Wed, May 21, 2014 - Page 11 News List

Plaza at stele for Taiwan’s geographical center making way for parking lot
地理中心碑將內縮 擴建停車場

The stele for Taiwan’s geographical center is pictured in Puli Township, Nantou County on May 17 last year.
這張去年五月十七日攝於埔里鎮的照片是「台灣地理中心」石碑。

Photo: Tung Chen-kuo, Liberty Times
照片:自由時報記者佟振國

The Puli Township Office is planning to downsize the plaza where the stele for Taiwan’s geographical center stands to make way for more parking spaces. Many trees will have to be relocated, which some residents question as the office taking great pains to build a parking lot so Chinese tourists can loiter there temporarily.

Puli Township Mayor Chou I-hsiung last week said that the office is solving the parking problem at the stele for Taiwan’s geographical center for all tourists visiting the unique tourist attraction, definitely not to serve minority interests. The office will be as circumspect as possible in dealing with the issue and if any of the trees die it will take full responsibility, Chou says.

The stele for Taiwan’s geographical center is a well-known tourist attraction in Puli — a must-see spot for many of the tourists visiting the town. The number of Chinese tourists visiting the area has skyrocketed in recent years. The area lacks a parking lot though, leaving vehicles, scooters and tour buses with no other choice but to park at the small plaza. Tour buses parked illegally letting passengers alight and board are a common sight, causing worries over the area’s scenery and safety.

Last month the office invited Minister of Transportation and Communications Yeh Kuang-shih to survey the area because of plans to diminish the plaza space where the geographical center’s stele stands. The added space, which includes a consolidated area along Chungshan Road where peddlers set up stalls, can accommodate 16 tour buses and solve this formidable predicament. Nevertheless, there are many Southeast Asian China firs and camphor trees in the plaza that are at least 40 or 50 years old. The forced relocation of the trees is raising suspicion among many tree lovers.

TODAY’S WORDS
今日單字

1. downsize v.

縮減;裁減 (suo1 jian3; cai2 jian3)

例: The company will be downsizing at the end of the year.

(公司年底要裁員。)

2. circumspect adj.

審慎的 (shen3 shen4 de5)

例: Be circumspect about who you trust.

(你信任別人要審慎。)

3. predicament n.

窘境 (jiong3 jing4)

例: Your negligence has put the company in quite a predicament.

(你的過失讓公司陷於窘境。)


During a question-and-answer session last week, locally elected representative Ho Hui-chuan requested that Chou take all of the different viewpoints seriously. She also quoted criticism from the Internet, questioning whether Chinese tourists are only getting off buses to use the restroom and take pictures, or actually buying things from local peddlers. Making a brief pit stop in the area brings limited benefits to local tourism, Ho says, adding that if this is indeed the case, she hopes that the office will offer an explanation.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

埔里鎮公所計劃將地理中心碑廣場內縮以增加停車空間,但須移植多株老樹,有民眾質疑公所大費周章移樹建停車場,只讓中國遊客短暫停留。

鎮長周義雄上週強調公所解決地理中心碑停車問題,是歡迎所有遊客造訪全台唯一的特色景點,絕非為少數特定對象服務,公所將以最審慎的方式處理,若造成任何一株樹木死亡,會負責到底。

埔里鎮地理中心碑是知名景點,許多遊客到埔里觀光,地理中心碑都是必遊景點,近年來中客團參觀人數大幅成長,但周邊缺乏停車場,汽、機車、遊覽車只能停小型廣場,常見遊覽車駕駛違規佔用道路讓遊客上下車,景觀、安全都有疑慮。

公所上月邀交通部長葉匡時會勘,計劃將中心碑廣場內縮,多出的空間連同整頓中山路旁攤販,可停約十六部遊覽車,解決一位難求的窘境,但廣場內有多株樹齡至少四、五十年的南洋杉、樟樹等樹木必須移植,引起愛樹人士質疑。

鎮代何惠娟上週質詢時要求鎮長周義雄重視各方不同意見,她也引述網路上的批評,質疑中客到地理中心碑只是下車上廁所、拍照,或到路邊攤販購物,短暫停留,帶動觀光效益有限,是否真是這樣,希望公所說明。

(自由時報記者佟振國)

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