Move intended to get city residents in shape
HONG KONG — This city’s Central-Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system was opened in 1993 to provide an improved link between the Central and Mid-Levels districts on Hong Kong Island. The pedestrian transportation system is half a mile long, rising 135 meters and transports 78,000 people a day.
Now the city is considering removing the system to improve the health of its citizens. Two reasons are being given for the removal of the project. One is that by requiring people to climb and/or descend the 782 steps between Conduit Road and Queen’s Road Central footbridge, they will be strengthening their cardiovascular systems.
The other reason is that the hillside and moving walkway system follows a more-or-less northeast to southwest orientation, which according to Dr. Eric Chen, Professor of Latitudinal Studies at the University of Kowloon, is, “Very un-Feng Shui.”
The island’s taxi drivers are lobbying heavily to remove the system. Ronald Zhao, a representative for the taxi drivers, said that, “If the pedestrian escalators and walkways are removed, the use of taxies in the city is expected to increase by 32 percent.”