i was doing a bit of research for a column on mongkok and was pointed towards a website that outlines hong kong's pedestrianization scheme. since 2000, the transport department has been actively converting busy streets in HK's main retail neighbourhoods into full- and part-time pedestrian zones (and implementing traffic calming measures on other streets, too).
one example is sai yeung choi street south, which you've seen in my mongkok thread. here's a few photos:
the reason the lane markings remain is that sai yeung choi is actually a part-time pedestrian street, closed to traffic between noon and midnight on weekends and holidays, and 4pm to midnight on weekdays. at peak hours, this street has an astounding pedestrian flow of 16,000 people per hour!
the street in 2000, before pedestrianization:
the street in 2005, after the scheme was implemented:
many other streets in neighbourhoods such as causeway bay (HK's main retail district), sham shui po (with a large street market and many cheap electronics stores at its heart), central (the main financial district as well as a trendy art, dining and nightlife area), etc. have been pedestrianized or traffic-calmed.
what goes into deciding whether a site should be pedestrianized or not? here's what the transport department has to say:
Factors considered in developing a pedestrian scheme:
- Whether there are pedestrian capacity or safety problems
- Public demand and land use, e.g. are there shops or places of interest which would attract pedestrians and tourists to the area?
- Environmental and amenity considerations
- Impact of pedestrianisation on vehicular traffic in the vicinity and the servicing of buildings
take a look at the site. could similar criteria for pedestrianization be adopted for north american cities?