Sun, Jul 22, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Chairs are hot issue: legislator

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

A metal park bench is pictured in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Liu Jung, Taipei Times

A Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City councilor yesterday asked the city government to replace metal chairs in municipal parks as high summer temperatures mean the public seating facilities could burn people.

DPP Taipei City Councilor Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) inspected the facilities at a local park in Xinyi District (信義) yesterday morning and thermometers showed that the steel chairs in the park reached 53oC, melting butter and chocolate that were placed on the chairs within seconds.

“Many residents have complained to me about the installation of metal chairs in the park. On such a hot summer day, it is almost impossible to sit on these chairs, which can be dangerous because people can be burned by sitting on them,” she said.

Information provided by Taipei City’s Parks and Street Lights Office showed that there are 8,176 chairs located at 205 parks in Taipei. Of all the park chairs, 2,981 are plastic, 2,430 are made of stone and 2,213 are wooden — while there are 552 metal chairs.

Each metal chair cost about NT$6,000 and the city government spent about NT$700,000 to set these up in parks across the capital though most of the metal chairs were established in older parks around Shilin (士林) and Beitou (北投) districts, Wu said.

A local resident surnamed Lin who was exercising in the park complained that the chairs are poorly designed and set up, as most of them were placed in spots without shade.

In response deputy director of the office’s Nankang branch, Chang Shu-ling (張淑玲), acknowledged the poor planning and said that metal chairs are being replaced with plastic and wood alternatives. She promised to complete an inspection of all public chairs within two months and replace old ones before gradually eliminating all metal chairs in parks.

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