Hong Kong's government should make the city more pedestrian-friendly

By Anson Choi, Tak Nga Secondary School

Wider footpaths and fines for people blocking the pavement would help make the streets more walkable

By Anson Choi, Tak Nga Secondary School |

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The government needs to take initiative to make the city a more walkable place.

I am writing in response to the article, “Walkable Hong Kong: Making the city more pedestrian-friendly requires cooperation from everyone” (Young Post, December 3).

Although we all want to be healthier and to reduce pollution, the Hong Kong government seems unable to make a decision about how our streets should be used.

Hong Kong is heavily overcrowded. In places such as Central and Mong Kok, pedestrians may even find their paths blocked by goods piled up outside shops.

To deal with the problem, the government should make the pavements wider and impose heavy fines on store owners who dump goods by the roadside.

There are many benefits of being a walkable city, from making us healthier to building community spirit. It would also be great for the environment, as it would reduce the number of cars on the road.

Even though Hongkongers are known for walking a lot, making it easier and more enjoyable is a challenge for city planners.

We should ask the government to build more pedestrian zones and make the footpaths wider, so people can have more space to walk. 

I hope these suggestions will help Hong Kong become a greener city and pave the way for its people to focus more on conservation.

Anson Choi, Tak Nga Secondary School

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From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Anson. Yes, Hong Kong needs to expand pedestrian zones but there’s a problem. Such initiatives, including low-speed driving areas, are meeting resistance over fears about noise pollution and illegal parking. The government closed the iconic Sai Yeung Choi Street pedestrian zone in Mong Kok in 2018 following complaints about noisy street performers.

Hongkongers should continue their fight to create a world-class walkable city but fortunately, we have good alternatives. 

About 75 per cent of Hong Kong is countryside. The city boasts many amazing hiking trails. 

Hiking is a great activity – it’s good for the body and the mind. It enhances your strength and endurance, puts you in better shape, and helps you relax. 

We live in a fast-paced city and we are constantly under pressure. Taking a walk in the beautiful countryside offers a nice and refreshing break. 

So for avid walkers, a hike during the weekend would do them a world of good.

M. J. Premaratne, Sub-editor