Concerns on the lack of parking spaces has been set out by the Transport Panel recently. Private cars owners and the media both found the number of parking spaces lags behind the growth of number of private cars. Clean Air Network (CAN) is concerned parking spaces are taking up too much public spaces. CAN emphasizes that over-dependence on cars has led to a misallocation of land resources.

In 2015, the land used for parking is approximately equivalent to 740,000 one-person public rental housing flats. Which could have been used to satisfy housing demand, pavement or cycling track construction, community land and public spaces.

Roads stretching from Sai Ying Pun to Causeway Bay occupies 29% of urban spaces, according to Outline Zoning Plans published by Town Planning Board. Referring to Table 1, the total area is around 160 Hectares, almost equivalent to the size of 8.4 Victoria Parks. In the commerce-oriented Central District, roads have taken up 36.46 Hectares, while commercial land area occupies only 29.44.

 

Ratio of Areas of Main Roads to Total Urban Areas
Planning Areas Area (in Hectares) Area Ratio (in %)
Sai Ying Pun & Sheung Wan HPA 3 45.11 30.9
Central District HPA 4 36.46 34.31
Wan Chai HPA 5 29.47 33.05
Causeway Bay HPA 6 20.47 21.24
Central District (Extension) HPA 24 11.32 24.23
Wan Chai North HPA 25 16.65 30.19
Total 159.48 28.98

 

*Table 1: Ratio of Areas of Main Roads to Total Urban Areas

Traffic is increasingly congested as people rely more on vehicles. In turn causes severe roadside air pollution, creating a vicious cycle. More vehicles on roads also threatens safety of pedestrians as well. High utilization rate of cars increases the need for parking spaces which leads to illegal parking. The demand for parking spaces will always exceed supply. Parking space in Central now causes higher than HKD $280,000.

It is impossible to completely remove the need for vehicles and roads from our highly developed city. However private cars are not the only solutions offering high efficiency and comfort, Hong Kong’s public transportation is one of world’s most advanced. Transportation and Housing Bureau (THB) must play the leader in the solution of existing traffic problems. Traffic congestion and air quality can be improved through controlling the number of private cars, the provision of faster and more comfortable public transport, bike-friendly and walkable urban design. However sadly, strategies suggested in the recent Public Transport Strategy Study looks like nothing but a benefits-sharing game between different shareholders.

It is our mission to improve the livability of city by altering our lifestyle. Urban planning should prioritize human over cars. Land should be released from the cages of cars, siege of vehicles. Health and liveliness in city is never a dream out-of-reach.

 

1.香港城市規劃委員會(2016年11月1日) 《依據城市規劃條例擬備的分區計劃大綱圖(港車島規劃區第3, 4, 5, 6, 24, 25區)》

  1. 香港車位Carpark.com 中環車位成交紀錄

http://www.carparkhk.com/transaction-records.php?area=NUxpdDU1S3c%3D&price=&years=&month=

 

Story posted on
9th Jun, 2017

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