Annexure A
Friends of Sai Kung
www.friendsofsaikung.org
26 June, 2008
WAI Chi-sing, JP, Director of Highways,
5th floor, Ho Man Tin Government Offices,
88 Chung Hau Street, Ho Man Tin, Kowloon

Hiram’s Highway: Stage 1 Improvements
Submission to Director of Highways

Introduction:
The Friends of Sai Kung (FSK) is a Registered Society whose Objects are as follows:
“The Society is a not-for-profit community organisation which seeks to preserve and improve the quality of life of Sai Kung people and to protect the unique environment of Sai Kung for the benefit of Hong Kong and its visitors.”
In accordance with these Objects, we are hereby making this submission to you because we feel that what the Planning Department calls “The Leisure Garden of Hong” is seriously threatened by radical proposals to widen Hiram’s Highway (HH) into a dual or multiple lane carriageway.


We urge you as Director to delay any further work on Stage 1 until a decision has been reached in respect of Stage 2. Even better, to combine both stages under the Major Works Division into one major cohesive project. In the mean time, we have the following specific comments in respect of Stage 1:
Stage 1 Comments:
Stage 1 is currently under the Works Division. Unlike Stage 2 under the Major Works Division, it has not extended its consultation process to the residents of Sai Kung generally and does not have a dedicated web page on the departmental website. That said, however, FSK has recently received an invitation to meet with the Stage 1 team, but this has yet to be finalised.
The proposal to extend the dual carriageway past Marina Cove to Pak Wai from the Nam Pin Wai roundabout will be expensive and disruptive and the need obscure. In the light of the recent horrific bus crash at the roundabout, the appropriateness of dual or multiple lane carriageways (which by their nature encourage overtaking and speeding) in a rural environment needs to be reassessed.
We accordingly submit to you (at Annexure 1 on page 2) some alternative proposals for Stage 1 for your consideration. (FSK comments and proposals in respect of Stage 2 are being finalised).
To conclude, FSK would welcome a further meeting with the engineers in charge of both stages (or preferably a combined major project) together with your client the Transport Department and, perhaps, the Planning department, to further clarify and discuss proposals from all sides.
Yours sincerely,
Prudence LUI
Chairman, Friends of Sai Kung

Annexure 1
Stage 1 Proposals:
1. Dual carriageway with new bridge only as far as HH j/o Ho Chung Road
2. HH from Ho Chung Road to Pak Wai widened (where necessary) to provide access and egress lanes to Marina Cove, Luk Cheung Road, Hing Keng Shek Road and Pak Wai and lay-bys for bus and minibus stops
3. Consider turning Marina Cove’s two combined vehicle entrances/exits into one entrance and one exit for both residents and visitors
4. Link Nam Pin Wai Road with Ho Chung Road via the bridge south of Ho Chung Village
5. Link Luk Mei Tsuen Road with Ho Chung Road (as proposed by HD)
6. Introduce a one-way system in respect of 4 and 5 above; either:
a. Clockwise in respect of 4 and anti-clockwise in respect of 5 using the existing Ho Chung Road j/o HH as a traffic light controlled SK bound and K bound exit to HH or:
b. Anti-clockwise in respect of 4 and clockwise in respect of 5 using the existing Ho Chung Road j/o HH as a traffic light controlled entrance from K only (as at present)
(Option 6a above is preferred as an exit from Nam Pin Wai Road onto the roundabout would be problematic for exiting traffic without the right of way as would be an exit from Luk Mei Tsuen Road onto HH)
7. Using 6a above, install mini roundabouts at the junctions of the new/extended Nam Pin Wai and Luk Mei Tsuen Roads with Ho Chung Road to improve traffic flow
8. Generally improve all above mentioned roads and HH in respect of pedestrian pavements and/or cycle tracks, lay-bys etc
9. Install a pedestrian crossing across HH for Marina Cove residents and visitors, preferably opposite the bus/minibus lay-by

Friends of Sai Kung

Annexure A continued
Hiram’s Highway: Stage 2 Improvements
Stage 2 Comments:

FSK is very pleased with the approach adopted by The Major Works Division in respect of Stage 2 with its ongoing public consultation process and dedicated web page.

Although it is clear that all options up to and including the construction of a four lane dual carriageway with tunnels from Pak Wai to Sai Kung Town are being considered, it appears so far that the consultation process has indicated that a three lane highway providing an additional Kowloon bound lane is currently the most ambitious option being considered.

Given that the improvements are primarily intended to improve traffic flow and safety, FSK feels strongly that the latter objective will not be achieved at all by a dual or multiple lane carriageway. Indeed, speeding and overtaking, particularly during non peak hours, will be hugely exacerbated and result in yet more road death and injury.

A dual or multiple lane carriageway would also create yet more difficulties for pedestrians attempting to cross HH and for motorists attempting egress or access to HH from villages and developments bordering HH.

A dual or multiple lane carriageway would also be hugely disruptive and expensive and result in the destruction of both private property and trees lining HH; even a three lane highway would still encourage overtaking and speeding and be unnecessarily disruptive and expensive.

FSK accordingly believes that the best way to achieve improvements in both traffic flow and road safety on HH is merely to provide new access and egress lanes in respect of the village/development road junctions and lay-bys for buses and minibus stops combined with a clearway and a cycle lane, preferably all the way to Ma On Shan and Pak Tam Chung!
We accordingly submit to you (at Annexure 1 on page 2) some alternative proposals for Stage 2 for your consideration. (FSK comments and proposals in respect of Stage 1 have already been submitted).
To conclude, FSK would welcome a further meeting with the engineers in charge of both stages (or preferably a combined major project) together with your client the Transport Department and, perhaps, the Planning department, to further clarify and discuss proposals from all sides.

Yours sincerely,
Friends of Sai Kung

 

Annexure 1
Stage 2 Proposals:

1. Create a bi-directional cycle lane on the east/sea side of HH from the Nam Pin Wai roundabout to Sai Kung (and onwards to Ma On Shan and Pak Tam Chung)
2. Create or improve access/egress lanes to improve traffic flow at the following junctions with HH:
a. Pak Sha Wan Pier
b. Kau Sai San Tsuen Road
c. Man Kung Wo Road
d. Hebe Haven Yacht Club
e. The Giverny
f. Un-named road before Tai Chung Hau Road
g. Tai Chung Hau Road
h. Ta Ho Tun Road
i. Che Keng Tuk Road
j. Pak Kong Road
k. Un-named road before Po Lo Che Road
l. All town centre junctions
m. Sha Kok Mei Road
n. Muk Min Shan and Chuk Yeung roads
3. Consider improvements to staggered traffic light system at HH j/o Po Lo Che and Hong Kin roads
4. Introduce a Park & Ride System for visitors to Sai Kung combined with pedestrianisation of Sai Kung Town on weekends and public holidays:
a. P&R North SK at existing car park north of police station, access/egress from Wai Man Road; electric shuttle bus to/from town?
b. P&R South SK at Pak Kong between treatment works and river, access/egress from Pak Kong Road; electric shuttle bus to/from town?
5. Create lay-bys for bus and minibus stops along HH to improve traffic flow combined with a clearway system to prevent intermediate minibus stopping
6. Create pedestrian crossings where necessary to improve safety
7. Consider a lorry ban on HH on weekends and public holidays

 

GSS 29 May 08 Revised 17 June 08