The colossal Civil Service College to be built in Kwun Tong will have zero bicycle parking, Transit Jam has learned, with officials blaming “road safety considerations” for the exclusion.
A spokeswoman for the Civil Service Bureau (CSB) says the proposed HK$7 billion two-block college, which has not even reached a design consultancy stage, will be mainly approached by “public transport or on foot”, although she says it will also have a car park.
Bicycles, however, will not be allowed on the complex. “According to the Transport Department, owing to road safety considerations, using bicycles as a mode of transport in urban areas is not encouraged. Hence, the project does not involve the provision of bicycle parking spaces,” she says.
Cycle advocacy groups have slammed the decision to exclude bicycles as irresponsible and short-sighted. Martin Turner, chairman of the Hong Kong Cycling Alliance says he’s disappointed but not surprised, calling the CSB’s decision a “determined rejection of climate-friendly, community-friendly sustainable transport for Hong Kong.”
“Even as other governments have accelerated their roll-out of active-mobility initiatives in response to Covid-19, ours has remained rooted in its 1970s mindset. How can we reach our 2050 carbon reduction goals when authorities here cannot even keep up with everyone else’s new normal?” he says.
In a document outlining the project’s plans to lawmakers yesterday, CSB pointed out other “green” features of the new building. “The composite development will also provide elevated walkways, public open space and a landscaped deck to enhance the walkability for the area,” it says.
The college is expected to be completed around 2026, with the government planning to seek financial approval from lawmakers in 2022.
Back in 2018, then-Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law hailed the college as offering civil servants a “deeper focus on technology, on smart city, on future direction of the community, and also deepening the understanding of the nation’s policies.”
But yesterday, Secretary Patrick Nip Tak-kuen said the education focus would be National Security. “The most important is the concept of National Security as it covers a very wide scope, it’s not just about social order and social security but also security on areas such as food and technologies and so forth.”
Nip did not mention energy security, transport security or climate security as among his National Security topics to be taught.