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Re: skewed assumptions

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  • 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 1 of 2 , Jan 13, 2002
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      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
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