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Carfree DB??

  1. #1
    minainrouge is offline Registered User
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    Wink Carfree DB??

    Hi, i am a town planning student studying in the UK and i m currently working on a paper about carfree housing development.

    I've got some questions here. I'd like to find out how's DB's carfree character actually being enforced.

    1) Are there any clause included in the tenancy agreement specifying that residents at DB are not allowed to own a car?
    2) Or is this done purely through some sort of control at the DB tunnel entrance? If so, how does that work? Bollard? Manned checkpoint? Or special access cards for permitted vehicles?
    3) Someone mentioned parking cost at DB. Is that for the golf cart or under special circumstances people are allowed to own a car?
    4) As a DB resident, how do you find it living in a carfree community as such?

    It would be much apprepriated if you could kindly offer your thoughts on the above. Thanks in advance,

    Best regards,
    Mina

  2. #2
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    1) can't remember any clause...had 4 leases while i lived there
    2) controlled by the tunnel. as it is located on the island the only entrance for a private car would be the tunnel...
    3) parking golf carts is what they are talking about. although when i borrowed one a few times, i found the parking cost negligible. ONLY cars/vans owned by businesses are allowed. they pay an extra licencing fee to the management company for the opportuntity.
    4)it was FANTASTIC! moving objects from one location to another could be a pain in the butt. MUST have VERY good public transport options though, otherwise it wouldn't work.

  3. #3
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    Hi...DB is technically car free...however HK resort which owns and manages DB runs car on DB, and it is not uncommon to seem them on our roads. Personally I don't see why they need them and why they are allowed them but that's HK resort for you. They say one thing, and mean and do another!

    Government cars are also allowed on db....including police cars, vans, ambulances, fire engines etc. That's understandable as they constitute 'emergency services.'

    A car free db is great, the place is just too small to have cars. Plus it makes our roads safer and our air cleaner!

    The transport in db is pretty good, aside from the golf carts which are v v expensive to rent/buy we have buses and hire cars (a sort of taxi service unique to db).

    Private cars are stopped from entering DB at the tunnel toll.

  4. #4
    beckveldman is offline Registered User
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    Interesting to hear that DB car-free status has spread so wide!

    My husband has been in DB 11 years, me 6 years, and we have two children, a 4yr old and a newborn. As a couple, then family, we were without a private vehicle until leasing a golf cart 6 months ago with the impending arrival of our second child.

    Answering your questions:

    1. There is no clause in DB leases that prevents car ownership. Indeed, you can own a car, and there are a few people who do. But, you can't bring your car into DB. Car owners have to permanently park their cars outside (Tung Chung is popular) and take a bus through the tunnel home.

    2. There is a manned checkpoint (24/7) at the tunnel entrance. Private cars cannot come in. Some private transfers can be arranged through transport companies to travel by special hire vehicle from within DB to outside.

    3. The only private cars are for businesses (property agents, renovation contractors etc.) and essential services (doctors, police, fire). Mostly it is free to park golf cart in designated areas in DB. Golf cart numbers are strictly capped (at around 550 for the whole of DB) and so leasing or owning costs are exorbitantly expensive for these vehicles (market forces).

    4. Living in a private car free environment has a lot of good points, and some drawbacks. Prior to having children it suited us very well, and even with one young child it was still quite manageable to be without private transport. With two children, we find we have crossed the threshold where we value the autonomy and convenience of a golf cart highly now. (Groceries + pram with baby + preschooler on public transport I found personally became very difficult).

    Also, while the public transport is good, it is operated on a "hub and spoke" system. So while it is easy and convenient to get from your apartment to the central plaza, journeys from point to point elsewhere in DB need to involve bus to plaza, change to bus which often does not connect, and another bus. There are 10 "hire cars" which operate on point to point basis, but the demand for these has become enormous as the population of DB has increased steadily over the last decade.

    The pros, however, are that the roads and footpaths are much safer than elsewhere in Hong Kong, due to the very low amount of traffic; and we aren't exposed to the terrible HK phenomenon of "idling traffic" thus lessening locally generated pollution.

    I can envisage that we will be golfcart users for another few years, until our children are old enough to be able to use the bus system more easily again. You see this pattern repeated often in DB: families become golf cart users during the time when they have several young children, and later reliquinish them again.

    Hope that helps.
    Last edited by beckveldman; 02-25-2008 at 12:28 PM.

  5. #5
    minainrouge is offline Registered User
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    Wink

    This site is brilliant!!
    Carang, Beckveldman, Bekyboo44, thank you all for sharing your experiences of living at DB~ Those are really useful information~
    Beckveldman, DB is definitely famous in the carfree community! It's also one of the largest!!
    Shanghai is currently building an eco-city on its Chongming Island. For the carfree element of the project, i believe DB provides valuable lessons~
    Thanks again for all your help~
    Best wishes,
    Mina

  6. #6
    bekyboo44 is offline Registered User
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    I'm also impressed that DB is known worldwide for its car free status....go DB!!!!

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