Sun, May 29, 2016 - Page 3 News List

Netizens back proposal for motorcycle fast lanes

SPEEDING SCOOTERS:‘If motorcyclists were allowed to use the fast lane, they could avoid ... potential dangers and they would be much safer,’ a netizen said

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

A policy to open up more fast lanes for motorcyclists would unnerve motorists, compromising safety, a Taipei City Government official said, sparking an outcry from netizens.

The Taipei Department of Transportation on Friday said that it was considering making more fast lanes available to motorcyclists so that people riding scooters and motorbikes would have more road space, thereby avoiding the hazards associated with cars parked on roadsides, such as people suddenly opening car doors.

However, Taipei Police Department Deputy Commissioner Chen Ming-cheng (陳銘政) said the plan would “put mental pressure on motorists,” and that the department should take car users safety into consideration when assessing the plan.

Transportation department data show that 44 sections of fast lanes in Taipei have been opened to motorcyclists since 2009, including sections along major trunk routes, such as Chengde Road, Zhongxiao E Rd, Nangjing E and Nangjing W roads and Minquan E and Minquan W roads.

Chen’s comment was met with a largely negative response online, with many netizens saying that Chen put car users before motorcyclists.

“If a person had a heavy scooter or motorcycle, no one would be saying it is unsafe,” Facebook user Frank Chen said, adding that there seem to be few people that have an issue with drivers’ rights, even though many of them double-park on the side of roads and do not yield to oncoming traffic when making a turn.

Facebook user Wu Cheng-wei (吳政緯) said motorcyclists are exposed to the dangers of illegal parking, taxis suddenly stopping and buses cutting into the slow lane to pick up passengers.

“If motorcyclists were allowed to use the fast lane, they could avoid these potential dangers and they would be much safer,” Wu said.

The New Taipei City Transportation Department said it has allocated 67 designated motorcycle lanes, as well as reduced the number of lanes on Chongshan Rd in Yonghe District (永和) from three to two, so that motorcyclists are given more space and are less likely to be edged off the road.

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