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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:31 pm 
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This morning I collected my bike from the pier, only to find a removal notice placed on my bicycle. It must be removed by Wednesday or face destruction.

Is this normal? Is it just to clear out old abandoned items, or are they 'clamping down' on this illegal activity?

If it's the former, 2 days seems very short notice. If it's the latter - god help us all. Although maybe I can negotiate a reduction in rent?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Usually, (and they do this periodically) I think it is just to get rid of the broken down, abandoned ones but given the state of affairs regarding the bike park there could possibly be something a little more devious going on. :) Any comments?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:55 pm 
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It's the normal procedure, every couple of years, but the timing is suspicious, given that the cycle park reclamation now being gazetted.

Having spent a few hours putting our own notices on bikes a few weeks ago, I looked at every bike on the pier and actually the number of derelict bikes is quite low, barely a half dozen I think.

It's all part of the general contempt that the government treats cyclists with. They provide no legal parking spaces, and if you park your bike out of the way somewhere, they declare it "illegal occupation" and just steal it and sell it for scrap.

You can't get it back by any means. No matter if it's a $10,00 carbon fibre frame, it's sold in a batch to some scrap dealer for $20 each.
They'd never dare do that for a motor vehicle.


Attachments:
pierclearance120326.jpg
pierclearance120326.jpg [ 104.9 KiB | Viewed 3902 times ]


Last edited by Alan on Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:00 pm 
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It's looking like there is a wider agenda than clearing up old bikes.

Enquiry to District Lands Office got this response:
Quote:
Parking of bicycles at public place is a street management problem to be dealt with under the coordination of respective District Offices of the Home Affairs Department by way of joint operation involving various relevant Government Offices.

We learnt that District Office/Islands (DO/Is) had previously received a complaint regarding ambulance having difficulties passing through the catwalk owing to the parking of bicycles & the occupation by miscellaneous items at both sides of the catwalk. Thus, DO/Is initiated the current exercise and we were asked to offer assistance to post notice.

By this mail, would Mr Joe HUI of DO/Is, please confirm my understanding of the reason for the current clearance exercise.

Laura SZE
District Lands Office, Islands
Tel.: 2852 4262


Obvious bullshit about the ambulance.
Yu Lai Fan is playing the "emergency vehicles access" card she uses to justify every roadwork project and reclamation.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:33 pm 
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Very suspicious timing. Cyclists will have no choice but demand for a bike park if they can't park by the pier. Very convenient for YLF's plan.
Are they serious about the 28 March deadline?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:14 pm 
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ThomasL wrote:
Very suspicious timing. Cyclists will have no choice but demand for a bike park if they can't park by the pier. Very convenient for YLF's plan.
Are they serious about the 28 March deadline?


Yes, don't leave your bike on the pier on that day or you'll lose it. Too bad for anyone who comes here on weekends and parks on the pier.

The normal procedure is that on the specified day they will steal all the bikes left on the pier. After that you can park again.

Hopefully that will still be the case. After all, it will be at least six months or a year before the platform is finished even if they started immediately.

My wife was pretty annoyed when she read the notice on her bike.
She said everyone should park their bikes in front of Yu Lai Fan's office, since she's the one who is behind all this.
Unfortunately, YLF would just turn it around and use it to demand her platform.

Basically the pitch is "Support the bike platform or we will confiscate your bikes".

Impossible to get the government to listen to any alternatives. Nothing must get in the way of the concrete lobby.

$18 million for a concrete platform, instead of $50,000 or so for bike racks that would keep bikes in order they could put up in two days.

Checking back through the forum, it seems the last clearances were:

26 November 2010
9 April 2008
19 & 21 October 2005
28 August 2004

see
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=1530
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=5127
http://www.lamma.com.hk/forum-OK/viewtopic.php?t=9163


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:23 am 
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Here is the ordinance in question:

http://www.legislation.gov.hk/blis_pdf.nsf/6799165D2FEE3FA94825755E0033E532/0DC8528C353E7043482575EE00304946/$FILE/CAP_28_e_b5.pdf

I'm not a lawyer, but it's plainly obvious to me that this ordinance is intended to refer to illegal structures (defined as stilt, platform, fence and any other thing erected on or over land) and property contained therein, and to invoke this legislation to confiscate parked bikes is disingenuous to say the least.

Please can anyone tell me what steps I can take to register my complaint?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:37 am 
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A full government task force descended on the pier this morning at 9 AM. They were met by several interested locals, including myself and Liz Gower.

Liz gave them a good earfull on how stupid and unjust the whole procedure was, but of course they just shrugged it off.
There were about 50 or 60 bikes left on the pier at that stage.

Liz and I took 20 or so bikes that were not attached to the railings and moved them to the library area, where many other bikes had been parked.

Meanwhile the government workers were using boltcutters and took 30 or 40 bikes that had had notices attached -- they had a photographic record of bikes that had been stickered -- and loaded them on two VVs and eventually took them off to the waste collection facility on the reclamation to be dumped in a landfill.

Liz recognised one bike belonging to a friend, but was not allowed to retrieve it.

There was a reporter and a photographer from the SCMP to observe and since there were a few dramatic confrontations, it should get reasonable coverage.

So if you lost your bike today, check over at the library; if it's not there, you're out of luck.


Attachments:
File comment: Lamma's version of Tiananmen Tank man
P638.jpg
P638.jpg [ 66.6 KiB | Viewed 3884 times ]
File comment: Two VVs of bikes for the scrapheap.
P635.jpg
P635.jpg [ 92.67 KiB | Viewed 3884 times ]
File comment: Liz trying to save a friend's bike
p634.jpg
p634.jpg [ 103.52 KiB | Viewed 3884 times ]


Last edited by Alan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:13 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:46 am 
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Alan wrote:
Meanwhile the government workers were using boltcutters and took 30 or 40 bikes that had had notices attached -- they had a photographic record of bikes that had been stickered


So they only took bikes that continued to have notices after the notice period? so it might be fair to say that they are just clearing 'abandoned' bikes?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:53 am 
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olliereid wrote:
So they only took bikes that continued to have notices after the notice period? so it might be fair to say that they are just clearing 'abandoned' bikes?


Legal, perhaps, "fair", I don't think so. Unless you think that leaving a bike parked, locked to a railing for two days is "abandoning" it. At least half the bikes they took were in good condition and obviously not "abandoned", and most of those we rescued were also not clunkers.

This happens all over HK, especially in the towns in the NT where people actually use bikes, as here, to get around, despite the government's active discouragement.

There's a Facebook page started by a couple in Tai Wai, NT, who were pissed after the government stole their bikes locked on a railing in a similar clearance.
http://www.facebook.com/whostolemybikehk
SCMP story: http://topics.scmp.com/news/hk-news-wat ... s-seizures


Last edited by Alan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:01 pm 
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Even if the owners of the seized bikes were technically breaching the law, there should be some mechanism for reclaiming the confiscated property. Simply claiming the bikes without allowing any way to get them back sounds like stealing to me. That is the action appropriate to totalitarian states, not civilised societies.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Alan, I think you misunderstood me. I didn't say its fair; i don't even think its legal. I said 'fair to say'.

i am saying though that it could be argued by them that they were only removing bikes that retained the notices - not bikes parked there since the notice - so they were only clearing bikes that they assume to be abandoned. Not adopting a policy of removing all bikes in future.

Of course I agree, as I had said when starting the thread, that 2 days is too short a notice. I also think that adopting a policy of keeping the pier free of bikes indefinitely is ridiculous. Commuting via bikes is to be encouraged, not vilified. And its clearly not an obstruction. Even if the pier were clear, people would still hit the bottleneck that occurs at the end!

I also think that the legalese on the notices is crazy. Such red-tape bureaucratic nonsense that neglects normal human behaviour. It might be said that the parking of bikes at the pier is normal, and common behaviour. And to suddenly be accused of illegally occupying public land with a 'structure', without any context or reasoning, is unpleasant.

Thank you Alan for your efforts this morning.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:22 pm 
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olliereid wrote:
Alan, I think you misunderstood me. I didn't say its fair; i don't even think its legal. I said 'fair to say'.

i am saying though that it could be argued by them that they were only removing bikes that retained the notices - not bikes parked there since the notice - so they were only clearing bikes that they assume to be abandoned. Not adopting a policy of removing all bikes in future.


Yes, that will undoubtedly be the government's position.

But perhaps just avoid the word "fair" since most senses of the word do not apply.

Also, the notice speaks of "illegal occupation", which isn't the same thing as "abandoning". They might prosecute on that basis if you challenged them. Hopefully a judge would be sensible enough to throw it out, but on paper it's a serious offence despite restaurants and other businesses on Lamma flouting it every day with impunity. It depends on who you know what you get away with.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:44 pm 
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The notices only gave 2 or 3 days' warning - so anyone who's been out of town on a business trip or holiday even for just a few days will return to find their bike gone.

I don't have a bike, but this is blatantly unreasonable and tantamount to robbery by the government.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Someone followed the VVs to the waste transfer station, where the bikes were destroyed in a trash compacter.

See http://www.flickr.com/photos/livinglamma/?saved=1

Two new bikes
Image

I remember those two quite new bikes, likely a married couple's, carefully covered in plastic, hooked up on the railings and locked together out of anyone's way.

At least $2000 worth turned into scrap metal.

Bikes being crushed
Image


That'll show those illegal occupiers!

They should have parked them in the legally sanctioned parking area, in Mui Wo (closest parking area in the Islands District).

Don't despair. I'm sure Yu Lai Fan has a plan for somewhere safe we can put our bikes when she calls the bike terminators in again.
Support the CPA, or have your bike destroyed.


Last edited by Alan on Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:33 pm 
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This is ridiculous. I bet YLF is shaking her legs with a smirk on the face while this is happening. I don't have a bike but this is......... :evil:


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:12 pm 
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We'd love to hear from affected people! Please post your comments here.
In the meantime, bilingual notice submitted by Living Lamma:

"Did you lose your bike today?

Members of the public tried to save them for you. Some were moved to the area next to the library, but two village vehicle loads were taken to the waste transfer station where they were immediately thrown into the trash compactor to be sent to landfill.

If you lost your bike, we would like to hear from you. Please write to livinglamma@yahoo.com


您有沒有遺失您的單車?

我們的成員曾嘗試救回單車,雖然部份已經轉移到圖書館附近,但仍然有填滿兩部VV車的單車,被送到垃圾轉運站,經壓縮後棄置。

如果您遺失您的單車,請聯絡我們:livinglamma@yahoo.com"

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:28 pm 
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Such a waste of bikes...and landfill space...and tax payers money.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:28 pm 
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Let's all write to CY Leung - see if he really is a man of the people as he claims


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:02 pm 
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I parked my bike there this morning, on my way in to work. I hadn't used it in about a week and there had never been a notice put on it.

I happened to read the lamma forums on my way in and immediately called my girlfriend to retrieve it, which she kindly did (and believe me, appropriate chocolates and wine were brought back from Central!)

Just curious, would it actually have been removed since it never had a notice put on it? When I got home today I saw a number of bikes parked at the pier still.

Looking at those trash compactor photos makes me so angry! What can we do?!


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