Is traffic the worst part of Taiwan's lingering third worldism?

An excuse, if you look at Japan or Singapore which rains a lot but has cleaner non third world look. Some areas in Kao, like MeiSuGuan look clean but its new I hope the upkeep will keep it looking good. Some parts of “NEW” Taipei look not very new from poor upkeep.


In my proposal,

One set of overhanging, horizontal lights for 4-wheel vehicles and @TT’s motorcycle, [ L,F, R Amber, Red.]
One set of lights for scooters, installed vertically on the segregated, protected scooter/bicycle lane. [L, F, R, Amber, Red ]
One set of pedestrian light.

You should pay attention to all traffic lights visible from your direction, but we should agree that all the lights are synchronized since there is no reason why they can’t be.

Just like water off a duck’s back, I say.

Taiwan’s traffic problems are design flaws and cultural attitudes for which there is no will to address.

  1. Complicated road, signage, signaling designs (that mostly do not get fully implemented even) make cognition difficult and split second decision-making ineffective in high volume traffic situations. Anyone who’s tried to drive and navigate by gps here has encountered this: your slight turn was two turns back! Your light proposal is in the same train of complicated thought. Ever seen the curbs at corners of junctions/intersections? Those are apparently made for ease of scooters and cars to get off the road and onto pavement. Now you as a driver has to watch out for traffic from all directions. Or the two way streets that end up one way. Or cycle tracks that end abruptly. Or scooter lanes that suddenly become mixed traffic for right-turning vehicles. Simplicity is not a luxury: it makes traffic flow predictable and safer to navigate. Having to navigate (and endure) complication is seen as a mark of intelligence instead of a marker of bad environmental design. Life’s for living, not for posing and showing off ‘smarts’.
  2. Insisting on gradual incremental change that builds-on-top-of-whats-already-there and rejects big changes. This compounds previous points, as each ‘fix’ creates another problem, that then requires another fix and so on. Like the 2-point left turn: yeah, it made scooter drivers safer from cars, then made car drivers totally disregard scooters, who by the way are now waiting impatiently and frustrated by the additional minute for them to turn. A frustrated driver / rider is not likely to make rational decisions.
  3. Law and its enforcement: people need to know the laws of physics (blocking line of sight of traffic with advertising, inertia) cannot be willed away. Likewise, education and enforcement of traffic laws should not be considered a nice-to-have guidelines. However the saying is a people gets a government they deserve.
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My white plate motorcycle is different from a yellow or red plate scooter

You know a lot of people don’t, right ?

But you know they are not, right?

If we could have people obeying the lights, and lights that were synchronized, that alone would be progress.

Ok, fair enough. Still, for my money the traffuc situation is the worst thing…

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Another rant: This happened about ten minutes ago.

I was on my scooter, stopped at a red light, with a construction truck stopped behind me. The light was going to turn green for us in a few seconds, but I heard an ambulance coming down the road perpendicular to where we were stopped. I could see it would likely enter the intersection just as the light changed, so I prepared to wait until it passed.

When the light turned green for us, the ambulance was about 2 car lengths from entering the intersection, so I waited. And–you guessed it–the construction truck went around me so that it could get into the intersection to turn left, thereby blocking the ambulance from continuing through.

It’s this kind of selfish shit that really annoys me :rage:


No matter what changes are made, it won’t mean a whole lot if the police do nothing.

This afternoon when crossing the street and about to walk up onto the curb and a scooter driver comes up from behind me and parks his scooter right on the corner blocking me. Incredibly selfish, rude, and unbelievably lazy given that there are dozens of illegal other parking spots a few meters away that doesn’t screw over all the pedestrians. He absolutely didn’t see me, despite looking right at me and coming up from behind me, but he sure noticed me when I moved one of the store’s “no parking” barriers within a few centimeters of his precious scooter just so I could squeeze by onto the sidewalk. Best part is there a nice govt. sign that says no parking on the sidewalk, pedestrians only…the entire corner is filled with nothing but illegally parked vehicles and only a block away from the police station at that.

Why is something so simple so dang hard? I don’t give a crap if TW is better than some other countries in terms of transportation safety, I just want to cross the dang road to enjoy some coffee or take the bus to relax with some friends. Taiwan can do better, but as far as stuff like this goes, it sure feels like it’s a long road ahead.


A lot of corruption in Taiwan, but not the one you as a foreigner would notice or be directly affected by. More the kind where the HRT station happnes to be built where somebody just bought the neighbouring land and rakes in fortunes, and various other regional and goverment “developments”.


I assume you mean mrt. This is interesting because there is a new light rail in NTPC and one station in particular doesn’t make any sense at all. Near Sunshine park but 300m away.

I had assumed he meant “HSR.”

Look at the crazy locations in Tainan, Chiayi, and—coming up for our consideration—Pingtung and Yilan.



For the HSR stations unfortunately I think they took “inspiration” from other countries. Like in China basically all major HSR stations are out of the city (shenzhen, guangzhou, shanghai are prime examples). Also in Italy the purposedly built HSR stations are in the suburbs, and in Japan to some extent too. When a HSR train needs to get to downtown, it’s rerouted to standard rails. Here in Taiwan, as in Japan since traditional railways have basically all been laid down during the colonial era, standard railways use a smaller gage, whereas HSR is a “wide” gage (which is actually the standard one throughout Italy and in most of Europe), so HSR cannot be rerouted to traditional lines to pass through downtown stations, they need ad-hoc lines. In Taipei they achieved it with a monstre underground tunnel from Nangang to Taipei Station. In “smaller” cities like Taoyuan, Taichung, it couldn’t be feasibily done without a huge cost for tunneling under the whole town. So they decided to compromise, it is quite inconvenient, true. Can’t say the same for rapid transit, that’s speculation for sure

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Actually, all the way to Banqiao!


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