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May 30, 2017

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New Taipei City expressway irks Taipei

The New Taipei City Government has begun constructing an expressway along the northern bank of the Tamsui River, which, once completed, is expected to affect traffic in the Guandu (關渡) area of Taipei, drawing uniform objection from Taipei City councilors.

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday that as long as the expressway affects Taipei and the rights of Taipei residents, he will object to it. The mayor went on to say that he will speak to Eric Chu (朱立倫), his New Taipei counterpart, in the near future, and express the concerns of residents in Beitou (北投) and Shilin (士林).

"Sections of the expressway reaching Taipei will not be constructed without my approval," Hau stressed.

New Taipei began constructing the expressway on Oct. 17 within its city parameters, but it neglected to communicate thoroughly with Taipei authorities about the expressway's connection to the capital, Hau added.

A majority of Taipei City councilors said yesterday that New Taipei began construction without considering the effects on Taipei, adding that they will ask New Taipei to alter the expressway's designs to resolve possible traffic jams in Beitou.

Taipei Councilor Lai Su-ru (賴素如) said the expressway will help alleviate traffic jams between Zhuwei and Tamsui, which are in New Taipei, but cause traffic jams in Guandu, meaning that the problems of New Taipei will be thrown over to Taipei.

New Taipei Deputy Mayor Lee Shu-chuan (李四川) said yesterday that his government understands Taipei's concerns over the expressway, and that New Taipei will continue to communicate with Taipei. Lee added that the issue should be looked at from a holistic perspective instead of being reduced to hairsplitting details.

Lee stressed that according to New Taipei's assessment, traffic on Provincial Highway No. 2 (台二線), which starts from Guandu Bridge, and Dadu Road (大度路), a major artery of Beitou, will not become worse once the expressway is completed.

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