Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei mayoral candidate Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) yesterday outlined his ideas for solving long-term traffic problems in the city’s Neihu District (內湖) that involve adding two sections to the MRT metropolitan railway system and four road construction projects.
The traffic congestion problem in Neihu has over the past few weeks been the focus of a verbal battle between several mayoral candidates, with Chen announcing that he would try to solve it if he were to become mayor.
Chen said two main roots of the problem are that the Sun Yat-sen Freeway (Freeway No. 1) runs through the district, causing congestion on Tiding Boulevard near Tiding Interchange, and that Neihu is connected to other parts of the city by a limited number of bridges.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
After discussing with experts and local representatives, and conducting on-site inspections, the 11 most congested road sections were identified, with Tiding Boulevard having the most congestion, he said.
“Public transportation — the MRT system — is still our top priority,” Chen said, adding that he aims to have the eastern part of the MRT Circular Line completed in eight years.
The planned MRT Minsheng-Sijhih Line would hopefully gain approval by the central government so that construction can begin soon, he added.
Chen said the Sun Yat-sen Freeway is like an artery running through Neihu and congestion on Tiding Boulevard is like a vascular blockage.
He would initiate four main projects to improve the situation, including diverting drivers using the freeway to reach destinations outside the district via other routes, Chen said.
He would seek to improve the northbound ramp at Tiding Interchange to enable drivers to head north without crossing Jiuzhong Road, add ramps connecting Xingshan Road with the freeway’s northbound lane, and guide vehicles from the Neihu Technology Park (內湖科技園區) to the freeway via Ruiguang Road and Xingshan Road.
He would also seek to connect Huandong Boulevard with the freeway, which would enable drivers traveling from Keelung to Taipei’s inner districts to stay on the overpass and improve congestion along Nanjing E Road, he said.
He would further seek to have a 1.5km four-lane underpass constructed to connect Tiding Boulevard and Tayou Road.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), who is also expected to run for mayor, said three of Chen’s projects are linked to the freeway and require cooperation with the Freeway Bureau, while the underpass project poses engineering challenges due to its proximity to Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport), potentially rendering his plans impossible.
Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安), who is the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) mayoral candidate, said he has suggested other solutions to solve the problem along the lines of time, space and transportation.
The time dimension would be starting the construction of the two new MRT sections, the space dimension would be linking the technology park with the Nankang Software Park (南港軟體園區) and the Beitou Shilin Technology Park (北投士林科技園區) to create a technology corridor, and the transportation dimension would be using smart transportation and big data analysis to improve public transportation, he said.
Additional reporting by CNA
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