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  • Nov 20, 2014
  • Updated: 4:09am
CommentLetters

Tsim Sha Tsui congestion unacceptable

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 June, 2013, 1:44am

I note that Shalom Levy ("HK risks being held hostage to Occupy Central troublemakers", May 31) gives his address as Tsim Sha Tsui. Does he ever go out?

As a fellow resident, I would question why he is so upset about an action that may happen a year from now when far closer to home we have an ongoing Occupy Tsim Sha Tsui in full swing, kicking off on Thursday evenings around 8pm through to Sunday evening.

I refer to the long lines of idling cars queuing up to get into local malls, K11, The One, Miramar, iSquare and Harbour City.

Completely ignoring the "Full Up" signs, drivers join already long queues that bring circulation in the district to a complete standstill.

They ignore double yellow lines, yellow boxes and, at zebra crossings, pedestrians are forced to all but climb over the bonnets to reach the other side of the street.

This is all accompanied by belching fumes and blaring horns as regular through traffic is brought to a halt.

Under current police policy, officers are required to give verbal warnings only, so drivers can be as arrogant as they please as nothing short of bloodshed on the streets will incur a penalty.

This almost occurred on the evening of June 1 when a driver held up by the K11 queue on Carnarvon Road was in a collision with a pedestrian.

This occupation takes over local streets for hours every weekend. At what cost to our economy?

Hong Kong people no longer come to the district to dine and shop because of the degraded environment.

When you say you live in Tsim Sha Tsui, a pitiful glance goes your way, with a "How can you stand it?"

Tourists, now mostly from the mainland, come here, but for how long?

In time they too will venture further afield and find more pleasant neighbourhoods to spend their dollars in.

Central has a nine-to-five economy. Tsim Sha Tsui is busy from early morning to early morning.

Occupation of streets here has a far greater impact on commercial life than in an office-only district.

It is obvious that gridlock on our streets is increasing in line with the increment in the ownership of private vehicles.

Instead of fretting about Occupy Central, Mr Levy and fellow members of the Hong Kong Chamber of Commerce should be making a noise about the impact Occupy Tsim Sha Tsui has on the economy in this district.

Mary Melville, Tsim Sha Tsui

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This article is now closed to comments

honkiepanky
While I agree with the sentiment, the logic of this letter is rather tortured. I'm reminded of the Yogi Berra quote: "nobody goes there any more. It's too crowded."
martinturner
Mary, you sound momentarily optimistic when you suggest that the torment will ease as mainland visitors tire of TST's degraded environment.
However, I rather think that, when the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau road bridge opens in three years, those extra cars will be heading straight for your backyard, and other hotspots such as Causeway Bay, whose brands are as strong as those of the clothes and consumables their occupants come here to buy.
If we have to have a bridge, it should have been rail, the supposed backbone of our transport policy. If we have to have a road bridge, at least there should be park and ride to give our urban centres a chance of accommodating all those extra wallets.
Can our government solve the problem it has created within the next three years? Hah!
Perhaps the new Central-Wanchai Underground Car Park will absorb some of the load.
chaz_hen
Let's all hope the CCP eliminates luxury taxes and their super high VATs so Chinese shoppers can enjoy the benefits of competitively priced Prada, Rolex, Gucci, Hermes, Patek Philippe and Louis Vuitton at home instead of in HK!!
impala
I don't think the bridge will change anything. The issue will remain whether and if yes, how the government will allow mainland vehicles to drive in Hong Kong. We already have plenty of road crossings to/from Shenzhen, but the entry of mainland vehicles is all but completely restricted. Building the bridge won't change that per se.

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