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Jiang asks DGBAS to allocate budget toward bike paths

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) yesterday during the Cabinet's weekly meeting requested that the Directorate-General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) prioritize budget allocations for construction of bicycle paths across the nation, noting that he hopes the bike path project will be completed before the end of 2015.

The Ministry of Education (MOE), the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) yesterday jointly delivered a report at the meeting regarding the bicycle path construction project.

Jiang said the total length of bicycle paths in Taiwan has increased from 900 kilometers in 2008 to currently 4,016 kilometers, adding that the well-established bicycle paths have earned a good reputation in international society.

Jiang said he hopes the aforementioned ministries will speed up the progress of constructing bicycle paths in the nation and jointly make cycling around the island a tourist attraction.

The establishment of a bike path around the nation will offer convenience to daily commuters and will also allow tourists to better understand each city's distinguishing features, Jiang said. The project will also boost local economies, he added.

The premier requested that Minister without Portfolio Yang Chiu-hsing (楊秋興) establish a cross-ministry platform to work on the project, hoping Yang will serve as a mediator among ministries and assist in bringing about the project's completion within one and a half years.

The MOE said around 2.45 million people in Taiwan go cycling on a regular basis, noting that the ministry has arranged 78 weekend cycling events with over 10,452 people participating.

The MOTC said it will integrate the information and service of railway stations, bus stations, scenic areas, restaurants and hotels to better promote the cycling environment in Taiwan.

May 16, 2014    curtisakbar@
The biggest problem is the lack of information. To my knowledge there isn't a single place that lists all the bike paths around Taiwan. If you want to cycle in Taoyuan you need to go to the Taoyuan government/tourist board websites to find maps but if you are crossing districts/counties/cities then you need to go to the other websites to find the maps. Why can't there be a single map for all of Taiwan?
May 17, 2014    ludahai_twn@
Bike paths useful to commuters? There isn't a single bike path in Taichung, Taiwan's third largest city, that is useful to a commuter on a road bike.
May 22, 2014    happy.chatting@
Biking in Taiwan is mainly directed towards tourism and only useful for some weekend fun (as long as you don't get agitated being pushed away and blocked by taxi's, buses and trucks etc..) Only for doing some errands in Taipei the U-bike is an option.
The meaning of true bike commuting (work to office/school) is something not understood in Taiwan. There is no evidence of these 4K bike roads, perhaps the sidewalks in Taipei are included. Too many obstructions in the way for normal bike speed and it's too dangerous with all the dangerous driving buses, trucks, motorcycles and cars around. Just look at (the new) MRT entries blocking any way to bike on Hsin-Yi or Chung-Hsiao road. Taiwan bike rules changes happen often and are not communicated well to the pubic. People don't get any bike etiquette training how to ride safe giving the bike a wrong image. True physically separated bike lines are sparse. The MOT just thinks they can get away easily by painting a bike sign on the sidewalk and a small strip for bikes at road crossings only. That is not a true bike infrastructure but just a cover on the wound to say "Hey Mayor and President, see what a good job our department did!". (and give me my bonus now, please) It will be impossible to see Taipei transform biking as a speedy COMMUTING alternative even in the next 10 years with the current infrastructure.
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