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  • Apr 18, 2014
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CommentLetters

Move to cut tunnel traffic congestion

PUBLISHED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 11 March, 2013, 3:16am

There is a lot of talk again about the congestion at the Cross-Harbour Tunnel.

Some of this congestion can be easily prevented, as I have suggested numerous times to the tunnel's management.

When entering the tunnel on Kowloon side, we spread a perfect traffic flow over eight or nine tollbooth lanes and then try to merge them again. But no one wants to give way and you have a slow entry to the tunnel and sometimes, when there is a collision, a blocked tunnel lane makes matters worse.

I therefore suggest that at Kowloon side, do not spread traffic over eight lanes but keep it in two and make Autotoll mandatory for all vehicles including motorbikes. Then at least if Hong Kong side is not blocking the exit due to congestion you have at least a big part of the day with a more rapid flow.

For traffic coming from Hong Kong side, we should start merging traffic coming from Central into two lanes near the Inland Revenue Department building [in Wan Chai]. Then have double lines between the two lanes and have a "zipper" merging rule, with the left lane for traffic coming from Causeway Bay and the right lane for traffic from Happy Valley. All vehicles must stay in the lane in which they approach the tunnel and cannot switch. They can switch after exiting the tunnel where there is a very spacious area.

Besides the traffic congestion at the tunnel, we see other areas in Hong Kong with avoidable congestion. Our transport minister should study what they do in Europe with the green-light traffic flow. A driver starts at one traffic light and, if he sticks to a certain speed, will reach oncoming traffic lights at a time that they are green. So there is no need to speed as you will end up facing a red light.

This helps traffic flow, safety, and the environment (less polluting as you will not stop at traffic lights needlessly). It is ideal for long roads with many traffic lights, like Nathan Road.

Jeffry Kuperus, Clear Water Bay

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HK-Explorer
I also agree that more cross harbor ferry services would do allot to improve congestion and make transpiration nicer.
Tunnel charges should only go up to reduce the number of cars. Lets raise the tunnel fee for private cars at the central tunnel to HK $40.
Allow Busses, Taxis and Trucks have a fixed rate of $25. This will make busses / Taxis the most affordable method and get the mass of cars off the tunnel. People should use public transport to get to work (not private car). As busses can move faster people will use them more.
Also the government needs to provide subsidies to move old busses off the road and invest in electric busses.
captam
It is not the lane markings which are causing congestion. The tunnel is running over its design capacity.
The problem is simply too many cars. People must be encouraged onto buses and the MTR provided the latter serves their start and destination places conveniently. We cannot afford to have half a million cars on our small narrow street system. We should also bring back more cross harbour ferry services as well as water buses, subsidized by Government.

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