Mong Kok councilor suggests licensing pedestrian zone acts

Local | 17 May 2018 1:55 pm

The Government is being urged to propose a licensing system for street performers to keep the pedestrian zone in Mong Kok going.

This comes as the District Council is due to vote on a motion to end the pedestrian zone regulation over complaints from residents in the area, who say artists who flock to the area are too noisy.

Mong Kok district councilor Andy Yu, who is from the Civic Party, said the pedestrian zone should just be suspended until the government comes up with a proper permit system.

He said shutting the Mong Kok pedestrian zone down would only force street performers to move to another district. He said a a licensing system is a more practical solution.

He said that if all goes well the same licensing system can be used all across Hong Kong.

The Pedestrian zone in Mong Kok was set up back in the year 2000 as a part of a traffic streamlining to ease congestion and vehicles were banned from the road during certain time periods.

It soon became a popular area for buskers, performers, small street stalls and amateur photographers. But soon residents started complaining about noise pollution and the pedestrian zone was restricted to just weekends and public holidays since 2014.

But several Mong Kok district councilors said that's still not enough, as they have continued to receive complaints from residents. They will move a motion next Thursday to call to end the pedestrian zone.

Chan Siu-tong from the Business and Professionals Alliance for Hong Kong said he has the responsibility to resolve this problem because he voted for the pedestrian zone 18 years ago.

"That location is really not suitable as a pedestrian zone. All the residents live upstairs, and that area is not very wide. Some experts say that the noise pollution is really bad there because sound travels upwards and bounces from one wall to another like a letter "Z". And that's why it's also noisy on the higher floors," he said.-Photo: RTHK

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