Temporary surfaces the best option
I refer to the letter from Richard Whitfield headlined, 'Refurbished road now a total disgrace' (South China Morning Post, November 29), regarding Haiphong Road in Tsim Sha Tsui.
Work on the northern footpath at Haiphong Road near the MTR entrance was completed by the end of September of last year. We detected evidence of illegal parking at this section of the pavement and undertook rectification works. We have asked for assistance from the police to act against illegal parking activities in the area with prosecutions.
As a result of junction modifications, it was necessary for utility and government departments to adjust the locations of their duct systems, fire hydrants traffic-signal controllers, telephone kiosks, power and communication cables, and roadside drainage gullies. Some utility-cable work had to be deferred until a later date, but in the interests of pedestrians, the block paving work near the Nathan Road MTR entrance was placed as a temporary measure. For similar reasons and due to the new types of pedestrian railing not being available from stock, it was decided to defer its installation but complete the paving works for the convenience of pedestrians. The installation of signposts was deliberately deferred until after the completion of the patterned paving work in local areas to improve the final appearance of the finished footpath by minimising the cutting to shape of individual paving blocks.
Haiphong Road has been widened to cater for the heavy volume of pedestrians. But, to maintain adequate space for the turning of long vehicles, such as coaches, some street corners could not be widened in side streets. Railings are necessary so as to channel pedestrians to cross the road at safe crossing points. In fact, there are fewer railings now than before in the mid-block section of Haiphong Road between Nathan Road and Hankow Road.
Regarding the possibility of flooding in Haiphong Road due to the 2.5-cm step up to each shop, the risk of water entering the premises has been fully considered. Indeed, the crossfall of the footpath towards the carriageway has in some cases been increased from 0 per cent to 2.5 per cent where possible, which is the standard crossfall applicable throughout the SAR. Also, the Drainage Services Department has awarded a contract to upgrade the downstream capacity of the surface-water-drainage system leading away from Haiphong Road and the works will start in the near future.
Regarding refuse, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department recognises that the proximity of the wet market and refuse-collection point attracts higher-than-normal levels of refuse collection and delivery activities and has significantly increased the standard of street cleaning in the area.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department exercises tight controls over street littering and general hygiene.
In late November, verbal warnings were given to the private refuse collectors for allowing rubbish trolleys and refuse trucks to remain for longer than necessary on the street. Recent site visits confirmed that this is no longer happening.
K. M. TSANG
for Commissioner for Transport