Taiwan is LOUD (compared to Europe) & drivers can only be as bad as the roads let them

I recently moved to Taiwan from the Netherlands, and youtube has started recommending me the channel from Not Just Bikes (the irony), which I recommend to anyone with interest about city infrastructure, driving and cycling, or even healthcare. I searched the forum but it seems noone shared this here before.

Anyway, I’ve seen plenty of topics and posts about driving & cycling in Taiwan, but usually they don’t get to talk much about road infrastructure and put a lot of blame on the drivers, which, while they DO have some blame, their behaviour is usually just a consequence of what the roads lets you do.

This channel has some pretty good videos about it (let me put just a couple more :grin:):

I’d be interested in knowing if there is places where people share and discuss about taiwanese infrastructure.

My main complains about Taiwan in general and Taipei in specific are:

  • How loud is it when I open the window at home, mainly because of how much motorized traffic moving at high speeds there is.
  • How unsafe I feel walking on the streets in Taiwan: blocked or nonexistent walkways, fast-moving traffic, motorized-vehicle centric infrastructure.
  • Crossing roads by foot in general, and waiting in traffic-lights for more than 30 seconds.

I really dislike walking in the city with someone and having to immensely raise my voice, while still unable to hear my conversation partner, while waiting at a traffic light for the last 90 seconds, while motorized traffic turning right on my corner just barely misses me over and over and passes at high speeds.

Many good things about Taiwan, but roads ain’t one.

Thanks for reading my rant! I highly recommend the channel’s videos!


It usually doesn’t bother me, but I really notice it when I’m talking on the phone and I constantly get interrupted by a scooter. It used to ruin my videos when walking on the street as well.


I’ve reposted this before, but a couple of years ago The News Lens posted quite an interesting article comparing Taiwan’s roads to the UK that’s worth a read if the topic interests you - Pedestrian Nightmare: Can Taiwan Draw Inspiration from the UK's Walkways? - The News Lens International Edition


I mean cars are technically loud for safety reasons. I’ll check out the video after work though. :slight_smile:

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Taiwan can change rapidly when it wants to.

The road situation will change only when Taiwan wants to change. Which will be never.

It’s so safe and convenient to ride your scooter through a crowded market or drive through an intersection making pedestrians stop for you or drive through a red light at warp speed. It’s just so safe.


There is no city infrastructure in Taiwan. Or rather, no serious thinking and analysis. Urban design is not a known concept. Even for people in local institutions who have ideas for change have found themselves stymied by corruption.


in the end you get used to it, or move to a better neighborhood, or go back home.
I used to travel for business to VN, Thailand, India, Philippines and they are all much worse, puts TW in perspective.


Pedestrians get terrorized by people on bicycles and electric powered crap.


And yet we’re doing leagues better than the car dependent suburbia in Canada and the US. Not Just Bikes even implicitly acknowledges he prefers Taiwan’s city planning over Canada’s hyper strict, yet unproductive planning. :rofl:

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Taiwan does not report roads deaths accurately.


You know the thing is, because of the roads here, it really feels much safer to take the scooter to cross the road rather than just walk across the 50 meter crosswalk (where it’s allowed!) :laughing:

Well I’m optimistic, change happens all the time, even if you don’t want to. I just hope it’s sooner than later.

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Local logic :+1:

Do you walk with confidence?

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Maybe it changed a lot, at least in Taipei, when they held Universiade.

Some neighbourhoods are better than others.

The worst I’ve experienced so far is in Taichung.

Not sure you are being sarcastic haha but reminded me of several conversations I’ve had with older taiwanese about how electric scooters are more dangerous because they are quieter :crazy_face:

They talk about this in the first video I shared, check it out!

I feel vehicles here in Taiwan want to be loud so they are “heard” and can drive safely, which is clearly a snake-bitting-its-tail kind of situation, where we end up not hearing a thing on the road.
It’s like every moving vehicle tries to outloud the competition.

Like big trucks and buses! Never in my life I thought that turning-lights on cars needed any kind of audio-feedback speaker system to make sure everyone around notices :loudspeaker:!
I feel the ones who have it here just use it as an excuse for driving faster and more recklessly!

Nothing louder than a bus with turning lights ON stopping and leaving at a bus stop.


HAHAHA actually I think I’m one of the most confident crosswalkers I know here.
Whenever I walk with taiwanese people they always shout at me and try to stop me when a car tries to cross and step through the zebra crossing that I’m walking on, WHILE I’m walking on it.

I thought I have preference there, but I feel I’m going to get hit anyday to be honest.

Also on the topic, I hate that I can’t see car driver’s face and eyes as a pedestrian because of tinted windshields.

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I wish there was more enforcement of the maximum amount of decibels (86dB on roads under 50kmph speed limit) a scooter can emit.
The rule has supposedly been in place since january 2021…

EDIT: noise cameras have supposedly been in place since JAN 2021 - the law has been around for longer.

I really hate how gratingly loud the scooters can be here. Completely stupid - makes the driver/passenger deaf and others in a large vicinity annoyed.


Most of the people riding loud scooters have diminished brain activity. They don’t understand that you should not race your overloud scooter at 6 AM.


It’s more of an attention thing, I think. kind of ‘look at me, I’m a racer!’