Thursday, January 9, 2014

Illegal Bicycle Parking Near MRT Stations

Usually the biggest annoyance for pedestrians in Taiwan is scooters parked on sidewalks, but according to the Liberty Times bicycles are also becoming an issue.  While remembering to take any Taiwanese newspaper's claims with a grain of salt, this reflects a pattern in Taipei City's promotion of cycling, where cyclists are permitted to take space from pedestrians but rarely from cars and scooters (Xinyi Rd. is an exception to this, with the removal of scooter parking providing space for cycling).  This discourages walking, the most environmentally friendly form of transport (as well as the safest and healthiest), while leaving drivers with a disproportionate amount of street space.  Of course, Taipei's government can't wholly be held responsible for illegal bicycle parking, but the police admission to only targeting illegally parked cyclists near the Gongguan and Technology Building MRT stations shows some culpability.  Cycling should definitely be encouraged, but more cycling will require taking space from other modes of transportation- and that mode should be automobiles, not pedestrians.

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