Why do we need Quick-wins?
From traffic collision data between 2014 and 2019, there are 700 collisions per year in Central and Western districts and more than 130 deadly collisions across 6 years. The number is in fact higher than that in Kwun Tong and Tsuen Wan. One would think an industrial area with trucks would be more dangerous for pedestrians than that in commercial area. It was not the case.
On Des Voeux Road Central alone, there were two deadly accidents that killed pedestrians – one was in front of Hong Kong Station MTR exit and one was at the junction with Wing Lok Street. With policing effort, existing railing, and existing crossing, the yearly collisions are showing no sign of reducing. To further protect pedestrians and drivers in Central, we must implement physical changes to the street layout to improve safety. Walkability becomes an added benefits in the process.
In the longer term, we hope to create a better public open spaces and walkable network on DVRC. Given the ongoing pandemic and social distancing restrictions, it would even be more pertinent to provide for more spacious pedestrian facilities.
What is Quick-wins on Des Voeux Road Central?
The Quick-wins aims to enhance the pedestrian environment by providing convenient crossing and widening of pedestrian holding areas at 7 critical locations on Des Voeux Road Central (DVRC). The extend of the project spans from Peddler Street in Central to Rumsey Street in Sheung Wan.
Pedestrian crossings will be introduced, or extended, or turned into light controlled pedestrian crossings. Existing traffic light time settings would be adjusted to optimize pedestrian crossing time.
How do we propose to get the project done?
We have talked to Transport Department and have presented the ideas to them since 2016. Engineers on the district was excited about the scheme and presented the ideas to District Councilor in 2016. In 2022, we have recalibrated the collision data to realize that we cannot afford not to do anything. We must do something to protect the safety of pedestrians and drivers.
After discussion with Legislative Councilor, they suggest we work with traffic engineers to tackle each location in detail. Some areas will be easier than the others. Our intent is to not reduce the bus traffic, not to reduce queueing
Who will benefit from the project?
The project will connect significant buildings to public transportation including 2 exits from the MTR, 5 number of tram stations, 21 number of bus stops, and 5 number of significant buildings with public spaces. The 100,000 pedestrians who are using the 1.1km stretch of DVRC will have safer and more connected walking network.