Kong may actually wish to have
        cars removed from those streets in your city. Forward looking
        leaders would offer such proposals and eventually spare pedestrians
        some of the harasment of automobile traffic.

        Bill Carr



        --- In carfree_cities@y..., "billt44hk" <telomsha@n...> wrote:
        > A Mr Cowan wrote a letter to the newspaper in which he complained
        > that at an extremely busy light-controlled pedestrian
        crossing/road
        > junction he and fellow pedestrians are being put under threat by
        > drivers trying to beat the lights.
        > We will all know of similar situations, though here in Hong Kong
        with
        > very high pedestrian densities it is magnified.
        >
        > Like many such controlled crossings in this city, thousands of
        > pedestrians per hour walk across the road, massing on the footpath,
        > waiting patiently amidst noise and fumes till their turn comes to
        go
        > with the 'green man'. At peak times they number, at some crossings
        I
        > am personally familiar with, 18,000 and 25,000 people per hour. The
        > corresponding traffic, to whom these thousands of walkers defer, is
        > if memory serves me correctly, 700-800 vehicles of which 450 are
        cars
        > and 200 taxis. I do not have much personal experience of Mr Cowan's
        > crossing but it is very similar to those I describe.
        >
        > Now here is a letter in reply to Mr Cowan's from the Transport
        > Department spokesperson:
        >
        >
        > I refer to the letter by Stuart Cowan headlined ''Dangerous
        drivers''
        > (South China Morning Post, December 18).
        > The Transport Department has investigated Mr Cowan's complaint. The
        > Nathan, Salisbury Road junction is a signalised, controlled
        junction.
        > Signalised pedestrian crossings are provided for people crossing
        > Nathan and Salisbury roads.
        > This is one of the busiest junctions in Kowloon and we have it
        under
        > constant closed circuit TV surveillance. Using our centralised
        > traffic signal computer system, our traffic control unit regulates
        > signal timing to optimise the junction's performance for vehicles
        and
        > pedestrians.
        > We must have adequate ''inter-green'' times (that is, when the
        lights
        > are amber or red) to allow vehicles to drive away from the
        junction.
        > However, these ''inter-green'' times cannot be extended beyond the
        > present limit, or traffic flow would be affected.
        > I share the concern of your correspondent about red-light jumping.
        It
        > is a serious offence.
        > However, according to accident statistics, there is no evidence red-
        > light jumping is a problem at this junction.
        > There were only four accidents in 2000 and three last year at the
        > junction and all injuries sustained were minor. It is not an
        accident
        > black spot.
        > DANIEL LAM
        > for Commissioner for Transport
        >
        > Now, I don't know Mr Cowan, who took the trouble to write to the
        > paper about the issue, but i suspect he will be suffering like me,
        > some feelings of insult added to injury, impotent frustration
        upon
        > reading the above.
        >
        > My questions;
        > How to articulate the disgust we feel and reasonably query the
        > skewed assumptions underlying these traffic priorities, the notions
        > of "accidents", and safety?
        > How to challenge the official discounting of permanent duress and
        > inconvenience to the ordinary business of walking....etc.
        > I glean a lot of thought has been going into these issues from some
        > UK references I've heard about, but
        > I dont have sufficient handle on this issue to know where to take
        it.
        >
        > I'd really appreciate from members of this list some thoughts,
        > feedback, assistance please.
        >
        > Bill Telfer
      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.