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