The Study information is set out in the following sections:
To support Hong Kong’s economic development, the Government steers the transformation of Kowloon East (KE) into another attractive core business area. To bring this vision to fruition, the Conceptual Master Plan (CMP) 5.0 promulgated by the Energizing Kowloon East Office (EKEO) of the Development Bureau focuses on Walkability and Mobility, Green CBD, Smart City, Socio-economic Vibrancy and the Spirit of Creation.
Building on the momentum of the transformation in KE, it was announced in the Policy Agenda in October 2017 that the Energizing Kowloon East (EKE) initiative would be extended to San Po Kong, covering an area of about 26 hectares. EKEO is working with the relevant government bureaux/departments to review the opportunities and issues pertaining to the San Po Kong Business Area (SPKBA), with particular emphasis on enhancing connectivity, improving the environment, promoting vibrancy and diversified development. In February 2018, EKEO commissioned the San Po Kong Business Area Pedestrian Environment and Traffic Improvement - Feasibility Study (the Study).
With public aspirations for improving the pedestrian environment and traffic conditions in SPKBA as well as taking into account the planning vision for new and planned developments in the area, the objectives of the Study are:
We make good use of SPKBA’s existing characteristics and enhance its qualities by deploying suitable strategies to create a better pedestrian environment while bringing improvements to the traffic conditions at the same time. Specifically, the pedestrian environment should be
Walkable – with safe and convenient pedestrian connections and linkages among the area’s activity nodes, destinations and public transport interchange
Stayable – create quality public spaces where people can stay and relax
Enjoyable – provide opportunities for diverse activities and social interaction that promote a sense of belonging to the area
In addition to burgeoning business activities and other new/planned developments in SPKBA, the area is anticipated to form closer ties with the surrounding neighbourhoods. Synergy effects generated by the Kai Tak Development Area (KTDA), the Diamond Hill Comprehensive Development Area, the proposed district open space in the Sze Mei Street area, and the proposed Holistic Centre for Youth Development, etc. will promote and contribute to the transformation of SPKBA. These opportunities should be captured in formulating the overall improvement framework.
SPKBA used to be an industrial area but it is now undergoing gradual transformation to business uses. Some existing facilities in SPKBA are no longer able to cater for the needs of SPKBA. The key challenges include:
Parking and Loading/Unloading Facilities
Enhancing pedestrian connectivity – through improving existing pedestrian facilities or introducing smart measures to reduce pedestrian-vehicular conflicts, thus creating a more convenient, safer and barrier-free walking environment
Improving convenience and comfort – through seamless connections to MTR stations and activity nodes/destinations, and creating more public spaces to help provide a better pedestrian environment
Improving walking experience – to promote walking through providing more greening, enhancing streetscape and integrating with points of interest (e.g. retail, community facilities and open space, etc.) to bring about an inviting, interesting and healthy walking experience
Three north-south corridors namely Tai Yau Link, Sze Mei Link and Sam Chuk Link are identified as the key pedestrian routes which traverse through various commercial and community nodes within SPKBA and linking the adjacent key development areas, namely the Diamond Hill Comprehensive Development Area to the north and the KTDA to the south via the existing and proposed pedestrian links.
Tai Yau Street and Sze Mei Street are the key traffic corridors in the area linking the SPKBA and adjacent major roads, namely Choi Hung Road to the north and Prince Edward Road East, Kai San Road and Tseuk Luk Street to the south. Reprovision of Kai Tak East Playground and Sports Centre will provide opportunity to enhance traffic capacity at Sze Mei Street and the adjacent road junctions, and to provide underground public vehicle park.
We recommend enhancing the pedestrian environment through improving accessibility and safety for pedestrians. The following enhancement schemes along each Link are proposed.
Tai Yau Link
We propose to optimise Tai Yau Street and its connecting roads by improving the junctions, enhancing the streetscape and the pedestrian links at the northern and southern ends.
Sze Mei Link
Sze Mei Link is the shortest route to the KTDA from Choi Hung Road, MTR Diamond Hill Station and nearby residential areas. With the rapidly developing KTDA and more commercial buildings coming into place, Sze Mei Link is expected to become a major pedestrian thoroughfare in the district.
The existing pedestrian subway across Prince Edward Road East and the elevated landscaped walkway under construction, together with the planned pedestrian subway in the Diamond Hill Comprehensive Development Area, will provide excellent pedestrian linkage at the northern and southern ends. We will leverage the opportunities arising from the development of the Sze Mei Street district open space to create a pleasant and coherent green urban space in the Sze Mei Street area and connect the activity nodes. We also recommend exploring the setting up of two intelligent traffic signal controlled pedestrian crossings along the route to rationalise pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
Sam Chuk Link
Sam Chuk Street is one of the key links to Choi Hung Road Playground. It also links up with the future Holistic Centre for Youth Development and connects with the pedestrian subway at Prince Edward Road East via King Fuk Street.
We recommend transforming Sam Chuk Street into a vibrant pedestrian passageway by improving connectivity at junctions. We also recommend making use of the future public open space adjoining Holistic Centre for Youth Development to make the Link more “stayable”, and at the same time to provide a convenient access to the future focal point for young people.
With an in-depth analysis of the existing conditions of the back alleys in SPKBA, we propose to transform suitable back alleys into more attractive and safe pedestrian routes to become part of the pedestrian network.
For other back alleys in SPKBA, frequent loading/unloading activities are still observed and these would restrict their potential for face-lifting in the short-term. Subject to further investigation and liaison with the relevant stakeholders, if the conditions are appropriate, we would suggest resurfacing the carriageways of back alleys.
The following strategies are proposed to accord with the landscape objectives for SPKBA:
We propose to re-configure some traffic lanes to enhance the traffic flows in SPKBA. Such improvements would improve the performance of major road junctions and alleviate traffic congestion in the area. The proposed public vehicle park at Sze Mei Street would cater for the demand for vehicle parking. Upon completion of the public vehicle park, we recommend reviewing the need to retain the on-street parking spaces in SPKBA with a view to freeing up more road space to increase traffic capacity as necessary.
We also recommend introducing the following smart measures in SPKBA:
Smart street lighting system allows remote monitoring and control of the on/off conditions of street lights as well as detecting the malfunctioning of individual street lights. It helps to save energy cost and reduce manpower for monitoring and inspecting street lights. Some streets in SPKBA have already installed the smart street lighting system (e.g. Tsat Po Street and Tseuk Luk Street).
We recommend to explore further extending the replacement of conventional street lighting with LED lighting and remote lighting level adjustment in SPKBA.
Recommend to explore installation of intelligent traffic signal system with sensors for pedestrians and vehicles at suitable road junctions (e.g. Choi Yee Lane and Sze Mei Street) to minimise waiting time and enhance safety for both pedestrians and vehicles.
Car park owners in SPKBA are invited to join the "Easy Parking" scheme and provide real-time parking vacancy data in the "My Kowloon East" (MyKE) mobile app. This can help drivers to search for vacant parking spaces to reduce unnecessary journeys. The information is shared with the Transport Department for the "HKeMobility" mobile application.
The proposed public vehicle park at Sze Mei Street will provide such real-time data in future.
Some loading/unloading bays at Sze Mei Street are selected for trial.
A self-guided thematic tour function is introduced in MyKE app to recommend points of interest in SPKBA.
The app also includes other functions such as providing a one-stop geo-spatial information platform on public facilities in SPKBA.
5. Your Views
The Study is launching a two-month public engagement (PE) exercise. We would like to cordially invite you to participate in the Public Forum on 12 January 2019 to provide your valuable comments on the proposed improvement schemes.
Details of Public Forum can be found in Invitation to Public Forum.
You are welcome to send your views to us through e-mail, post and fax or the website by 26 January 2019.