Sat, Aug 11, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Councilor urges Taipei to fix confusing bus lane

`TRAP' An unfinished bus lane has caused drivers to change lanes to avoid it, only to be pulled over by the police for having changed lanes over a double solid line

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The stalled bus lane construction at the intersection of Zhongxiao E Road and Linsen S Road has forced drivers to violate traffic rules, a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilor said yesterday, urging the Taipei City Government to cancel the project.

The bus lane construction along Zhongxiao E Road and Zhongxiao W Road, which began last February, was halted after the city government decided to redesign bus routes around the Taipei Railway Station. This left unfinished the construction of a bus stop and bus lane at the Zhongxiao-Linsen intersection.

The unfinished bus lane has caused confusion for many drivers, some of whom have changed lanes to avoid the unfinished bus lane only to be pulled over by the police for changing lanes over a double solid line, DPP Taipei City Councilor Hsu Chia-ching (徐佳青) said.

"The stalled construction has become a trap for drivers. People should not be victims of the Taipei City Government's indecisive and lousy bus lane policy," she said yesterday in front of the unfinished lane.

Hsu said the city's police had issued more than 200 tickets since last September to drivers who thought they were not allowed to drive in the bus lane and therefore switched lanes.

In response to Hsu's call for the city government to refund the traffic fines and put up signs informing drivers about the lane, Chen Ching-cheng (陳慶誠), an officer from the city's Department of Transportation, said the department would change the double solid line to a dotted line on Monday to allow drivers to change lanes without violating traffic regulations.

Chen Shao-hsu (陳少旭), a division chief at Taipei City's Police Department, said the department had not been aware of the problem and would refund the fines.

Drivers who have been fined for changing lanes out of the bus lane at the Zhongxiao-Linsen intersection should write or call the police for a refund, Chen Shao-hsu said.

Hsu urged Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) to cancel the Zhongxiao Road bus lane project, which Hsu said had cost the city government more than NT$38 million (US$1.1 million), and put an end to former mayor Ma Ying-jeou's (馬英九) "incompetent" traffic policy.

In response, Hau said the city government would stick to its plan to redesign the bus routes around Taipei station before continuing the construction project.

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