Giant noise barrier in Mong Kok draws mixed response

October 23, 2017 16:08
People walk in Sai Yeung Choi Street South in Mong Kok where a giant sound barrier has been erected to control noise pollution. Photo: Reuters

A giant noise-insulation screen has been put up in Mong Kok, attracting mixed reactions from people.

Some said the structure has helped ease noise pollution in the vicinity while others said it made the area lose its character, Apple Daily reports.

The noise barrier, about six meters high and 10 meters wide, was erected outside a store operated by Korean cosmetics and beauty brand Laneige on Sai Yeung Choi Street South.

It separates the sidewalk and the pedestrian lane and people can walk under it.   

A staff of the store said it decided to do something about the situation a month ago after some customers complained about the noise from the adjacent area, claiming the screen has shown satisfactory results.

The part-time pedestrian street has long been criticized for being a source of noise pollution, even though the Transport Department restricted its opening hours to weekends and public holidays in 2014.

The noise has been getting louder mainly as more street performers now use the area.

Tests conducted by Apple Daily reporters showed the giant screen does help reduce the noise level -- to 80 decibels from 94.5.

However, some people do not see it as an advantage, with one saying the noise barrier has robbed the street of its character.

Vincent Ho Kui-yip, who chairs the building policy panel of the Hong Kong Institute of Surveyors, said the store may be asked by the government to remove the screen because it obstructs pedestrians.

Calling the noise in the pedestrian lane intolerable, Yau Tsim Mong district councilor Andy Yu Tak-po urged a registration system for the street performers to regulate their activities.

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