A couple of weeks ago, Vivian Leung Tai Yuet-kam was driving in Mid-Levels when she saw new paint on the railings and footpath of an overpass at the corner of Robinson and Castle roads. At first she just thought it was a base coat, but was shocked when she realised that the government project was finished. The footpath was stained a pinkish peach, the railings white and orange. Later, Leung began noticing other city railings that had been painted over the years. There were green and yellow railings near the Magazine Gap Road overpass, light violet and white barriers beside Garden Road, and soft lime and white ones on Cotton Tree Drive. Leung, chairwoman of the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Concern Group, said Hong Kong's 'concrete jungle' was already blemished by too many metal railings and fences - and now those barriers were being unnecessarily painted. 'The colours are fine, but they don't belong to railings,' Leung said. The look was 'just degrading the environment, degrading the area', she said. Other Hongkongers are also voicing their concerns. Paul Zimmerman, co-founder of Designing Hong Kong, an organisation concerned with sustainable urban planning, said non-neutral paint made the fences and railings even more conspicuous. 'The clutter increases rather than decreases,' Zimmerman said. Deepak Madnani, also of the Lung Fu Shan Environmental Concern Group, said he was trying to figure out how much the project was costing. 'It's ugly ... the whole question is, why? I'm sure this money can be spent intelligently, or correctly.' At least one resident, though, was not put off by the new hues he saw on the Robinson Road overpass. 'It's OK, better than silver,' said Philip Leung, 46. 'Here, all the buildings have different colours ... if you look at it [the new paint], it seems to match.' But architect Oren Tatcher said the issue was not how a person viewed the colours in one particular location. 'If it's a trend, it should be stopped,' he said. 'It's not something you want multiplied.' One reason was that the city was already filled with a lot of visual stimuli. Another was that road infrastructure should be neutral in colour 'except for warning signs'. When 'more elements in the driving environment call attention to themselves, the less effective road signs become because they don't stand out as much', he said. The Highways Department said regular painting was required for maintenance purposes and, while it often applied silver or grey paint, it used different colours 'in some locations like tourist or commercial centres to enhance their aesthetic appearance'. About 20 bridges and flyovers had been painted with non-neutral colours, it said. A Highways Department spokeswoman said there was no added cost, the department was using soft colours that matched the surrounding environment, and said anyone with a view on the colours was welcome to contact the department.