Stop pandering to car users for easy end to traffic, parking woes in Hong Kong

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 October, 2016, 4:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 October, 2016, 10:41pm

It does not require rocket science to solve Hong Kong’s parking and traffic problems.

First, make private vehicles prohibitively expensive. Why should anyone need a car in Hong Kong? We have fantastic public transport, but some of the world’s worst air pollution.

On top of that, we continue to gobble up parts of our beautiful harbour for the purpose of facilitating traffic flow. It is a disgrace.

Quadruple the cost of private vehicles through punitive sales taxes and make it very expensive to keep them on the roads through high annual registration fees. Harm the car industry? Given our filthy air, we should care less.

Next, stop offering subsidies on the purchase of vehicles, whether battery-powered or not, as this is pandering to the car-obsessed. We need fewer vehicles on our roads, not more.

Every discounted purchase price only encourages more car ownership. We need to stop this trend, not feed it.

Then, we should further discourage car use through massive increases in parking fines.

Impound vehicles that are continually found to be parked illegally and disqualify repeat offenders from driving. Also, it would be good to see the police and traffic wardens actually handing out tickets. It is a sight I rarely – if ever – witness anywhere in this city.

Finally, under no circumstances supply more parking spaces anywhere. If car owners think they can find a parking space, they will drive. As the saying goes, “Build them and they will come.” The same can be said of bypasses. I challenge anyone to point out a major traffic artery in this city that is not congested, regardless of when it was built. Meet the new bypass, which is the same as the old bypass – full.

If we put such measures into force, we could reduce traffic issues almost overnight.

Gerard Crawford, Lam Tin