I have reading about this controversial issue for a few weeks, months, but none of the newspaper accounts I have seen have explained exactly HOW this highway will pollute the local reservoirs. People will throw garbage out the windows as they drive by, truck drivers will spit out betel nut juice and fiber, kids will shit on the side of the road, what?
QUOTE: Concern about potential damage to water quality in Feitsui Reservoir – a source of water for both Taipei City and County – if the section of the highway between Pinglin (坪林) and Shiding (石碇) is opened to the public, has brought the city government and city council together in a rare instance of cooperation.
QUOTE: The decision to allow public access to the section has drawn criticism from many environmentalists and the city government.
Both argue that Taipei-Ilan highway will cause pollution and potentially lower the water quality in Feitsui Reservoir, mirroring recent problems experienced by Shihmen Reservoir.
What happened there? And how? Gas spillage, oil on the road surface, what? Car exhaust?
Pressure from the additional tourism the road will bring in. They can barely handle the tourism on the existing Bei-yi Gong Lu. Blame “Mr. Clean” Chen Ding-nan for this particular bit of pork barrelling. He’s allowing it so he can get the votes in December. Bastard.
[quote=“Mr He”]But… they will open the road all the way to Yilan later this year or early next year anyways?
What we are looking at is a 3-4 month period, where the traffic through Pinglin will increase, that then it’s likely to fall sharply off, as people drive straight to Yilan?[/quote]
That was the original plan, with no access to the freeway at Pinglin, specifically to prevent the Feitsui water catchment area from suffering at the hands of rampant unregulated tourism.
However, the Pinglin people have lobbied hard and now, thanks as I said to vote-seeking Chen, the environmentalists have lost and there is indeed an interchange at Pinglin, although at present there’s some kind of lip-service to the environmentalists in that there’s a traffic limit on the interchange – 400 cars per day max, I believe. Expect that to change pretty soon, too. The infrastructure there cannot handle the increased tourism traffic – obviously, nothing will be done about improving sewage systems, etc., so we in Taipei will shortly be drinking even more of our own shit than before. Nice one, “Mr Clean!”
it does seem like real pork barrelling, yes. Mr Clean, that’s a good one! But how does even additional tourism lead to pollution of the reservoir and the area’s water? Is it the cars that will pollute with their exhaust and garbage thrown from the windows, or is the people who get out of the cars who will pollute by pissing and shitting in the rivers and lakes?
What happened at Shimen?
How are most reservoirs protected, anywhere in the world? By building fences around them? What exact kind of pollution are the environmentalists and now Mayor Ma (good on ya, mate!) talking about and how does the cycle work? From car to road to river to reservoir to faucet?
ADDED LATER: Oh, I see now. RE: …’‘prevent the Feitsui water catchment area from suffering at the hands of rampant unregulated tourism’’
Increased tourism played a part, along with the fact that everybody up there started to grow peaches. that led to increased runoff when a typhoon came through. Also less antural foilage (cut down to make room for cabbage, tourists, and peaches) let to more dirt ending in Shimen, along with the land losing its ability to suck and hold water. (Lots of trees in the catchment area would hold the water and release it gradually).
The shimen reservoir is therefore in a pretty bad state - wonder how many years left in it.
The population of Pinglin is only a few thousand. How much political pressure can they exert compared to 3 million Taipei residents. I just don’t get how these little villages can continue to exist with all the damage they do to the rest of our standard of living. Really, I don’t. Can anyone explain how politics in taiwan is the reverse of everywhere else in the world where it is usually the little village that gets fucked over for the greater good?
I don’t really understand the nuances either. I know its “Skidmark Chen” (I’m tired of calling him "Mr Clean – that was then, this is now) who’s been pushing for the Poinglin interchange, but I’m still trying to figure out why. Why is he lobbying for something that will benefit the Pinglin people (Taipei County) when it’s the Yilan county magistrate job he’s after?
Right now most people pass through or nearby Pinglin, so they buy the Pinglin tea … when the freeway opens … bye bye tourists, bye bye business. Off course people in Pinglin want and exit (interchange) … but who cares about it in Taipei … Mayor Horse? nope!
Actualy, if they just advertised right, they wouldn’t have a problem. I think the EPA chief even said that outright. If Pinglin has something to offer people will go. It’s only an hour from taipei and there are three different ways to get to it now already. Once trucks stop taking the 9 it will be a very pleasant route to drive along.
Of course, we really don’t want more people going there. These little towns have to be let to die off, or, the money has to go in to build the facilities (water treatment plants) to keep them from polluting the environment for the rest of us. I mean think about Wulai, another source of water for the Fetcui. It gets far more people visiting than Pinglin. they do have that nice new treatment plant now downriver from the town. But still, boil that drinking water folks. the taipei hikign club has been swimming in it.
Since I live right on BeyYi Road in south Xindian, I certainly know who I hope wins this fight. Noisy trucks drive past all night long. I’d love to see them take the new highway instead.
As for pollution, I think trucks climbing up and down a hairpinned route (old highway) would certainly generate more dirty exhaust pollution than trucks cruising through on a fairly straight and level highway. It is the old highway that appears to be a danger to the water purity. It runs right along the top of a ridgeline overlooking Fetshui Reservoir. And we all know what people around here like to do when they come across a beautiful steep incline overlooking a scenic area. “Honey, don’t we have a bag of trash in the trunk, or at least some used batteries from China that we could toss over here?”
I believe the longest tunnel is only 3.8 kms, you can see it as you enter the tunnel. And there are fans in all the tunnels. For an Yilan resident, the tunnels are awesome, right now its 1 hour and 20 minutes from Ilan city to the highway. I can’t wait for the rest of the tunnels to be done. Now you need a permit to use the other tunnels but not the Pinlin Taipei tunnels. If they only let 400 cars a day through, they would reach their quota in about an hour. It seems that everyone is using the tunnel. Last week it was backed up almost all the way to Giaoshi.