Yeah, every time I return to the US or just about anywhere else, it takes me a while to get used to the fact that cars will stop to let me cross the street. I am always ready to go through the street-crossing ritual when I disover (again) that there is no such ritual outside of Taiwan. Pedestrians simply have the absolute right of way wiich is absolutely observed.
One good thing about living/driving in Taiwan: I can now park a car where I would have never thought a car could fit!
In the past couple of weeks, cops have been frequently ticketing for this offense (as well as for illegal rights on a red) at Jilong-Zhongxiao (SE corner) and at a ped xing on the south side of 101. :bravo: It's about BLOODY time.
But they are only doing it to try and fill out the end of year bonus coffers, it is not as if they are doing it for real enforcement reasons.
Yeah, you're probably right.
Who cares why they're doing it as long as they're doing it right? I wish the lazy gits would get up off their collective arses here in Sinjhuang and start doing that.
Although they have been catching the scooter punks running the reds and not wearing helmets lately.
My wife was threatened by a driver when he almost ran her and my son over, then stopped and shouted at her for being irresponsible for not knowing how to walk our child over a zebra crossing. She yelled back that he was a poor and selfish driver and she had to run and take shelter in an adjacent supermarket when he was getting out of his car to sort her out in the street.
The lights are totally out of wack at zebras. They should stop the cars whilst peds cross the road and not allow them to merge. It is impossible at some intersections for both traffic to continue and pedestrians to cross without squeezing past each other.
If you can cross a road in TAiwan , you can cross a road Anywhere !
If you can drive in Taiwan, you can drive Anywhere!
If you can sleep in TAiwan , you can sleep Anywhere !
If you can survive in Taiwan , you can survive Anywhere !
YOu have got to have eyes on the back of your head and a seventh sense to keep your skin in TAiwan. You have to be able to associate with banshees and all kinds of nearhumans as well.
Taiwans got it all, danger, excitement, reasons for anger management, brief periods of bliss, living with total abandon and ignorance. You get subjected to every known and unknown smell that exists in the known universe (and some in the unknown). You are in constant danger, either from typhoons, earthquakes, the traffic or bad beer it seems
But face it, you LOVE it, cuz you are a SURVIVOR !!
Will things ever change? NOt likely. YOU have to adapt. Thing is, when you do? Then you are unsuited to go and live elsewhere.
Just jaywalk. You know you want to. And it's much safer.
Pedestrian crossings in Taiwan are nothing more than a monumental waste of white paint.
NOt safe in USA either. This poor young girl was just killed while walking on a sidewalk with her mother by a drunk driver in the middle of the afternoon. Terribly sad !
And this is not the only one of its kind around here. I have read of several more similar in the last few years.
I guess you have to watch all around you, wherever you are. And be mindful AT ALL TIMES.
Oops, spoke too soon. I saw them regularly pulling motorbikes over after turning right on a GREEN and crossing recklessly through a thicket of pedestrians on the zebra, and ASSUMED the cops were ticketing them for not yielding.
Then I noticed (after seeing this pattern continue for a month or two) that they were only pulling over the ones who had come up from the northboud underpass (which has a no right turn sign) and not the ones who came up from City Hall, even if the latter cut pedestrians off on the zebra.
So they weren't ticketing for failure to yield to pedestrians after all.
Therefore the police don't give a shit about pedestrian safety :fume: , and only care about whether right turns are being made legally.
But we knew that already. :loco:
and even when I approach them when on traffic duty and point out blatant violators (red running, no helmet, three on a bike, no mirrors, etc) stopped directly in front of them, they start giving ME the once over. useless. but i get my kicks from doing that, and hopefully some slow awakening of the correct responsibility of his job will occur. unless the policeman decides one day he's had enough of my constant face-loss-provoking comments and runs ME over.
In my visits to Taiwan I have seen scooter cops blow past stop signs only to cut off pedestrians many times.
I first visited Taiwan in 2005, my first time away from USA, save for Canada/Mexico; and I keep a journal in which I noted things I found strange/interesting. One of the first was when I was writing about traffic, and the way its' flow differs from USA (namely what this subject describes) and no sooner did a scooter cop totally blow a stop sign, but cut off pedestrians in mid-intersection so they had to stop for him.
I have been to visit, so don't have the length of experience of residents; yet I have been to visit 4 times (a month each time), and I am a walker. I walk a minimum of 6-8km/day, usually 12-15; sometimes 20km/day.
I read about the traffic and all, so was somewhat prepared.
The more I visit the more I realize that it is like a dance performance.
Whereas in USA (as others have stated) when someone is crossing as a ped they have the right of way and are given so. But in Taiwan when someone is crossing, they are but a rock in the river to be avoided, or a bump in the road to be avoided.
That is to say, it seems almost like a dance piece. People move in and out of each other, pause, speed up, whatever the case may be, simply to keep the river of traffic flowing without getting backed up.
If this was a dance it represents a raging river. You flow along the river in a path, your own path; everyone going where they need to go. You just need to keep moving. The multitude of vehicles need to keep moving, and everyone seems to know this, for even when it's time for the foot movers or motorless movers to go they go, yet yield to keep the main flow going, all in a stop, go, pause, hurry mode, whatever they are in.
If every motor vehicle stopped for every crosser, think of the back-up that would occur...scooters, taxis, maybe even buses on their mad agendas would have to blow past; like the water in a river hitting a boulder. It doesn't stop, it passes over it or by it, continuing its' endless flow.
As I spend more time in Taiwan I really see it as a subliminal choreography. Everyone knows their place, they know the others' place, they know the layout, and all move in a flow I have found fascinating.
I have only seen a couple scooter bumps where one falls over. This amazes me. If it were not for all players to know their spot on this dance floor it would be sheer madness and bloodshed.
How many times I have seen traffic totally ignore an ambulance with sirens blaring and lights flashing only to be ignored by the multitudes of vehicles?!!! And people expect to be able to walk across an intersection? Ambulances/ Emergency vehicles should come first in terms of yielding; yet these cases don't even count for many, many motorists!!
I walk with caution. I look both ways, twice, three times. I find it works for Taipei.
I'll be back in the autumn for another month, and actually look forward to one of my favorite passtimes as I journal; that is, sitting outside my hostel watching the traffic flow like a giant river dance.
Thats one way to look at it. Only thing is there are no rehersals, every move is real time and a mis-step can be deadly.
true, but that is why i think it is a 'subliminal dance'.
the child holding the parents' hand learns how to cross the street.
the child sees the scooter, taxi, bus, lexus coming, but mom/dad crosses, or doesn't cross. the child gets the rhythm.
that is why no rehearsal needed each day;
life is the rehearsal, and people seem to perfect it each day.
flow or be cast ashore!
I will run/stop to avoid the freakin cars/trucks, no sense committing suicide. but these darn scooter drivers that try to run me over when I;m crossing the zebras on a green light, I have no more tolerance. Yes, they may injure me when they hit me, but I'm a big guy, with many years of training, and I often carrying my long steel tipped umbrella. I have now committed to take them out in the process. :fume:
I now actually look foward to, and enjoy crossing the street by my apartment. I have switched from being the hunted, to the hunter. Nothing like a nicely timed and well rooted ridge hand to the chest of an arrogant Taiwanese scooter driver! I have dreams of launching into a full flying side thrust straight into the oncoming losers. All in the name of self defense of course!
They leave me alone, I leave them alone. Simple. They disrespect and try to harm me, I take appropriate measures.
I think we can all have a little fun with this. Maybe carry some spray paint and paint them liberally as they drive by! Or how about a squirt gun, a little water to eyes or face should do the trick. Or how about taking your baseball bat held in ready position and staring them down with a great big smile!
No I'm convinced its much more fun to become the hunter than it is being the hunted! They don't care about killing or injuring people, then they fully deserve what they get.
JUSt watch out for the scooter punks who carry machetes and travel in groups. YOu may knock over one or two, but theres more to be wary of. JUSt be warned.
yeah Homey, go get 'em!
I guess it depends what kind of a mood I am in. Mostly I saunter along, weaving, ebbing and flowing...
But if I am cranky, I will/and have waved my umbrella at them. Although my stupid OK umbrella at US$4 that folds down does not do much; so I usually walk on without even being noticed.
Usually I am patient and go with the flow, but sometimes when it happens over and over I get a bit irritated. Sometimes it is so blatant that I just say WTF?
I take my rights as a pedestrian seriously, as it seems you do, so press on.
I think I need to buy a serious umbrella when I return in November. I will cross the street like Charlie Chaplin, spinning it and twirling it, and if someone cuts me off to the point where I know what they had for breakfast, it just may twirl right upside their head. Oops. Sorry, but I have the 'right of way'.
Right of way. yeah, use it or lose it.
Thanks for the warning Tommy. I'll stick to only dropping the old ladies!
haha, but you drop an old lady you gotta nurse her back to health? Better to just jump outa the way and chase young hot babes that TAiwan is famous for?? Just an idea.