Three bike-friendly steps that would encourage Hongkongers to take the green route
Your report, “Kwun Tong leads way in lifting ban on bikes” (September 26), tells us that 16 prohibition zones for bicycles are to be cancelled. Although this indicates that the government has finally done something for cyclists, this step is not enough to make Hong Kong a bike-friendly city.
While the whole world is discussing global warming and every country is looking for ways to solve the problem, few take concrete action. In Hong Kong, it has been suggested that people use public transport, but it’s obvious that there are still many private cars on our streets. Meanwhile, in Copenhagen, 62 per cent of residents cycle to school or work.
Hong Kong should look at how Copenhagen achieved this. First, Hong Kong should open new bike superhighway routes, enabling people to safely cycle to many parts of the city. Second, Hong Kong should better control the number of bikes, instead of letting broken bikes pile up around the city. Third, the government must educate citizens on how to use their bikes properly in traffic and also set rules for the appropriate use of bikes in urban areas.
If the Hong Kong government really imitates Copenhagen, our air pollution and traffic problems will soon be solved.
To return to the lifting of the ban on bicycles in certain zones, these prohibitions exist because Hongkongers consider cycling to be just a recreational activity. Actually, everyone should learn how to ride a bike because cycling is an efficient way to get to destinations that are short-to-medium distances away.
Unfortunately, currently, we have very few cycling paths, so those who want to use their bikes to cover medium distances are forced to ride on the side of the roads, which can be dangerous. This discourages people from using bicycles as a mode of transport.
Therefore, the government should not only lift the ban on bikes in more areas but also improve the infrastructure for cycling.
Donald Chan, Tseung Kwan O