Taipei to add English to doorplates

FOREIGNER-FRIENDLY: Despite some inconsistencies, residents have responded well to the English signs; now 4,451 index doorplates will be added to 24 major streets


Wed, May 14, 2008 - Page 2

By next year, the Taipei City Government will have integrated Romanization of its "index doorplates" on 24 major streets and replaced the numbering street system with the Romanization of street names.

The "index doorplates" are the A3-sized doorplates, which come in various colors, displayed in front of buildings at a 30m interval on 353 roads and streets wider than 12m to help drivers and passengers identify address more easily.

The "index doorplate" system was established in 1999. Today, 8,574 doorplates are displayed throughout the city.

While the transliteration of Chinese road names already appears on most doorplates, the index doorplates on 24 major streets -- including Zhongxiao E Road, Renai Road and Civic Boulevard -- were given Roman serial numbers.

The city government adopted a numbering system on 24 major streets in 2000 under then-Taipei mayor Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九 to help foreigners memorize and identify roads by adding English names on street signs.

Heping E and W roads, for example, were called 1st Blvd, while Xinyi Road became 2nd Blvd.

Democratic Progressive Party Taipei City Councilor Huang Hsiang-chun (黃向群 criticized the Taipei City's Civil Affairs Department on Monday over the baffling doorplate Romanization systems and urged the department to review the Romanization of index doorplates.

An English index doorplate on second section of Bade Road, Huang said, read "Sec 2 Bade Rd." On the fourth section of the road, however, the doorplate became "6th Blvd."

Huang Lu Chin-ru (黃呂錦如), commissioner of the department, acknowledged yesterday that the incoherent Romanizations were confusing. He promised to use Romanization on the 24 major streets by next year.

The department will also add 4,451 index doorplates on 24 major streets, as residents have reacted positively to the system, he said.