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Culture

Hong Kong’s Pedestrian Mecca Gets the Axe

The raucous pedestrian zone in Mong Kok will reopen to vehicles, following hundreds of noise complaints.
People dance along to a karaoke performance on Sai Yeung Choi Street.
People dance along to a karaoke performance on Sai Yeung Choi Street. Vivek Prakash/AFP/Getty Images

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.