Thu, Jul 09, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Taipei government draws flak over bus station plan

USER UNFRIENDLY A councilor criticized the city's decision to drop a ramp for wheelchair access in favor of a driveway for a planned hotel in the same building

By Mo Yan-chih  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taipei City Government drew criticism yesterday for scrapping a planned wheelchair ramp at Taipei Bus Station.

Scheduled to open later this year at the intersection of Chengde Road and Huayin Street, the bus terminal will be the city's largest and is expected to ease traffic congestion around Taipei Railway Station. The 24-story building will also feature shops, a movie theater and a hotel.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Yu-mei (陳玉梅) said yesterday that the city government had agreed to scrap a ramp for wheelchair access in favor of a driveway for the hotel.

In addition to ignoring the needs of disabled passengers, this would increase congestion on Chengde Road as cars turn into the driveway, Chen said.

Chen said the plan also involved tearing down a pedestrian bridge at the intersection of Civic Boulevard and Chengde Road to make way for the driveway.

“The city government is clearly tearing down the bridge to benefit buseinesses. We cannot tolerate such an action by the city government,” she said outside the station.

Chen also criticized the city government for failing to open the station last month as promised.

Yeh Ching-hsian (葉清獻), a division chief at the Urban Development Department, said the department would discuss the matter with the contractor, but did not clarify the fate of the wheelchair ramp.

The city's Department of Rapid Transit Systems said buses would exit onto an overpass along Civic Boulevard, preventing further congestion on the boulevard and on Huayin Street and Chengde Road.

Department of Transportation Commissioner Luo Shiaw-shyan (羅孝賢) said this would not cause congestion on the overpass as entrance controls and other measures would be implemented.

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