Taipei to enforce fines for bikes on sidewalks


#1

http://focustaiwan.tw/news/asoc/201707160012.aspx

Anyone caught riding on sidewalks (including covered sidewalks) outside of designated bike lanes or on any sidewalks that do not have signs allowing use by both pedestrians and cyclists will be subject to a fine of between NT$300 (US$9.9) and NT$600, according to the Road Traffic Management and Penalty Act.

I like that they’re enforcing it (and seeing it as an issue), but 300-600NT fine? I would add another 0 to the end to scare people. With the current fine amount, it will just be overlooked.


#2

Considering Taipei doesn’t really have any bike lanes on some roads, or they are used as taxi and scooter parking if they exist. What bike lanes exist on the sidewalk are used by pedestrians, this is a dumb idea.

Maybe if they actually had a decent bike lane infrastructure, fined the pedestrians for walking in the bike lanes, or ticketed the vehicles parked in the bike lanes, this might be a good idea.


#3

From the article…

Traffic police will start enforcing the measure on Monday, particularly on major roads such as Xinyi Road, Ren’ai Road, Xinsheng South Road and Roosevelt Road that have a complete network of bike paths, the city’s Department of Transportation said Sunday.

I normally don’t take the bike lanes unless I’m on a Youbike, but I don’t recall seeing too many scooters/cars parked on bike lanes on the major roads.

Maybe more likely to see it in New Taipei?


#4

Also, how about ticketing all the pricks who interpret the green pedestrian lanes (for roads with no sidewalks/pavements) as Free Parking? That’s pretty rampant out in me and @the_bear’s neck of the woods.

Here’s an interesting wrinkle, though.
Given that no license is required to ride a bicycle, and it’s not really illegal to walk around without any ID…

How exactly do they plan to ticket offenders??
Sort of like the perpetual harebrained smoking/littering fines that never make it through the proposal phase.


#5

I saw this on Reddit the other day. I’m actually appalled, it’s a little difficult to put into a coherent paragraph so I’ll just list my petty complaints instead. Numbering format didn’t really work out properly, so don’t mind repeat numbers.

  1. The cycling industry is already bleeding, this hurts interest more than help.

The measure is part of the city’s efforts to promote a cycling protocol as an urban bike lane network is being constructed and the number of cyclists is increasing, the department said.

I’d really like to know where this information is coming from. Personally I see more bike shops closing than opening. The parts store I go to is almost always empty and the repair shop I go to says they’re the only one within a big area because all the other ones closed. Wherever these statistics are coming from, they’re bogus. There’s only an “increase” because it’s summer.

  1. Most bike lanes are clogged with pedestrians, even when the other side is completely open. Pedestrians face no fines, yet cyclists do.

  2. As with most things it’ll only be enforced for a little while and swept under the rug.

  3. Scooters on sidewalks. I see this every day, scooters riding where they don’t belong (not just sidewalks actually). And I have never seen one ticketed, yet someone somewhere really thinks these cyclists tickets will be fully enforced.

  4. Most of all, implementation. The English version of this article is slightly confusing. It says they’ll only be enforcing certain areas where major congestion exists. Between disappearing sidewalks, dangerous roadways, non-existent bike paths, and bike paths that ends abruptly it’s not always night and day understanding where to ride and where to dismount.

I’d love to see them tackling the abandoned bike issue where bikes have been sitting for months, sometimes years in the available outdoor bike racks. Rendering them completely useless.

Perhaps I’m missing the bigger picture since bikes haven’t really been an issue from what I’ve seen. What’s the big difference between some elderly man riding his bike on the sidewalk versus dismounting and walking it?


#6

i find this backwards to the point of being a sad joke.

so many things wrong with it. for a start, scooters on the sidewalk, and driving violations. how about START with enforcing these. this should be number 1 on the list of priority’s, no ifs or buts about it.

then how about the scooter parking, car parking and all the other CRAP piled high on the sidewalk.

even then, the bike paths are inconsistent, lame and full of people (i don’t blame them, its half a side walk not a proper bike lane) if you want people to use your bike infrastructure properly then build a good one. we all knew this half pavement half bikepath bollocks wasn’t going to work very well. if you are going to design something half assed in the first place don’t start enforcing strict rules like its a proper bike path or something.


#7

Could be more in New Taipei. They both run together.

I get that the police are targeting areas where there is a complete network of paths, but enforcement is not limited to just those areas. The only sections of Xinyi Road that I’ve ridden on have bike lanes on the sidewalks. So get the pedestrians out of the bike lanes (this is particularly annoying around 101) and onto the sidewalks first before ticketing cyclists.


#8

I bet they are going to do JACK SHIT.


#9

Yep its just sad.

This is an old society run by wealthy old people who probably drive everywhere. They dont want bikes getting in the way of when they walk and have no interest in the greater good.

One thing ive noticed in Taiwanese democracy, which makes it distinct from Western society is the way that the media and people in general view society as being organized in terms of harmony between different interest groups. They are always talking about the 機車族 (scooter tribe) and the 腳踏車族(cycling tribe) as if they are different factions of society whos wants and complaints need to be negotiated along the lines of which groups numbers are higher or who is more important. I think in Western society we wouldnt compartmentalize in this way and rather just see scooters as polluting and scooter riders as potential bike riders if there was just more incentive.


#10

It’s part of the simplistic way the society and media label things here. The gas scooters everywhere are the biggest problem by a factor of 10. Almost anything that can significantly reduce their numbers would be a good thing.

As usual I laugh as some people complain about cyclists on pavements with bike lanes in Taipei while vast areas of Taiwan don’t even have proper pavements let alone bike lanes!


#11

Finally some sort of law on riding on sidewalks as it is getting out of hand in a lot of areas, hopefully it will actually be enforced but I won’t hold my breath. At the very least if someone gets hit by a cyclist on the sidewalk at least they know they can call the cops and get a fine issued unlike in the past.


#12

Most likely bike sales as well as people signing up for the Youbike system are where they are getting their data from. From my personal observation, I’ve seen much much more people bike commuting compared to 1.5 years ago. I mean, they wouldn’t be building more Youbike stations if there was a decrease in ridership, would they?

Some bike shops open with the intent of serving a low percentage of the cycling population, the lycra clad cyclist in a 50,000NT+ bike. However, these people are a minority of the cycling population. The community is small (in Taipei), so if you get a bad rep from a group of people, you’re pretty much doomed.

I’ve been to a few shops where they took one look at me and knew I couldn’t afford anything in their store and were all snobby to me when I had a few questions to ask. Those stores all did not last too long.

The population knows that it’ll be a long way before they are enforced or as crucial of a law compared to drunk driving. Hell, if you’re out cycling as early as I am at 6-9AM, there’s road blocks for drunk driving at that time too!

Nonetheless, having something there so violators can be punished is better than nothing, right?

According to my cousin, all you need to do is tell them your ID number. Even if it was a traffic violation in a car or scooter.

It still baffles me on how a lot of my family leave the house without any form of picture ID in Taipei.

Exactly.

Granted, it’s not the best system, but at least it’s there and they’re trying to improve it.


#13

Uh, you got me backwards, bub.

I’m sayin that, if they DO stop you for riding on the sidewalk, and you DON’T want to cooperate, what are they going to do? I mean they can’t charge you for driving without a licence like they can with a car or scooter.
And they can’t charge you with not carrying your ID, right?


#14

I assume, that’s a big emphasis on assume, if police officers were to fine people, they would be on the sidewalk/paths themselves with a dash cam on their utility belts/harnesses to have evidence of you violating the regulations. So, if one doesn’t cooperate and there’s clear evidence against them, I assume the penalty is worse than a monetary fine.


#15

I suppose, but you can definitely see the potential for a war of nerves happening, where the perp refuses to ID himself, and then the cop has to, what, face the embarrassment of hauling buddy downtown over a NT$300 tag?


#16

Yeah, I see that going through the popo’s mind, so…they’ll opt to act like they didn’t see it.

But as @SuperS54 said, law could be implemented with the purpose of using it as a grounds for when pedestrian/cyclist collisions happen (in the bike lane). How I see it is, it’s no man’s land right now.


#17

Just saw on Mayor Ko’s FB that they’ll only fine two groups of offenders at present: those that ride in the arcades and those that ride in a dedicated pedestrian zone when there’s a bike lane next to it. All other offenses will just get a warning.


#18

A friend was out the night they started, they were out in force pulling people over.
Sort of.
He said the kids were pulling over and taking the tickets.
The old folks were pretty much flipping them the bird and just riding through.


#19

respect to the old Gs.


#20

The weird thing is (and I ride YouBikes all the time in Taipei, I love them) is that when I’m not on a bike, I can hardly avoid walking in the bike lanes. There’s something strangly hypnotic about the parallel lines, or something. And I’m someone who’s reasonably aware and actually wants to stay out of them. Most people don’t seem to try (or they’re just mesmerized, I don’t know.)