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