2014-08-12      Footpath safety in Hong Kong

Not long ago a government official expressed concern about the problem of shops illegally using the footpath to display their goods, and the problem of newspaper/magazine sellers illegally extending their allotted footpath area - resulting in pedestrians having to jostle each other to use the reduced-size footpath.

This problem needs urgent attention by the government, since pedestrian safety is involved: in some parts of Hong Kong, pedestrians are forced to walk on the road because the footpath area has been compromised by shops and sellers.

Making the problem even worse is the way hawkers brazenly set up shop on busy footpaths outside MTR entrances. I find it hard to understand why the police seemingly have no power to confront hawkers. Only hawker control officers may do so.

Also shrinking footpath space are groups of people who have a meeting on the footpath.  This is very common among mainland visitors and non-Chinese residents. Sometimes as I try to negotiate my way around them, I feel like calling out "the footpath is no place for a symposium!"