Is it true that, starting in April, any scooters will no longer be allowed to be parked on certain sidewalks in Greater Kaohsiung? In response to an angry mob of scooter owners, the Greater Kaohsiung Transportation Bureau says that the initiative will only be carried out initially for sidewalks less than 3m wide. According to statistics, around 4,600 parking spaces for scooters will be removed. As long as safety is not obstructed, parking spaces for scooters on sidewalks at least 3m wide will not be removed, meaning that about 300,000 of such parking spaces will not be affected.
Over the past two years, the bureau has gradually implemented its policy for removing scooters from sidewalks around the municipality’s five main commercial districts and its 20 schools and colleges. This year the bureau will continue giving impetus to the initiative in areas around Greater Kaohsiung’s 14 hospitals and major thoroughfares, working hard to improve scooter parking.
In order to keep scooters from being parked on sidewalks and help guide people to park at roadsides in an orderly fashion, the bureau amended Greater Kaohsiung’s major points for regulating orderly scooter parking in the municipality at the end of January. The bureau then announced that starting on April 1 it will gradually start implementing the new initiative around mass transit and commercial street areas.
With an estimated 2.2 million scooters, Greater Kaohsiung has more scooters than any other municipality in the nation. Since word about the initiative got out, a surge of scooter owners expressed disapproval because they assumed it means scooters will be removed from all sidewalks.
The bureau’s Parking Management Center last week explained that if a sidewalk is more than 3m wide or roadside parking does not offer enough space, scooters can still be parked on the sidewalk as long as it does not pose a safety risk. Apart from sections of road with public signage prohibiting parking, scooters will still be allowed to be parked on sidewalks without parking stripes that are located in front of local tenement buildings (qilou) which are managed by the owner. This means that the more than 300,000 parking spaces for scooters located in front of tenement buildings, on sidewalks or roadsides will not be affected by the initiative.
The center says that the initiative, which goes into effect in April, is only for sidewalks that are less than 3m wide. An investigation of scooter-parking supply and demand will also be conducted, the center says, adding that suitable roadside parking spaces will be arranged first, with an estimated 4,600 parking spaces for scooters set to be removed.
(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)