Saturday, September 26, 2009

What would you do if you where the MOTC ?

Here is my summary of things I would do.

1. Enforce all bikes to have lights and bells installed on January 2011

2. Enable regulation for approved lights and bells (electrical and mechanical ones)

3. Define a common sound for bike bells

4. Install bike traffic lights to allow bikers to turn right on specifc corners when light it red
for cars/motorcycles

5. Enforce heavy ticketing for cars on the bike lanes

6. Enforce heavy ticketing for illegally parked cars on high traffic N/S bound lanes (eg Fu-Xing..)
- Lot of those stores have staff outside to watch for police

7. Bikers should stick out their hand when turning (recommendation, no law enforcement)

8. Install more bike parking areas

9. Speed up the number of bike lanes on N/S roads. Cost down.

10. Create Bus islands (right now, bus/taxis' loadingoffoading is dangerous and lane is much
to narrow. Chance to hit an opening door or exiting passenger is high.

More to come..

Taiwan as a Bike Haven

President Ma Yin-jeou urged the MOTC to enact biking regulations and traffic rules to protect the rights of bikers. The guidelines are for riders to ride safely, said Hsieh Cheng-kuan, who is the chairman of the association of bicycle safety. Riders should keep their bikes 30 to 50 centimeters away from the road lanes, notify nearby riders with their bike bell before cutting in lines, and be aware of the surroundings especially the rear bikes and vehicles.

News here

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bike lanes one of the "three strikes" ?

The author of this article claims the Tun-Hua bike lane is one of the three big failures ("strikes") in Taipei.

News Article here

I wonder the author of this article ever rode his/her bike on Tun-Hua road. It's a very very big improvement and a nice ride, except for the narrow parts where private cars, buses load/unload (special near the Chang-Gung hospital), or where taxis drivers have their midday nap or have their lunch-box when parked in the middle of the bike lanes. (it's happens!). More physical separation could help (to avoid being intimidated by those screaming 60-70km/h racing and waving from left to right motorcycles, any fines for those?, and how about the ever slow driving taxi's looking for pick ups blocking bikers, changing their speed slow to fast, turning in front of bikers intimidating them intentionally or non-intentionally?)

The truth is that there is not much space due to the wide middle lanes on Tun-Hua Road. (For the majority of road, Taipei City provides road priviliges mainly to motorized traffic and not human power driven equipment)

This author blames the bike failure on lack of police and it seems the author prefers to live in a police state instead of focussing on the education of the population . For example the meaning of the colors of the bike lanes and expected fines for violation (e.g a commercial on TV?) . Why not add taxation on owning a motorcycle? Why not provide free service for bikers when their bike has a problem, Why not provide more separate bike parking and less motorcycle/car parking, these benefits could provide reasons to use a bike. No benefit, no change!, or No increased burden, no change!

Simple Conclusion, it's Taipei own citizens and users of the road who cause the failures of good incentives such as the bike lane. (this is inline with people themselves normally being the major cause of many issues in society) The number of bike lanes is growing to slow. Hsin-Yi road and many others North/South and East/West are road that should have the lanes. More bikes lance result in more awareness

Going back to "shared space " without rules is a no-no, not as long as there is no traffic discipiline build in into Taiwans road user's behavior.

Interesting is the article on China post is posted by the "The China Post news staff". too worried to post a name in a news website?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Light(s) in the tunnel ?

Pretty lights were installed in this tunnel. The right lane here is a motor-cycle lane. The reality is, motorcycles don't use it and scream at 50 to 70km/h in the middle of the car lanes or just along bikers. The pavement is still not good to cycle. Is there some money left to improve safety and change the lane to a bike lane? For example reduce to one wider car lane and the rest to a bike lane with a physical barrier in between?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

How Sao Paulo does it

Do we need a U-bike if you can BYOB (Bring Your Own Bike?). When every MRT will have a space to park your own bike? The U-bike is mainly attrractive for, you guessed. .. tourists... Find the movie here

How NYC is getting ahead of TPC

How New York is making progress (and Taipei not really). Adds in Taiwan for driving? Free helmets? Never heard of here in T(ai)P(ei)C(ity).
News here

How Taxi drivers are getting away with it

Does this make sense? News here. The good guys get punished, the bad guys walk away free. It happen to me once I had to break for a passenger coming out of a taxi parking far way of the sidewalk, the woman in a very fancy dress shouted at me "why you bike so fast !!!" (Actually I was much slowed down for a traffic light the taxi was parked in the front of). Her husband (or lover, whatever) came along asking if I was alright. Well maybe she got a bad day..