Hong Kong government bows to pressure for more bicycle parking spaces
Officials also look at double-deck racks and underground parking areas as demand for shared bikes increases
The government is adding more bicycle parking lots and considering going underground to provide more places, as it wakes up to the shortage of parking spaces for the environmentally friendly transport mode .
Investments in bike-related initiatives took off on the back of cycling’s growing popularity, made possible by the arrival of the shared economy.
New players including Gobee.bike and Hobabike are thriving as the companies flood new towns in the New Territories with hundreds of bikes as their services become more popular.
The Transport and Housing Bureau said it would add 7,000 new spaces to the existing 57,700 in the New Territories. This will boost capacity by 12 per cent.
In the Legislative Council meeting on Wednesday, Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan said: “The government’s policy is to foster a bicycle-friendly environment.”He was responding to a question from New People’s Party lawmaker Eunice Yung Hoi-yan.
District officials have been working with police to clear illegally parked bikes from the street. New data showed there had been 623 operations across the city last year – 64 per cent higher than in 2015. The operations yielded 8,887 bikes – up 20.4 per cent from 2015. Some owners removed bicycles after receiving warnings from the government.
Bike-sharing operators have been criticised by residents of new towns for allowing public spaces and government-run bike storage spaces to be filled by bicycles from the private companies.
The Civil Engineering and Development Department said it was leading a pilot study into an underground bicycle parking system. It said preliminary results would be presented at the end of the year.
Transport officials are also planning to introduce more double-deck bicycle racks.