Tunnels, walkways will help preserve Wan Chai's bazaars

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 06 October, 2010, 12:00am

I am a toy shop operator in the Tai Yuen Street market. I appreciate that Frank Lee in Mid-Levels ('Footbridges are not the answer', September 29) would find it difficult to understand how we, 'small, often family-run, shops and businesses', operate in the old streets of Wan Chai.

We need a road system that can feed us with shoppers and, at the same time, allow vehicle access for loading and unloading goods.

If he had spent some time strolling along the alleys of Wan Chai, he would have understood why the Wan Chai District Council members unanimously supported the pedestrian tunnels and footbridges proposed by developer Hopewell Holdings. Currently, the alleys that run north and south are loaded with pedestrians and moving vehicles, competing with each other for the use of the narrow roads. It's chaotic and unsafe for both shops and shoppers.

The proposed walkway system would help separate pedestrians from vehicles and improve the traffic flow. As a result, this would enhance the connectivity within the area and bring people from all directions to shops on the street safely and more comfortably. This would be beneficial to both the pedestrians and the shops.

I agree with Frank Lee that some narrow streets running between Queen's Road East and Johnston Road should be made a 'pedestrian, car-free zone', provided that these changes do not cause any inconvenience to the shops on the street level.

We all know that Lit Chit Street is already a car-free zone. Lee Tung Street and part of Tai Yuen Street will also become car-free when Wan Chai's H15 redevelopment project is completed in a few years.

These streets will form a pedestrian square providing a pleasant shopping environment for shoppers, and business opportunities for small shops and businesses in Wan Chai. The proposed walkway system will just bring us closer to the target.

Mac Lee, Wan Chai


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