Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei: Part III

Upon my return to Paris after a ten-day stint in Taiwan working with local colleagues in support of several on-going collaborative city projects there, and in particular in support of this year’s 10th anniversary Car Free Day program in Taipei City, I received the following letter from the Commissioner of Transportation commenting on their follow-up and plans for the year ahead. (Note: For the first part of this report, click here.) It is highly satisfying to see this steady expansion and achievement when it comes to innovation in support of more people-oriented initiatives and services. If you are looking for a good example from Asia, we suggest that you consider putting Taipei on your list.

Taipei City. 1 November 2011

Dear Eric,

On Sep 22nd, we achieved an impressive conclusion of the 2011 Taipei Car Free Day. We are very appreciative of your participation this year and the suggestions you gave us for building a friendly and sustainable transportation environment in Taipei. We shall keep moving forward.

The 2011 International Car Free Day (CFD) was a very special one for Taipei, not only it is the 10th year since we promoted CFD, but also the world media, including the EMW (European Mobility Week), noticed and reported the progress we have made during these years.

In the past ten years, we have aimed at building a friendly and sustainable transportation environment and devoted ourselves in the relative targets.

In the meantime, the CFD event played an important role in arousing the citizen’s spirit and building a common view among Taipei. By spreading the CFD idea and pushing the related policies, we have made cycling a fashion in Taiwan, achieved the 3.2 million level of daily public transportation with 45% of trips using rate of public transportation in peak time, including by means of integrated multi-information systems and the extension and densification of our public transportation network, with coverage of public transportation availability to the point where 87.5% of the population has a transit stop within the range of 500 meters over all of the city.

We also have achieved an honorable record of performance on creating a safe environment for children to walk to school, and received the creativity award of the Road Traffic Safety Committee of MOTC (Taiwan) for this performance.

While we have successfully achieved solid performance on promoting the CFD idea, we are not self-satisfied. We continue to think about how to make a more perfect, ideal city transportation environment.

So we are strongly proactive on the extension of 30km/hr speed-limit zone, optimizing the real-time information system of public transportation, and the advanced “Walk to school” plan which focus on providing a safe access solution for children’s transportation.

Moreover, we are keen to cooperate with other departments in Taipei government (ex. New Construction Office, Department of Civil Affairs, and Department of Social Welfare) in order to improve the pedestrian network and barrier-free transportation infrastructures.

Most important of all, considering the characteristics of traffic and traditional culture are different from Taipei to other international metropolis, building a friendly public transportation system is still the 1st place among other policies in the future. By means of changing the environment, we change the citizen’s choice on transportation modes.

You bring us the CFD+++ which is really a wonderful idea. It will be our goal when planning our CFDs in the future.

With regard to the problems of scooters in Taipei, elevating the taxi service quality and the car sharing policy, these are important issues we are working on and planning to make them come true in the near future. I think we all have the same ideal and objectives: to build a friendly, safety, comfort, and sustainable city.

Many thanks for your participation in the 2011 Taipei Car Free Day, and also for the valuable views and the remarkable report on World Streets. If there’s an opportunity, we are looking forward to meet you again in the future.

Best Regards,

Jason Lin
Commissioner of Transportation

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Eric Britton
13, rue Pasteur. Courbevoie 92400 France

Bio: Founding editor of World Streets (1988), Eric Britton is an American political scientist, teacher, occasional consultant, and sustainability activist who has observed, learned, taught and worked on missions and advisory assignments on all continents. In the autumn of 2019, he committed his remaining life work to the challenges of aggressively countering climate change and specifically greenhouse gas emissions emanating from the mobility sector. He is not worried about running out of work. Further background and updates: @ericbritton | | #fekbritton | | and | Contact: | +336 508 80787 (Also WhatApp) | Skype: newmobility.)

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