Reply To: Open High Island Reservoir Road to cyclists?

#8053
DocMartin
Member

Thanks for the comment, Simon.
More emails on the issue here from sustainable tourism group:

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My understanding of the Man Yee Road situation is that it a WSD service road that is sub-standard for public traffic. To open it to public traffic worthy, it has to be upgraded. Upgrading may mean widening, gradient adjustment, passing places, parking spaces, lightings, speed limits, barriers, embankments, etc⋯ a lot of money, a lot of work, a lot of environmental degradation within CP precinct. The police also said it has difficulties enforcing traffic laws in a substandard private road. Not being a public road lessens the liability of WSD or its road manager, the AFCD as Country Park Authority. The villages surrounded by the SKE Country Park have been pressing that the road be upgraded and opened. This issue has also been linked to the issue of opening the Pak Tam Chung Gate. Even with the lifting of the gate, the two service roads on both sides of the reservoir would remain closed, hence very little to be gained unless they are done in tandem. The Wong Shek and Ko Tong branch road is already at par with public roads, I¡¦m afraid only needing unwanted street lights to diminish accidents. I cannot see how the DWS and DAFC would agree to take responsibility of allowing the public to ride bicycles in their private road. I would propose creating a bicycle trail between Tui Min Hoi and Ho Chung through Pak Kong and Tai Chung Hau, to be located mostly at the fringe of Ma On Shan Country Park, depending on the topography.

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I have driven along the road ¡V legally, with the relevant pass. The road is not sub-standard, it is in very good condition ¡V it is a real road. Taxis are allowed to use it. In fact, they used to drive so fast along the road that experimental speed bumps were placed along the road to slow them down. If the road is safe enough for taxis, then it is safe enough for mountain bikes. The Sai Kung Police supported the idea. It¡¦s perfect ¡V emergency vehicles can drive in and rescue anybody in difficulty ¡V it is a contained area, so easy to manage. I suggest we take out the taxis and speed bumps, and allow in bicycles. A scenic route, dedicated to bicycles, would be marvelous. Locals and tourists alike would love it.

I will dig out my original correspondence on the matter and circulate it.

I think the more ideas for cycling routes that we can consider, the better! There is a dearth of safe places ¡V and certainly nowhere in Sai Kung Country park where I live where I can take my children for a family bike ride, which saddens me. I grew up in Singapore ¡V my greatest joy was going off on my bike. I would like my kids and everybody elses¡¦ children to have the same opportunity. I would like to help turn this around! There is a lot we could do ⋯

from HK Outdoors contributor Charles Frew:

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So as not to ‘restrict’ access to those wanting to reach Long Kei Wan (elderly, kids etc) by taking away the ‘taxi’ run, WSD/AFCD should be encouraged to provide an electric trolley shuttle bus service, taking ‘users’ to either Siu Sai Wan/Pagoda or to the end of the High Island Reservoir; a small fee should be levied.
This would negate the use of taxis, yet still allow access to these points. The terrain of the service road is not overly hilly and therefore should not impede the buses performance. The start point of such a service could either be at Pat Tam Chung or at the top of the roundabout.
Perhaps this solution provides controlled safe access and still allows use of the road for mountain biking and hikers as well, thus reducing the need for taxis.

prompt response to Charlie’s idea:

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That is a good idea but I doubt that they will do anything like that. There is insurance, and other liability issues. Perhaps the idea should be to keep motorized vehicles off the road for safety issues. If they did, perhaps electric cars or at least non-polluting vehicles.

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2007/05/12 12:52