Fri, Dec 29, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Neihu traffic issues are being solved incrementally: Ko

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) on Tuesday said that traffic congestion in the city’s Neihu District (內湖) could not be solved in one day, but his administration is trying to solve the problems little by little, and that improving public transportation is the critical solution.

Ko made the remarks during a municipal administrative meeting at the Neihu District Office, at which Taipei Department of Transport Acting Director-General Chen Hsueh-tai (陳學台) was asked to report on traffic improvement plans for the district, especially near the Neihu Science Park.

Chen said that Ko had ordered the municipality to solve Neihu’s traffic problems in his first year as mayor.

He said the department had found four main reasons for the problems: The district’s geographical condition means north-south traffic needs to travel through bridges and tunnels; a large number of people commute to the district’s science park; it is connected by only one middle capacity Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) line; and a highway interchange brings through traffic.

Several policies have sought to address the problems, including increasing the frequency of MRT trains on the Wenhu (Brown) Line from every 85 seconds to 80 seconds during peak hours, adding express bus routes from Sijhih (汐止), New Taipei City’s Banciao District (板橋) and Tamsui District (淡水), and widening roads, Chen said.

“Honestly speaking, Neihu’s traffic problems, especially in the Science Park area, are caused by failed urban planning,” Ko said, adding that the district’s population has increased 2.8 times from 100,000 in 1983 to 280,000 at present, but the roads have not been expanded much through the years.

However, the city has made continuous improvements to the traffic, such as by widening Gangqian Road between Zhouzi Street and Ruiguang Road, and such small improvements could add up to a significant overall improvement, he said.

“The average driving speed increased about 10 percent,” Ko said. “People might not feel that, but if it increases by 10 percent everywhere, that could add up to effective improvement.”

“Do not expect all the problems to be solved at once,” he said, adding that not acting is not an option, so the city government would continue to make improvements.

More public transportation is needed if the science park continues to grow, so the city government would evaluate the feasibility of building a north-south transit line, Ko said.

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