Thu, Dec 04, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Ko, Chu promise intercity cooperation

COMMUNICATION:Ko Wen-je and Eric Chu pledged to build a platform to facilitate exchanges from the mayors down to department heads to promote development

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je, left, and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu yesterday exchange gifts of books during Ko’s visit to New Taipei City Hall. The books presented were written by the two men.

Photo: Lo Pei-der, Taipei Times

Independent Taipei mayor-elect Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) and New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu (朱立倫) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), who won re-election on Saturday, yesterday pledged to work together to promote intercity development after an hour-long meeting behind closed doors at the New Taipei City Hall.

“The purpose of this meeting is to establish a channel of communication, and we [Ko and Chu] agreed that we will both take part in the forum to promote cooperation between the two cities,” Ko told reporters waiting outside the city hall. “The interactions and exchanges will not be limited to the mayors; department heads in the two cities will also frequently communicate with each other.”

Chu agreed, saying that intercity communication would be smooth and that all projects requiring the cooperation of the two cities would proceed as planned.

The two addressed some controversial issues, such as a plan initiated by New Taipei City to ease traffic conditions in the city’s Tamsui District (淡水) by building an expressway that would pass through Taipei City. Chu and Ko said they would negotiate the details via an intercity platform after they are sworn in later this month.

The Taipei City Government has declined to approve construction of the section of the expressway that passes through the city due to public opposition because it would run through an ecologically sensitive area.

Chu and Ko told reporters that they have been friends for a long time, since they were classmates in university and had both taught at National Taiwan University.

Earlier yesterday, Ko told reporters outside his residence that he would reconsider a plan to demolish the exclusive bus lane on Zhongxiao W Road (忠孝西路) in front of the Taipei Railway Station, which was constructed in 2006 when President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) was the mayor of Taipei. It has never been put to use amid complaints that it would cause traffic problems in the area.

Ko said that after meeting with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌), he learned that the bus lane may be put into use within a few years when the public transportation system is redesigned after a terminal station for the express train service to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport is completed.

“I will look at all the documents and figures before making a final decision on whether to demolish it,” Ko said.

In related news, Ko’s office also announced that it would withdraw all lawsuits against the KMT camp — including Legislator Lo Shu-lei (羅淑蕾) — filed during the election campaign to facilitate reconciliation.

However, Lo said she would not withdraw her lawsuits against Ko.

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