Unlike Highways No. 1, 3, 5 and 7, which connect northern and southern Taiwan, the east-west national highways connect rural and urban areas, and the majority of road users are farmers and blue-collar workers, who have to transport agricultural produce or commute between their hometowns and cities, DPP Legislator Hsu Chih-chieh (許智傑) said.
DPP legislators Chiu Chih-wei (邱志偉), who represented Greater Kaohsiung, Liu Chao-hao (劉櫂豪) of Taitung County and Chen Ou-po (陳歐珀) of Yilan County, all said the policy would affect local people’s livelihood.
Furthermore, DPP Legislator Lee Kun-tse (李昆澤) accused the ministry of disregarding a resolution proposed by the Transportation Committee, which demanded the reclassification of the East-West highways.
DPP Legislator Wei Ming-ku (魏明谷) proposed that the plan be postponed until GDP growth surpasses 6 percent, the unemployment rate is lower than 3 percent and national income per capita exceeds than US$30,000 (NT$879,000).
Mao responded that the nation would be mired in a NT$100 billion debt if freeways were changed to express ways.