Re: skewed assumptions
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.
--- 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
> 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
> 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
> with the 'green man'. At peak times they number, at some crossings
> 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
> 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
> (South China Morning Post, December 18).
> The Transport Department has investigated Mr Cowan's complaint. The
> Nathan, Salisbury Road junction is a signalised, controlled
> 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
> 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
> We must have adequate ''inter-green'' times (that is, when the
> are amber or red) to allow vehicles to drive away from the
> 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.
> 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
> 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
> 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
> I'd really appreciate from members of this list some thoughts,
> feedback, assistance please.
> Bill Telfer