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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:36 am 
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Anton wrote:
Interesting. How does one get this kind of permit? I googled but only found an application for a unicorn dance permit, and nothing about the banners.

Never done it, but you often see a govt notice that permission has been sought by some group to put a banner up, say at Chinese New Year. Probably from Home Affairs.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:29 am 
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The two most recent e-newsletters about the CPA from Living Lamma.
Deadline this Tuesday!

Bike Park Malarky
Write Now!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:13 pm 
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My letter, trying to be diplomatic, but not completely succeeding:

Feel free to reuse any of this in your own letters.

<hr><hr>

Ms. Maisie Cheng,
Acting Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing
CC: Email : ds1@thb.gov.hk, sthoffice@thb.gov.hk
22ND Floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Dear Ms Cheng,

I am writing in objection to the gazetted project CPA Plan No. PW-GS11-009.

I am a resident of Yung Shue Wan, Lamma and my wife , daughter and myself travel to the Yung Shue Wan ferry daily by bicycle. We lock our bikes to the railings of the pier, along with several hundred other Lamma residents, and we will all be adversely affected by the unsuitable location and poor design of the proposed "Cycle Parking Area" gazetted by your department.


The stated justification: "to meet local demand and alleviate safety risks arising from illegally parked bicycles." is unsubstantiated.

1) "Demand": The "demand" is from the District Councillor, Yu Lai Fan, who never raised this topic in any public venue. She seems to act simply to secure the maximum amount of money possible for local construction contracts, regardless of any other consideration.

2) "Safety risks". Commuters have been parking bikes along the pier on Lamma for 30 or 40 years. (I, my wife and more recently my daughter) have been doing so for the last 20 years. I have never seen any hint of "danger". I have asked the proponents of this plan -- HAD and the District Councillor Yu Lai Fan -- to explain the "risk" that justifies spending $18 million and inconveniencing thousands of cyclists. There was no response, other than to simply repeat that it is a "safety risk".

The safety risks that will be created to users by the closely packed CPA, with restricted access, are much greater than any imagined, and never realised, risk to pedestrians on the pier now.

There is a minor inconvenience with some cyclists leaving their bikes "double parked" close to the pier gateway.
A much simpler and cheaper method of dealing with the small (perhaps 5 bikes in total ) that do this would be to formalise the current ad hoc arrangement and mark the area where bikes can be parked, say within 1 metre of the railings, and add signage to that effect, stating that bikes should be secured to the railings.


Then there would be a clear passage of at least 4 metres for pedestrians. Currently at the end of the pier, pedestrians come to Lamma's "Main Street", which is 2.2 metres wide; some parts less than 2 metres, so spending $18 million to make a 6 metre wide passage for the length of the pier is a foolish waste that would just exacerbate the bottleneck at the end of the pier..

A relatively small amount of money - perhaps $100,000, 0.5% of the proposed budget of the CPA, could be used to provide angled bicycle racks along the pier. This would ensure orderly parking. There is no technical reason not to do this. The racks would be negligibly heavier than the existing railings.

Aside from the outrageous cost -- $50,000 per bicycle -- of the CPA which I am surprised the government is happy to waste, the design of the CPA is poor. It is similar, but smaller and less convenient, to the CPA in Mui Wo, which is unpopular with residents. The access to the area will be easily blocked by a few carelessly parked -- and probably locked -- bikes. The linear arrangement of bikes along the railings now provides maximum accessibility to all users.

I have attempted to discuss the design of the CPA with HAD and CEDD. I have asked them what research they have read or done on bicycle parking, what principles were used. There was none, and no surveys of cycling on Lamma; the only district of Hong Kong where there is no other form of transport except cycling. Many cities around the world (e.g. Melbourne, Australia: see http://www.bv.com.au/general/bike-parking-experts/ ) take cycling as a serious mode of transport and have standards that could be applied. Here, the design principle applied was "stack as closely as possible", with no regard for how commuters are supposed to access their bikes, when dozens of them need to park and retrieve their bikes simultaneously when a ferry (holding up to 400 passengers) arrives or departs.

You should note that HAD asked the Green Lantau Association to comment on the plan in February 2009. Green Lantau pointed out the exact shortcomings I have, they mentioned the problems of the Mui Wo parking areas that this will repeat,and suggested the pier be renovated and bicycle parking along it be incorporated as a much better, and much cheaper, solution for all concerned. HAD buried this response, as they did later ones by Living Lamma, myself and many other individuals, and only cites statements by the District Councillor in support of this plan.

Alan Sargent
Lamma Island
4 March 2012


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:34 am 
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Nice one Alan. I don't understand why we send it to Transport department when they keep pushing to Home Affairs.

And I notice the banner by Land Justice HK has been removed...


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:13 am 
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ThomasL wrote:
Nice one Alan. I don't understand why we send it to Transport department when they keep pushing to Home Affairs.


That's what the notice said to do.
HAD will just blow off any criticisms of their scheme, but maybe they can be overruled.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 10:47 am 
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I sent an email to the transport and housing contact but I just got a reply saying it had been passed to HAD. I then replied asking to whom it had been passed so I could contact then andf I just got a standard `thank you for your email' reply.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:25 pm 
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Had this in my Drafts for a while, waiting for the opportunity to give the composition and content some thought.
That never happened, so I threw diplomacy, considered thought and caution out the window (standard MO)...for better or worse. So forgive the errors - they'll likely not be noticed by anyone at Tamar.
A copy was emailed and delivered by hand.


To Whom It May Concern,

Objection to the gazetted project CPA Plan No. PW-GS11-009.

As a long time resident of Lamma Island, a Hong Kong permanent resident, architect, registered voter and bicycle rider, I would like to express my objection to the construction of the proposed bicycle deck.

Not only do I object to the construction of the deck, I also object to the manner in which our Islands District Councillor, Yu Lai Fan, is collecting signatures for her petition in favour of the construction of the deck.
Firstly, the petition campaign Yu Lai Fan has been conducting appears to be somewhat deceptive, and therefore at risk of producing skewed results in that:
• the petition sheets have been distributed to various shops on Lamma where no information outlining the proposal is available;
• some people are being coerced into sign the petition even though they are young children who have no concept of what they are signing;
• some people who do not reside on the island and there are not truly representative of the residents are being encouraged to sign;
• there are people who are signing more than once;
• the banners up in the village imply that by signing the petition, they are supporting the government in their efforts to build the bike park, though this is not specifically stated in the banners.
Obviously, with a petition being conducted in this manner, an honest measure of resident’s opinion cannot be gathered and cannot be taken seriously by any government department looking to carry out construction of a costly project in a small village.

Secondly, the construction of the bike park itself: I would like to understand from where the need for this bike park arises. What studies were carried out to assess the need for this park and how was the proposed area and number of bays derived? If there is any information your department may have pertaining to these studies, please can you direct me to the documents. Being employed with a globally recognised architectural firm here in Hong Kong, I would like to review these studies with some of my colleagues to fully understand from where the need for this bike park has arisen and what criteria were taken into account to determine its capacity. I have to assume too, that in carrying out these studies, the relevant departments did their due diligence in looking at both international and local precedents for similar projects and looked at what worked and what didn’t. One would expect that Hong Kong being “Asia’s World City”, these studies would have investigated contemporary solutions applied in other cities rather than simply apply out-dated, costly and inefficient solutions in use on other islands and areas around Hong Kong. One might even expect an innovative solution to the problem that would set a precedent for other locations – I believe a number of members of the community have proposed alternative, cost-effective solutions to no avail.

Having looked briefly into the problem of bicycle storage/parking, I see that there are many solutions, ranging from the simple and cheap to complex and costly. Which brings me to the point: 18M HKD to construct a bike park for 360 bikes? This by constructing a very large concrete slab over water? If the department is insistent on having a concrete slab on which to park the bikes, why not make use of the existing platform on the opposite side of the pier that was used for large amounts construction material and remains standing, unutilised today? Clearly, with some remedial work, this platform would very easily be able to cater to the bicycle parking requirements. Or why not explore other solutions? A concerned resident carried out a very basic survey and took photos which I’m am sure have already been seen. It is clear from this quick survey that there is plenty of space to accommodate diagonal bike parking along the length of the pier. A quick Google search also revealed some simple and cost-effective solutions for diagonal parking along the pier – solutions which have been successfully employed in some major European cities. I have attached some examples of a very effective solution in a very similar environment – a bridge with railings which also serves as a public walkway. All that was involved in this solution were some metal hoops affixed to the railing and laid out diagonally to minimise the bike’s extrusion – quite simple and inexpensive.

Obviously, it is probably a bit presumptuous of me to assume that a city like Hong Kong would consider a solution that didn’t just involve kowtowing to local representatives whose (from an outsider’s perspective) primary reason for implementing this misguided plan is to ensure future election by lining the pockets of her main supporters.
I sincerely hope that the Transport and Housing Department fully investigate the need for such a costly and drastic plan and instead, resolve this need – if there is actually one – by exploring alternative solutions. Laying another huge, expensive slab of concrete over the water is surely unnecessary – in terms of initial costs as well long-term maintenance.

Make a stand and propose a solution we all can be proud of and happy with.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:48 pm 
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I've also sent a letter of objection in, for what it's worth. Let's hope this shitty project might yet be aborted, or at least radically altered. Pls send your objections in. Here's the email address etc., copied from Alan's post above:

Ms. Maisie Cheng,
Acting Permanent Secretary for Transport and Housing
CC: Email : ds1@thb.gov.hk, sthoffice@thb.gov.hk
22ND Floor, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Today is the deadline for objections - get scribbling!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 12:10 am 
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Another formal objection, from the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance.

Pretty naive of them to think that "the objective [is] to facilitate cycle access the ferry ".

Remember "cyclists"? The government doesn't. Cyclists aren't "stakeholders" in a "Cycle Parking Area", that term refers to the construction companies. Their need to make loadsamoney is the only input Home Affairs hears.

Hong Kong Cycling Alliance wrote:

Ms Eva Cheng, Secretary for Transport & Housing, 22/F, East Wing, Central Government Offices, 2 Tim Mei Avenue, Tamar, Hong Kong

Dear Ms Cheng

Objection to proposed Cycle Parking Area on Lamma (Plan No. PW-GS11-009)

Hong Kong Cycling Alliance supports cycling and cyclists throughout Hong Kong, and works to encourage the inclusion and expansion of cycling for transport and leisure.

We note the widespread use of bicycles as transport on Lamma and support the assumed objective of the above proposal to facilitate cycle use to access the ferry at Yung Shue Wan.

We have reviewed the proposal and would comment as follows:

  • Based on experience in Mui Wo and elsewhere, demand from users is strongly for parking that is as close as possible to the ferry. At the suggested location, the proposed facility might not be well used by regular commuters, and could instead be used primarily for storage, or for dumping unwanted goods.
  • The access to the proposed cycle parking is relatively narrow, and could easily become highly congested at peak times. Especially if bikes are left in the entrance area.
  • A section of natural coastline would be substantially disturbed, spoiling visual enjoyment by visitors and locals alike.
  • The $18 million cost is excessive and could be used to benefit Lamma people, including cycle owners, in much more effective ways.

We of the view that the objective to facilitate cycle access the ferry would likely not be achieved under the proposal, and that it will incur substantial costs and negative side effects.

Therefore, we are unable to support the government proposal for this project.

We suggest that a much preferable solution would be to widen the ferry pier access to enable cycle parking along its length, closer to the ferry, easily accessible, with lower environmental impact, and at lower cost.

However, we recognise the proposed use of simple inverted U steel tube stands, which are a commendably simple, effective and cost-effective cycle parking technology.

regards

Martin Turner
for and on behalf of
Hong Kong Cycling Alliance
www.hkcyclingalliance.org


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:55 pm 
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Coming off the YSW ferry this afternoon, the container office for the Bike Park construction was being delivered, placed outside the YSW Library (which will be rebuilt later, several years from now).

Start of the actual Bike Park works not confirmed yet, but it won't be long now...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:57 pm 
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No doubt scheduled to give a Happy New Year for Yu Lai Fan and her friends.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 1:05 pm 
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You mean this celebratory poster outside the District Council office?

Notice the party hats and confetti, it looks like "Hooray, hooray, we won!"

There's already a sign to "Parking for Bicycles" in the village. Anybody guess where it is?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
There's already a sign to "Parking for Bicycles" in the village. Anybody guess where it is?


End of the reclamation. Take your bike there and it will be compressed into a cube and parked permanently.
That's what they'll do with the couple of hundred bikes on the pier that won't fit in her fucking $18 million boondoggle.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 7:16 pm 
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What a crock of shite.

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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 7:08 am 
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These signs are plastered around the Bike Park in progress.

So I've been a serial offender for quite some time now, documenting the progress of the construction!

What's the penalty? Will they confiscate my camera(s) and throw me into the holding cell of the new police station?
It's mighty tight in there... :shock: :eek:


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:45 pm 
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Even a Bike Park under construction can become a "tourist attraction" when it's the very first thing visitors see coming from the YSW Ferry Pier...

As Cheung Chau already has a bike park at the ferry pier, I'll go over there soon to see how it's worked out for them so far (or not). Having had a long chat with their Chief Inspector this week, I'll have a local guide in Cheung Chau who knows the history and progress so far. They'''re working on extending their Bike Park soon as iy hasn't worked out so well, bikes still being parked all around their ferry pier, tied to trees, etc...


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2014 9:25 pm 
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Lamma-Gung wrote:
Cheung Chau who knows the history and progress so far. They'''re working on extending their Bike Park soon as iy hasn't worked out so well, bikes still being parked all around their ferry pier, tied to trees, etc...


It's worked out splendidly, once you've realised the purpose of these projects is to deliver government cash to favoured construction companies who will then owe favours to the councillors. No one gives a f*** about actually parking bicycles.

They're also going to build a new bike park at Mui Wo, far from the pier so no one will use it, but that was never a consideration. The overriding design principle is a job that will use all the funds available.

Do we need a 1 metre thick slab to support bicycles? No, but to support the construction companies we need at least that.
You could build IFC on top of the slab they're pouring now.
It could support the weight of 10,000 bicycles. But only has room for 300.
There are about 430 bikes parked on the pier on most weekdays.


Our "Cycle Parking Area" will be the first and only legal bicycle park on Lamma, when half the population uses bikes daily.
Never a cent spent for the last 100 years except to put up signs saying you CANNOT park until now when they can get a massive concrete pour to build this white elephant that will make parking at the pier worse.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 5:43 pm 
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From the machinery on the platform it looks like it is going to be piling. So, maybe not just a concrete slab but a deck on piles – the same as the existing pier.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:27 am 
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Rambler, you're right. a deck similar to the ferry pier.
Intially they wanted to do a full reclamation, but after a lot of opposition they agreed to a platform only.

Now imagine these bike park works, times 10, all along the YSW waterfront, 30-50 metre wide full reclamation, going on for at least two years, starting this summer. That was the original plan, postponed to next year not long ago...

We might have to find different areas of Lamma for our sunset dinners next year...
or maybe the nice boardwalk along the Aberdeen waterfront, off the Lamma ferry, close to the Aberdeen and Ap Lei Chow MTR stations under construction right now.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:50 am 
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rambler wrote:
From the machinery on the platform it looks like it is going to be piling. So, maybe not just a concrete slab but a deck on piles – the same as the existing pier.


Of course, how else could the slab be supported?

This is supposed to "preserve" the sea floor, after conservation groups pointed out the damage reclamation would do. Of course it will be poisoned and covered in crap and in the dark, so I'm sure it will be a fine habitat. Maybe we'll have some pink dolphins.


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