London has been seen in the last few years as a progressive city for cyclists, including many new cycle lanes and superhighways, advance stop lines at junctions, a big bicycle share scheme and awareness campaigns for HGV drivers amongst many various ways that have encouraged cycling and increased safety on the roads. With the massive expansion of cycling in London has been a respective concern for a possible increase in cyclist injuries and fatalities, and yet only 12 cyclists were killed on London’s roads between August 2010 and July 2011.
If we were to compare numbers of cyclists on the road in Hong Kong and London, we could expect to see some proportionality between the numbers killed, and yet Hong Kong had 14 fatalities between January and September only, with far fewer cyclists on its roads…!
I think it’s time to challenge the Hong Kong Government Transport Department to address this by:
- Educating drivers in the proper way to interact with cyclists
- Amending Government policy throughout all departments to acknowledge cycling in urban areas and that cycling as transport already happens
- Installing a policy within Planning Department & Development Bureau that takes account of cyclists
- Using traffic calming measures & signage where appropriate
Hong Kong is known for its progressive stance on many issues, however I feel that cycling has been left behind compared to public opinion and also other cities around the world. These measures would be a big step forward, and could be the start of something great for the future of Hong Kong.