Mary Hui is a Hong Kong-based writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the South China Morning Post, and Poynter.
Jul 20, 2018
People dance along to a karaoke performance on Sai Yeung Choi Street. Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images The raucous pedestrian zone in Mong Kok will reopen to vehicles, following hundreds of noise complaints.
HONG KONG—At the heart of Mong Kok, one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the world, is a 1,500-foot-long street that’s a bustling pedestrian zone on weekend nights. Spanning four city blocks, this strip of public space has long attracted buskers, photographers, dancers, acrobats, and people out for an entertaining stroll.
But as of August 4, the pedestrian zone on Sai Yeung Choi Street South—first designated as such in 2000—will be no more. The reason: The street had gotten so loud and rowdy that police received more than 1,200 noise complaints about it last year.
The street had been closed to all vehicular traffic from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sundays and public holidays. (Before 2014, it was closed evenings from Monday through Saturday and on public holidays, but that was scaled back to weekends and public holidays only.) Because of the noise complaints, the district council voted in May to end the pedestrian zone.