Monday, May 27, 2013

Taipei Bike Commuters need HELP!

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) seems to think of people who ride bicycles as just weekend enthusiasts, content to use the few bike paths available, which are often in need of repair. Nothing is being done to make the city’s roads safe for cycling, police do little to stop taxis and buses from overtaking and nearly crushing bikers, and there are no integrated traffic lanes for cyclists. The river paths are the safest place to ride in Taipei, but they often do not go near the business districts of the city, such as Xinyi District (信義). Full Article here
P.S: was there a bike day in 2013 ? It's May, right (National Bike month, see the picture below for 2012) or did the bike day in Taiwan just die together with the bike lanes.

ECF: Benefits of a bike

Bike rules for (non)-bikers (with comments)

Interesting stuff HERE For non-bikers:
  • 1. Don’t stand in the bike lane when you’re waiting to cross the street. (Happens all the time in Taipei)
  • 2. Look before you open your cab door, and get out of the way quickly after exiting your cab. (yup, I was hit once and the guy geting out of the taxi started shouting at me why I ws not careful enough....)
  • 3. Don’t walk or run in the bike lane (See item 1)
  • 4. Jaywalk with caution (specially in Taipei where motorcycles start driving several seconds before the light goes green)
  • 5. Don’t get offended or angry when cyclists ring their bells at you or yell at you. (Taiwan bikes don't have bells anyhow)
For bikers:
  • 1. Make yourself visible when riding at night (Taiwan bikes don't have lights anyhow)
  • 2. Don’t ride against traffic (We can see this everyday)
  • 3. Don’t ride on the sidewalk (This is controversial as Taipei's only place to bike is the sidewalk)
  • 4. Run red lights with caution (I agree, several traffic lights in Taipei make absolutely no sense for bikers)
  • 5. Don’t bring your bike on the subway during rush hour (exactly why we need bike lanes so bikers don't need to use the MRT!)

It seems the end of the personal owned bike as we know it for Taipei. There are no parking spaces for personal owned bikes, (almost) no dedicated bike lanes in the city or to get in our out the city and (rental) bikes are just for covering the short distance between MRT stations. Though even then it would be good if (junior) high schools in Taiwan start to provide traffic lessons and examinations. It may help a lot for traffic etiquette.

New York Citibike

lot of details in a report HERE and NYC bike information from DOT HERE. some people who don't like it have somethnig to say HERE (Yup, what is wrong with just riding your own bike?) and what about this helmet-less riding... Ouch...and there is an App for it HERE and this did not arrive just like that but like THIS: "We didn’t just drop this bike share system in overnight, she said. We spent five years installing more than 350 miles of bike lanes. Hello Taipei ?

Hsin-Yi Road

You may have seen the change on Hsin-Yi east road . Lot of added side-walk, but not a single space for a bike lane considered. There goes Taipei's committment which is still posted HERE it says "In the future, the bike lane will form a "丰"-shaped bikeway network along downtown's Main boulevards with bike trails next to the newly renovated MRT Songshan Line (Nanjing East Road) and Xinyi Line (Xinyi Road). Mr. Taipei Mayor.. when... 2030?

European Cyclist Federation: Taiwan is not a cycling island

Yet while Taiwan does a brilliant job at exporting bicycles, it’s no longer a place where people commute with pedal power; in a country of 23 million people, Taiwan has 5.7 million cars, 14 million motorcycles, and only 1 million bicycles. Motorised transport dominates the city of Taipei. See more HERE Mayne said cities in Taiwan should allocate more space for cyclists and take bolder steps to improve the environment, citing New York, Paris, London and Vienna as examples of cities that are doing so and upon which Taiwan could model itself.bicycle-friendly cities usually have speed limits of below 30 kilometers per hour, he said, citing German and Dutch cities as examples. HERE But why do the Dutch bike and English folks don't? See HERE