In Legco yesterday, the tourism industry rep, YIU Si Wing (姚思榮) asked Transport and Housing Bureau if it was/would:

(a) extend the cycle track network to former Frontier area;
(b) develop cycle tracks on the harbourfront;
(c) set up a public bicycle hiring system
(d) promote cycling tourism

Responses from Anthony Cheung, the Secretary for Transport and Housing, were, in summary:

a) yes, perhaps;
b) [ignored question];
c) no; and
d) ‘yes’ [but actually only trivially]

The first ‘perhaps’ is worth noting: about cycle tracks going into the former Frontier Closed Area.  All leisure cycle tracks are a plus for Hong Kong, though we need to keep pointing out that they are merely a feature, and certainly not the sum total of cycling here, as TD likes to pretend.  So half a cheer for that ‘perhaps’.

Regarding public bicycle rental systems, the Secretary referred to the TD study that was finally released earlier this year (“Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks and Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong“), which was overly narrow in scope, two years late, trivial in its analysis and negative or inconclusive on the issues it was supposed to study.

Based on that, he rejected any kind of public bicycle rental system (referring to new towns, and ignoring everywhere else), because a) it needs many nodes; b) it requires some load balancing between nodes (moving bikes around to meet need); c) maintenance of bikes; d) existing private rental services “can already meet demand”; e) Hong Kong’s land resources are too limited to provide public rental points.

What a load of tripe!  Firstly, there are also excellent potential locations for a public bike share scheme outside the new towns, such as in Kai Tak Development / CBD2, West Kowloon, along the new NT Cycle Track Network, and of course, along the Harbourfront Cycleway (when we ultimately force it into existence).

His responses a), b) and c) simply cite characteristics of a public bicycle rental system, no different from those handled by the 500+ (and rapidly rising) schemes around the world, especially in mainland China.  Along with response e), he’s peddling the old canard that Hong Kong is so special that the rest of the world can teach us nothing.  And finally, by citing existing rental he is missing the whole value of a network of pick-up and drop-off points. (actually ‘protecting’ the business of a handful of operators, who’d probably anyway benefit from the upsurge in interest, if only they could adapt to it.)

The question about developing cycle tracks along the harbourfront was flatly ignored.  How can a government minister do that?  Didn’t the THB read the question?  Does it think no one will notice?  Or does it simply have no respect for Legco and not care who knows?

All in all, the Secretary’s reply showed that our government still doesn’t ‘get’ cycling, or its obligation to work for us.

More work to do.

See:
Press release, with full text

Blogpost about cycle tracks (‘我們的單車徑’) by Secretary for Development Paul Chan (陳茂波),
22 Sept 2013 (Chinese only)

 

 

去年(2012)介紹過台北巿鼓勵巿民及遊客使用單車的設施;今年(2013)再往台灣,發現比之前更進步了:也是問香港運房局這一句,台灣可以,為何香港不可以? 看看台灣怎樣好待單車吧!而即使這樣,台灣還未能打入哥本哈根單車友善指數地區的頭二十位呢!加油啊中華民國!香港,是否還要拒絕投入這改善城巿的運動?

自強號列車上為擺放單車而設的車卡

自強號列車上為擺放單車而設的車卡 

台北捷運站有清楚表示讓單車由頭或尾車卡進入捷運

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(上圖)台鐵自強號列車上有一整個車卡是用來擺放單車的;而台北捷運站有清楚表示讓單車由頭或尾車卡進入捷運(當然,人家是不用拆下前輪的!那有在香港要拆卸前輪才能入閘的歪理?!也哪有不拆前輪會被其他單車友拍照放上網受網絡公審的怪現象?!要注意,台北的捷運也不是乘客量少的)

台北巿(西門)的單車和行人共享路面

行人優先,路權清楚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

台北巿(西門)的單車和行人共享路面,行人優先,路權清楚,互相禮讓,又為何不可以在行人路上踏單車代步?!鼓勵單車代步不一定要劃出完全分隔的3.5米寬「單車徑」的!

 

微笑單車U-bike(公共單車租借系統) 

泊單車的位置分佈於路邊各處,十分方便

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

去年還只有信義區才有的微笑單車U-bike(公共單車租借系統),現在於西門町(相當於香港的旺角區)也可以看到;馬路上也會遇到用微笑單車來代步的巿民,而泊單車的位置分佈於路邊各處,十分方便,而好像看不到有長期佔用泊位的廢車及手推車,看!還有空置泊位呢!

 

頭城(宜蘭縣)的單車行車道

「鐵馬驛站」為長途單車客提供厠所、食水、工具及充氣等支援

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

頭城(宜蘭縣)的單車行車道及由宜蘭市政府辦的「鐵馬驛站」為長途單車客提供厠所、食水、工具及充氣等支援;單車環台看到「鐵馬驛站」能不感動嗎?

 

日月潭的單車徑旁的讓單車推上樓梯的斜道 

日月潭的單車徑已入選為世界十大最美麗單車徑之一

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(左圖)這是什麼?是位於日月潭的單車徑旁的讓單車推上樓梯的斜道。 你知道日月潭的單車徑已入選為世界十大最美麗單車徑之一嗎?香港單車同盟建議的港島北海濱單車走廊如果成真的話,說不定也可以入選呢! 台灣可以,為何香港不可以?

高雄巿捷運對帶單車的告示

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

高雄巿捷運對帶單車的告示,大意就是要為他人著想吧。(為人著想不包括要像港鐵般要求拆除前輪呢!)

 

單車隊會為七一大遊行隊伍開路。

集合於摩頓台(中央圖書館旁邊),下午2時。可提前預訂出租單車。

我們呼籲政府認識到現在騎單車的普及性和多樣性,並支持藉單車推動香港未來的宜居性、經濟及健康。

每一個使用單車代步或休閒的巿民的需求都應受到政府的計劃和關注。我們有各式各樣的原因使用單車,而我們厭倦了被決策者推到一邊說:「單車要讓路給重要的人」

正當我們的鄰居和其他許多國家正在制定單車在現代化城市中的功用的時候,運輸署為什麼仍然睜著眼罔顧很多香港市民騎單車代步這事實?我們的政府必須認真看待騎單車可以為香港做什麼。

請加入我們(慢)騎或推著你的單車走在七月一日大遊行的最前面。

重要提示:警方會在摩頓台檢查單車的設備。請確保你的自行車是完全合法的,例如制動器,黑暗時要有燈、後反光板。請留意這方面進一步的細節。

每個人 – 乘客,單車運動愛好者,送貨者,公路車手,山地單車手,單車會及在單車徑輕鬆騎單車的單車使用者。

租借單車
本活動將提供70架單車為現時未有單車但希望參加此活動的朋友租借, 先登記者得,登記方法如下:
* 當日租車費每架HK$200 (HK$100 租車及運輸費,HK$100租車按金(可於還車時取回)。7 月1日下午1:30 於摩頓台取車,下午6時半於中環終點(友邦中心旁)還車
* 請將所須租車數目的費用存入匯豐銀行戶口: 607 133063 888(鳴謝Mr. Andrew Brill先生借出戶口於本活動使用) ,並將銀行收據副本及活動當日用車人士的全名電郵到: bikerenting@gmail.com。我們將直接回覆你的「租車登記確認」和單車借還的詳情安排。
先登記先得,活動當日現場並無即場租車服務,敬請見諒!

Bicycles will lead the 1 July rally.

Meet Moreton Terrace (next to main Library), 2.00pm.

Bring your own bike or RENTAL BIKES available with pre-payment ($100 + $100 deposit) by Thurs 27th, contact bikerenting@gmail.com

We call on the administration to recognise the popularity and diversity of cycling now, and support it to boost Hong Kong’s livability, economy and health in the future.

Everyone who jumps on their bike to get to where they’re going or to enjoy the ride deserves a government that plans and allows for their needs. All kinds of us use bikes for all kinds of reasons and we’re tired of being pushed to the side of policymaking and told “keep out of the way of the important people.”

Why does Transport Dept still deny that lots of Hong Kong people ride bikes to go places, even as our neighbours and many other countries are developing the role of functional cycling in a modern city? Our government must look seriously at what cycling can do for Hong Kong.

Please join us to ride (slowly) or walk with your bike at the front of the rally on 1 July.

Important note: police will be checking equipment in Moreton Terrace. Please ensure your bike is fully legal, eg brakes, lights when it’s dark, reflectors. Check back here for further details.

 

Meeting Point Location:

Tung Chung New Town Extension Study – Stage 2 Public Engagement

Planning Department and CEDD are preparing to expand Tung Chung.  But despite the existing popularity of cycling in the town, cycling and cycle tracks are downplayed.  (There are bike icons on the cover, and a mention of ‘cycle tracks along the waterfront promenade’, but nothing in the planning principles or other important parts of the document.)

We need to make sure that cycling is integrated into the heart of planning of new Tung Chung, to all destinations.  That includes roads and tracks that facilitate getting efficiently around the area by bike, parking (residential and spread across district).

First, see the Stage 1 study (you may need to use Internet Explorer to view it properly)

How to get involved, under the Stage 2 Public Engagement:

(1) ‘Community Workshop
22 June 2013 (Saturday), 2:00pm – 5:30pm (need to pre-register by 20 June)
Venue: HK Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School (map)

(2) ‘Public Forum’

13 July 2013 (Saturday), 2:00pm – 5:30pm (need to pre-register by 11 July)
Venue: HK Federation of Education Workers Wong Cho Bau Secondary School (map)

(It’s not clear what happens at these two events, or the difference between them)

(3) Make a written submission, either via their dull form (eg. ‘Do you want continuous walkways?’) with options to write your own answers;

OR just write to PlanD and CEDD, at:
skisdpo@pland.gov.hk and tungchung@cedd.gov.hk (deadline: 21 July – but do it now!)

Please email us at info@hkcyclingalliance.org if you’re going to a public meeting. If you write, please cc us.

You can phone them at:
PlanD: Sai Kung and Islands Districts Planning Office, 2158 6177 (fax: 2367 2976)
CEDD: HK Island and Islands Development Office, 2231 4408 (fax: 2577 5040)

The Stage One study

The Stage One study includes decorative icons and images of bikes, and mentions cycle tracks in the text.  But why isn’t cycling among the planning principles or the transport section, and why are there no details at all of the ‘cycle tracks’ – they’re not even shown on the map?  What are we being offered?

Cycling should be at the heart of the new Tung Chung, not merely window dressing.

Although the ‘cycling is leisure’ mantra is not trumpeted in this study, government is still very reluctant to recognise cycling as transport, let alone integrate it into planning.  So cycling is mentioned (even ‘commuting’, slightly), to look good, but actually left vague.   Without a firm commitment to build Tung Chung around cycling connectivity, we’ll end up with the same old disjointed, badly designed paths and no supporting effort to promote and enable functional cycling.

Don’t believe the pretty pictures; look at the text.

In the study’s 15 pages, here is what we get:

  • 海濱長廊及連綿的公園都會附設單車徑,以推廣單車成為區內的環保交通工具 Provide cycle tracks along the waterfront promenade and linear parks to promote cycling as a green commuting tool in Tung Chung

[what about cycling everywhere else? tracks can be good, and people cycle on roads and mixed-use area too.  So enable cycle traffic flow – no pointless barriers or dismount signs.  Encourage sensible sharing of space.  ]

  • 主要交通及社區設施附近提供足夠單車泊位以鼓勵居民使用單車 Provide adequate cycle parking space near major transport and community facilities to encourage cycling

[But people need to park at any locality, not just large bike parks at major facilities.  What about local parking near any shops or other places people go?  Eg. enable individual parking at most lampposts, signposts and railings.]

 

After three years, Transport Department has casually put up on its website the ‘Nine Towns Study’ that it has been promising for so long:
Traffic and Transport Consultancy Study on Cycling Networks, Parking Facilities in Existing New Towns in Hong Kong

I’ve not had time to read it all yet, but, like the interim reports, the result seems underwhelming.  It only ever tried to look at cycle tracks and a few specific facilities in new towns, not general cycling on roads and the cycling environment as a whole.  Or planning ahead for New Development Areas.  And I note that the original scope has been cut, with no sign of the promised “conceptual improvement layout plan for each new town”.

On parking, it notes that there is not enough designated parking (that took three years to work out?) but the discussion quickly drops into TD’s favourite issue of what style of parking facility to buy, rather than, say, how to measure and determine where parking is necessary, especially small-scale distributed parking, away from the obvious MTR locations.  (Cyclehoop, anybody?)

The issue of poor connectivity of tracks is identified, which is good, but this problem will never be successfully addressed until we aim to maximise throughflow of bike traffic — as in, prioritising cyclists wherever possible, and certainly wherever bikes are the major flow.  No mention of that here.

The proposals, within this narrow remit, seem mostly small-scale and unimaginative.  So we have a three-year, multi-million-dollar report suggesting things like:

  • put up plastic bollards in place of steel – to reduce injury severity (already TD’s plan, when they should be removed entirely to .. er .. eliminate the injuries altogether);
  • paint markings to guide cyclists away from obstacles (just a stopgap: where are the planning guidelines for obstacle-free cycleways?);
  • paint track surface colours to show trunk and local routes (irrelevant if tracks are still used by commuters, wobblers, sports riders, and kids, with no policy consideration of who and what the tracks are for. Or real training.)
  • lots of soft padding on things in the way, such as newly erected poles carrying mirrors.
  • installing railings designed to make parking your bike harder (when it’s not even an offence to park a bike on a footway, central reserve, verge, hard shoulder etc, if no danger or actual obstruction is caused).

Of course, the study makes a number of valid points and raises genuine issues.  In particular, it presses for tracks to be connected at various places where currently there are gaps (and recognises that this will involve rebalancing some priorities). It also calls for the implementation of shared footpaths; improved signage and surface markings; cyclist access to leisure facilities (ie. everywhere managed by LCSD); and having Highways Dept staff cycle the tracks at night to determine lighting needs. Many specific problem locations on tracks are enumerated.

If the government, starting with TD, intends to act positively, the study could point towards some modest improvements for cyclists in the new towns.

However, in essence, by looking only at cycle tracks, with no assessment of wider transport policy, patterns of cycle journeys made, and aspirations among cyclists and potential cyclists, it was never going to offer a strategy for more effectively incorporating cycling into our communities.  Then by proposing largely what TD is already thinking (or has done!) – minor capital expenditure that tinkers with existing infrastructure, and no solid planning basis for avoiding the same mistakes in future – it falls sadly flat.

More detailed comment will follow.

You can read the report here:
http://www.td.gov.hk/filemanager/en/publication/td_194_2009_es_eng.pdf

 

Whether or not you follow the progress of cycling in London, it is interesting that the city’s new ‘cycling commissioner’,  Andrew Gilligan, is being candid and constructive about where London’s bike environment is, and where it is going.

Of course, he recognises that attention must be paid to both segregated and on-road routes, and particularly he emphasises the need for designs that meet international best practice, criticising several schemes already in progress, which would be already heavenly in Hong Kong terms, in that they were implemented by an administration that believed in the contribution of cycling.  But the low position we start from here is an opportunity, right?

This post from ‘Cyclists in the City’ is recommended.

方便推單車上落樓梯的斜道(星加坡)

單車泊位(星加坡)

這個渡假村加設了單車泊位及方便推單車上落樓梯的斜道,是兩年前我到訪此地時未見有的。希望很快在香港也能見到類似單車專用斜道這樣的小設施,雖然星加坡也不算是對單車有完善支援的城巿,但小小一個設施已反映著和香港不一樣的態度。

 

東海岸公園的單車徑(星加坡)

這和馬路差不多一樣寬闊的路不是馬路,是位於東海岸公園的單車徑,攝於東海岸公園海鮮中心對出。希望香港的單車徑都有這個水準。

We have sent the first part of the long list of  locations that the cyclists of Hong Kong would like to see cycling unbanned. There’s more locations we will send later, but these will get the discussion started.

If you have more locations that you would like us to request for cycling to be unbanned, you can use this page to look at the locations we have so far and send us a location if it is not included already.

Ref Location
#1 Legco/Tamar Underpass
#2 IFC Underpass
#3 Hung Hom – Cheung Wan Road
#4 Fleming Road
#5 Marsh Road
#6 Connaught Road West (non-highway)  
#7 Salisbury Road
#8 Canton Road
#9 Choi Hung Road Flyover
#10 Road from Ho Pui to Tai Lam <no photo available>
#11 High Island Reservoir, Sai Kung Sai Wan Rd <no photo available>
#12 Maclehose Section 10 <no photo available>
#13 Yuen Long Sewage Treatment Plant <no photo available>
#14 Brides Pool Road
#15 LCSD Central Waterfront <no photo available>
#16 Hung Hom Waterfront <no photo available>
#17 Shing Mun Country Park <no photo available>
#18 Cycle track adjacent to Caritas Lok Kan School <no photo available>
#19 Discovery Bay Tunnel
#20 Tai Tam Reservoir Road

 

廣州地鐵站(越秀公園)外的公共單車租賃點

 

廣州的公共單車

單車租賃點同時提供收費單車停泊服務

廣州巿區的單車行車道(於中山路)

We at Hong Kong Cycling Alliance are very proud to be a part of the first ever Hong Kong Bicycle Film Festival on 10th-13th January, and with the tickets on sale today, we’ll be rushing to get our seats booked..!
當下踩單車不只是潮流,更是文化。單車電影節集結世界各地獨立影片,述說有關單車的喜怒哀樂,2011年巡迴全球廿多個城市,吸引超過三十萬人欣賞。今回來到香港,正好乘著近來的單車熱,讓我們知道除了大尾篤、BBQ和牛下女車神外,關於單車還有無限可能性!
Cycling has recently become not just a trend but also a culture. The Bicycle Film Festival features a collection of independent film productions from around the globe, telling tales of joy and tears about cycling. The 2011 world tour drew an audience of over 300,000 from over 20 cities around the world. Held in Hong Kong this time, the festival coincides with the city’s post-Olympics cycling fever, opening up to the local community the infinite possibilities about cycling beyond the countryside cycling tracks.
對白以英語為主,非英語對白將附設英文字幕。
Dialogue is mainly in English. Non English soundtracks will have English subtitles.
單車電影節的四日節目包括電影攝影及古董單車展覽單車樂悠遊售票情況,可參看網站總頁
For Bicycle Film Festival’s 4-day programmes, including MovieExhibitionsFun Ride and Ticketing, please see BFF website HERE.