Taipei, a model of Bicycle City
Nation TV, 27 March 2016
Prof. Emeritus Thongchai Panswad
It took more than 20 years to develop bikeways in Taipei City, the seat of administration of Taiwan, making it being recognized as one of the world’s top bicycle cities. Now Taipei has more than 379 km. of urban bikeways and 112 km. of riverside bikeways. This excludes another 64 km. of urban bikeways and 358 km. of riverside bikeways in the New Taipei City, a separate but adjacent city divided mainly only by a river. It’s therefore worth looking into factors that enabled Taipei to develop its bikeways.
According to Prof. Emeritus Thongchai Panswad, Ph.D., Founder and President of Thailand Cycling Club (TCC), a major factor contributing to that success is a complete mass transport system. Prof. Thongchai who just came back from leading the biggest delegation ever from TCC to attend Velo-city Global 2016, the world’s cycling summit, in Taipei co-organized by the European Cyclists’ Federation, the world’s largest network of more than 80 non-governmental organisations in more than 40 countries that promote cycling of which TCC is a member, and Taipei City Government, also pointed out that not only having right direction of town planning and development policy, but also strict enforcement of law to prevent trespassing of footpaths and bikeways, and limit speed of motorized vehicles in the city are essential. He revealed these facts during an interview given to Nation TV at the 4th Thailand Bike and Walk Forum, an annual conference to promote walking and cycling in daily life at Bangkok Art and Culture Center in Bangkok on March 25, 2016.
Nation TV also learned from Dr.Thanapong Jinwong, Director of the Road Safety Research Center, at this forum that in the past two years, death toll on footpaths was double while casualties of bicycle users accounted to 3 per cent of those perished on roads, mainly because of speeding by motorists and motorcyclists.
The ministry of Interior and the Thai Health Promotion Foundation are now applying bikeway development concept from Taipei as a strategy to promote cycling in daily life among Thai people through the One Track, One Park and One Route Project, where each province is encouraged to construct at least a specific bike track for exercise and training, a bikeway in a public park and a cycling route for tourism and recreation, to turn a public policy into concrete action to promote cycling.
See a video clip of this news broadcast by Nation TV on March 27, 2016 here: http://www.nationtv.tv/main/content/politics/378495472/