The government plans to spend NT$3.2 billion (US$101.23 million) over the next four years enhancing the safety and service quality of an around-Taiwan cycling route, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) said yesterday.
In a speech at a Tourism Bureau event in Yilan County to celebrate UN World Cycling Day today, Lin said the government has designated 2021 as the nation’s “Cycling Tour Year,” for which the bureau next year would launch a four-year project to upgrade Cycling Route No. 1 (環島一號線), a 939.5km route that includes Highway No. 1 and Highway No. 9.
The project would begin by enhancing the quality of 25 branch lines on Cycling Route No. 1, including improving the pavement and increasing the number of cyclists’ stops, he said.
The Institute of Transportation and Directorate-General of Highways would contribute to the project, which the bureau would administer, he said.
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) would soon release a manual on the signs and road surface markings that local transportation department officials should follow when designing and designating cycling routes, he added.
The ministry has grouped Taichung and Changhua, Nantou and Miaoli counties into a pilot zone for a well-designed cycling route system, he said.
“We have globally known bicycle brands such as Giant (捷安特) and Merida (美利達) and a well-developed cycling culture. All these are advantages we can use to help us market Taiwan as a destination for cycling tours,” Lin said.
The ministry had budgeted NT$1.6 billion for the four-year upgrading project, but amid concerns that might not be enough, it has asked the Executive Yuan to double the budget to NT$3.2 billion, Lin said later.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said the Executive Yuan would support the ministry’s proposal, as it is line with the Cabinet’s policy to build a 1,000km cycling route.
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