Date
21 October 2017
Des Voeux Road Central Initiative (inset), an alliance of four public concern groups, has called for pedestrianization of some area in the Central financial district. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook
Des Voeux Road Central Initiative (inset), an alliance of four public concern groups, has called for pedestrianization of some area in the Central financial district. Photos: HKEJ, Facebook

New group to lobby for pedestrian precinct in Central

While a debate goes on about the merits of continuing the historic tram line between Central and Admiralty, a new group is now seeking to turn one of the busiest roads in the Central financial district into a pedestrian zone.

The Des Voeux Road Central Initiative, a newly-formed alliance between four citizens’ concern organizations, has suggested that a section of the road between Pedder Street and Morrison Street become a green precinct, where people can rest and groups can perform while trams can still pass through reserved space.

The alliance — established Monday by Clean Air Network, Designing Hong Kong, Friends of the Earth (HK), and Hong Kong Public Space Initiative — aims to raise HK$10 million (US$1.29 million) for a study on its suggestion, Apple Daily reported.

As part of the lobbying efforts, the group plans to conduct workshops to involve the public in the discussions.

A spokeswoman said pedestrianization of a section of the area will help reduce pollution and also ease the traffic congestion in the financial district.

The alliance hopes to see the road closed temporarily on Sundays and public holidays, allowing the public to hold workshops and give them an opportunity to experience a pedestrianized zone.

Meanwhile, it expects the results of the study to be out in December.

Benson Poon Fu-kit, a member of the Hong Kong Institute of Planners, said his organization had in 2000 and 2014 proposed the idea of setting up a pedestrian precinct in Central, but the plans were rejected by the government.

The organization supports the latest suggestion from the alliance, he said, adding that discussions will continue with the government.

In a recent submission to the Town Planning Board, a consultancy firm had recommended the elimination of the tram line between Central and Admiralty to ease traffic congestion in the business district.

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TL/AC/RC

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