Bike path problems in Taipei


#21

You just described reverse culture shock…anyhoo.
Did you get compo for him wrecking your bike? Could have been much worse, are you the guy that was knocked unconscious or was it somebody else?
Part of it is how the bike lanes and paths are dual use on the riverside,'would be better to segregate but difficult in parts I know.


#22

[quote=“StiffUpperLip”]I’m a tiny bit uncomfortable with the notion the OP is merely suffering from culture shock, since coming from an outside culture can make you aware of things locals don’t notice simply because that’s the way things always have been for them. I recognise everything he describes. Myself, I come from Scotland where the drinking culture is bordering on out of control: before I came to Taiwan, I didn’t think that much about it, but now that I’ve been away for a couple of years, it seems pretty bad. I’m sure there are Taiwanese who, after returning home after a few years elsewhere, might find things back home they wish were different - like the transport culture.

I understand OP’s point of view entirely, having had a carbon bicycle completely totalled last year by a guy who came racing - and I mean, racing - around a corner on the bicycle paths and straight into me. I was reminded of it taking a walk on the seaside front at Danshui the other day, when a local in racing gear and on a fancy carbon bike zipped and swerved through the late evening crowds at some considerable speed. That he didn’t smack into anyone in the dark is a minor miracle. In the last week I’ve seen two scooter accidents just in the streets near me. Can things change? I don’t know, but I certainly hope so. When I last lived here, 2008-2010, you couldn’t get a decent beer to save your life. Now there’s little bars serving craft beer all over the place. Back home in the UK, the cycling culture is still struggling to take off, being perceived as a predominantly white, middle-class activity, so if there’s a problem, it’s certainly not just here.

In the meantime, there are, as others have pointed out, areas of cycle path outside of Dadaocheng that are almost completely empty. Unfortunately, the chap who totalled my beautiful white Giant carbon Defy was the only other person on the path at that time - although judging by his speed, he clearly thought he was alone.[/quote]

You mentioned drinking two times in that post about bicycle paths. I can respect that.


#23

im living down in banqiao, the river parks are pretty nice. it takes a while to get to taipei though, not sure if i will be cycling to taipei often. i found the park roads to be wide enough to navigate away from people if needed and people use bells if there are people in the way. to be honest it works better than the system for walking on the street. i need a bell to make idiots get out of my way when i am walking around!

i’m willing to forgive the slack rules about riding because of that, and because there are not set bike paths everywhere. some roads are good and some roads are not. if there were consistent and safe bike paths all over the city it would be fine. but there are not. so alot of the time i need to ride on the pavements. luckily there are a decent amount of wide pavements around so i can get around well enough without getting in peoples way and i just avoid the crowded streets. if people are riding and i am walking, well they need to get out of my way simple as that. i don’t take up most of the pavement like some people here so there is no excuses to get in my way. i dont have the same idea as locals that anything on wheels has priority over me.

i’ve been pretty happy since i got my bike, its alot more fun and useful than riding back home in the uk. i think partially because you can find almost everything you need in your neighborhood here, so i can get around pretty quickly. things are much more spaced out back home.


#24

You need to check out this video from Japan. The last 30 seconds are the best part, so don’t skip the end.


#25

That video makes me think:

  1. Where can I get one of those bells? and

  2. How can I replace every pedestrian in Taiwan with pedestrians from Japan?

Guy


#26

[quote=“afterspivak”]That video makes me think:

  1. Where can I get one of those bells? and

  2. How can I replace every pedestrian in Taiwan with pedestrians from Japan?

Guy[/quote]

  1. I just contacted the Youtuber, he said he can ship intl, the item is limited edition so each one is 100,000NT. I bought two.
  2. Buy the second bell I bought and you’re well on your way.

#27

You need to check out this video from Japan. The last 30 seconds are the best part, so don’t skip the end.


[/quote]

brilliant! i want to try it here.


#28

That bell sounds exactly like the bells used in this video. (Okay, it’s Friday and I’m just looking for an excuse to be goofy. Ranley, I think we’ve got a theme song for the Forumosa Cycling Club.)


#29

Another vow by the Taipei Government to enforce bike path laws

http://english.gov.taipei/ct.asp?xItem=273289154&ctNode=8472&mp=100002

I have seen an increase in ubike commuters despite the cold weather. Hopefully this will change the bad habits of some people.


#30

Other than posting on Forumosa nothing has done more to erode my trust in humanity than riding the bike paths of Taiwan. Now when I’m looking in a person’s eyes I’m thinking somewhere in the back of my mind, ‘Is this person going to make a hard 90 degree turn in front of me at any moment without looking?’


#31

The sidewalks are one of the safest places for bicycles. Riding on the streets are dangerous in places.


#32

With a handful of exceptions, the bike paths in Taipei (I am speaking here about the urban ones running parallel to major thoroughfares, not the river paths) are poorly constructed, dangerously bumpy, and too narrow to comfortably accommodate passing bicycles.

At various times, they are also blocked by parked scooters, office dudes having a smoke, illegally parked cars swinging open their doors into the paths, and of course Taipei’s time-honoured habit of clueless pedestrians sauntering in them.

If they improve the bike paths, I’ll gladly use them. In the meantime, physician: heal thyself!

Guy


#33

This is the part I really don’t get. I’ll be riding along one and I’ll see an oncoming bicycle, and … now what? I’m never sure if I’m on the wrong side of the road and should be on the opposite sidewalk, or if they’re just crap design.


#34

Not all the urban bike paths are too narrow–but many are. It’s crap design. If the paths are well designed, we’ll take them–why wouldn’t we? Fix the paths before blaming the cyclists for following alternative routes!

Guy


#35

Getting a nice bell on the handle bars made a world of difference. It was amazing how effective it was at arousing fellow riders from their stupors.


#36

This really depends on what street, but I can’t disagree that the sidewalks/bike paths are relatively safer than the street.

However, if you know the city well enough, you know what streets are better to ride a bike on. For example, I personally avoid Zhongxiao and Civic Blvd. I think Nanjing and Xinyi are ok to ride your bike on.

Most of the time, if the road has a dedicated bus lane and a fast car lane, it’s a little safer to ride your bike on that road.


#37

I tried riding a bicycle on the street once, and definitely wouldn’t do it again. The bigger vehicles, especially the buses, just can’t see you. And unlike on a scooter, you don’t have the power to accelerate out of dangerous situations. I’ve seen riders (both bicycle and scooter) run over by buses on more than one occasion, and it’s not a pretty sight.


#38

Yes, agreed. The street isn’t really a place for slow moving cyclists. ESPECIALLY those Ah Ma, Ah Bei and Ah Yi on their wet market bikes. They could be worse than scooters since they are moving at snail speeds and are most unpredictable.

As a road cyclist, we normally pick the less busy, wider and dedicated bus lane roads. This way we really only have to worry about the scooters and cars. Yes, the riverside is their, but when you live in Song Shan and have to go to the zoo, there’s no way we take the bike path around Taipei.


#39

Friday I rode the river bike path from Daxi to Dingpu to get the MRT.
I started in Longtan, so it was a 33k ride each way - all for a pint of green beer at beer and cheese on Keelung Road!
And some Irish music and conversation.

Anyway, the path was great!
Coming back at night though, 12:30am to 2:30am in the pitch black was sketchy. Very few street lights, which I really don’t think are justified anyway.
My headlights were adequate for 20kph on that path.

I have no point to make here, just wanted to contribute that bit of info.

Geoff


#40

Did a trip from Danshui to Shih-men reservoir yesterday, down and up the bike path all the way till Sanxia where it ends.

Now, one can have complains, but tell me of any other country where you can bypass a 8 million people city without even noticing it!
I think it is great, well maintained, and rather empty if you choose your right hours.

The most annoying road user was a different creature this time, a rather fat and grown Naja Atra trying to cross the bike path between Tucheng and Sanxia.
Slittered back into some tree roots after I nearly missed him.