Trees can replace ugly noise barriers

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 April, 2002, 12:00am

I am sure all residents in the New Territories welcomed the news that the Tolo Highway was to be widened.

Traffic congestion has been a constant problem and road widening can only help ease that. However, I am concerned about one aspect of this road-widening project, namely, the noise barriers. Green metal bars protrude from ugly cement blocks, which are covered with plastic. I do not understand why these barriers are needed along the whole of the highway, since there are few buildings (and very few residential apartments) along about 75 per cent of the road. Trees and shrubs are being cleared to make way for these unnecessary barriers. Surely the trees would be an effective form of noise barrier.

I do not know of any major cities which have these kinds of sound barriers. In San Francisco and Tokyo, they have installed much smaller and more pleasant noise breaks.

I am afraid that if nothing is done about these sound barriers they will be installed on other roads in Hong Kong and this would be bad news for the environment.

People in cars like to see the scenery. They will be unable to do so thanks to the plastic sheeting.


Tai Po