What do you love/hate about Taipei? City Hall wants to know!


#1

I am a Canadian urban planning student working at Taipei City Hall, i have been asked to find out what foreigners love and hate about taipei. They want to know the little things you like and dislike about the city. Dont say the museams, or C.K.S. Hall, mention something about your neighborhood park, the streets you walk along, the lack of sanitaition, secret neighborhoods, stray dogs whatever. If you can, please include details. This will be a large project that will end up as a presentation for the City Planning department. I will have a more formal questionaire later, right now im just trying to get a rough sketch of the issues. I would really appreciate your input. include as much or as little detail as you like, hopefully the city will actually do something about it! thank you.
sauce_e@hotmail.com


#2

I like the footbridges that get you across the street in one piece, and I don’t like the fact that they are being pulled down one by one, e.g. the bridge between Taibei Railway Station and the Asiaworld Department Store, the one at the junction of Chongqing and Zhongxiao West Roads and all but one of the bridges on Zhonghua Road…all gone! It might make the city look more open, but so would an atom bomb. The underground shopping malls are good, but they should be there as well as, not instead of, the bridges. Taibei should be planned like Hong Kong, where adjacent buildings are integrated above street level for free and safe passage by pedestrians. At the moment, Taibei seems to be going in the opposite direction.

As you may have noticed, I also think Taibei should be spelled with a B, for consistency.

Do you work in Hugh Lin (Lin Zhengxiu)'s department, Saucey? If so, please tell him that Juba alias Zhu Li would like to meet him for coffee and chat some time.


#3

Thanks for your response, actually im also working on a project regarding skywalks throughout Warner Village, i suppose its a start! i dont know your friend, im still really new in the dept. :blush:


#4

What is the purpose of the skywalks in the Xinyi District? I was working on the Taipei101 project at my last job and read a lot about the skywalks, but what is the difference between going up stairs to a walkway and just walking on the ground-level skywalks? If anything, there should be an express moving sidewalk thing from the City Hall MRT station to Taipei101/Warner Village, preferably located underground but sheltered in any case.

I do really like the new sidewalks. They make the city look a lot better. I also like the underground malls, but one thing I don’t understand is why there are not exits directly from underground MRT stations into the food courts/lower levels of department stores like the Mitsukoshi by the train station and Sogo on Zhongxiao E. Rd. All they need to do is break down one wall to let people through, rather than having to go all the way up and then down again. The MRT should be better integrated with the city’s establishments.

Another thing I like is the countdown timers on the crossing signals. It might help to also install audible signals as well to help blind people, a la Hong Kong. I’ve seen this at one intersection so far, on Heping E. Road near Dunhua S. Road.

More parks, squares, green spaces, would be good. I’m looking forward to the completion of the square in front of the train station. The pedestrian-only streets in Ximending are nice.

Taipei should go further to provide funds for the restoration of it’s older landmark buildings. They give the city a sense of history and foundation.

More effort should also be put into cleaning up the rivers in the area and utilizing riverside spaces.

There are far too many polluting scooters out there. Riders of scooters that emit huge clouds of smoke all the time should be fined. I ride a two-stroke motorcycle myself, but at least I’ve had the engine worked on so that it doesn’t smoke too much. My next bike will be a four-stroke. Stop selling new two-stroke bikes, and allow the sale of used, larger-capacity four stroke bikes.

Taipei would look a lot better at night if some of the major landmarks were properly lit. Wouldn’t Guanqian Road look a lot better with a nice, lit-up museum at the other end? Perhaps it already it; I haven’t been down there in a while. It would certainly be better than just an empty black space. The old city gates, government offices, the train station, etc. should all be better lit at night. Makes people feel safer, too.

That’s all I can think of for now.


#5

I like the small parks but unfortunately not all are well maintained.

I want rubbish bins. Everywhere!

I like the MRT as it’s convenient and easy to use. However buses should also use English (romanization) which only a very few actually do already, including the route maps.
Old and not roadworthy buses should be removed from duty (have used one where I could look down on the road from my seat!).

The EasyCard is a very useful thing for using public transport.

I hate bathroom tiles on the outside of buildings.

I hate scooters parked on the side walks close to shops and the new bays aren’t sufficient.
There should be a bar (barrier) preventing scooters from entering that area, i.e. they should be parked the other way around (the scooter has to access the parking from the street, not the shop side).
Even that means they aren’t covered by the building (against rain or sun), but at the moment they cause a lot of annoyance and inconvenience where people are meant to walk.

[Sorry if that isn’t clear, don’t know how to describe it better …]

As well I hate vendors / restaurants / shops / small manufacturing using the side walks for their business and blocking it or causing inconvenience to pedestrians.

There should be a common romanization system used for street names (instead of Fu-Shing, Fuhsing, FuXing … for one road).

Buses should only stop at the designated bus stops to pick up / drop passengers and they should use the bays where provided and not stop in the middle of the road (where there is no buslane).
If necessary the bay has to be seperated from the other lanes as to prevent cars and taxis from stopping or parking there (worst example in Front of Shin Khong Life Tower).

Getting rid of all the wires (AC supply, telephone etc) hanging aorund everywhere would be nice. Underground?

Vehicles should be forced to stop when turning as to allow pedestrians to cross the road.
As well cars turning should give way to the incoming traffic first.
(Possible solution would be to allow green light for one direction only as done e.g. in Malaysia, i.e. the green cycles around instead of giving way to two opposite directions at the same time)

Pedestrian bridges are good but should have access from at least two directions on every side of the road. (People are lazy, aren’t they?)

And finally:
Cars parking or stopping in the 2nd row obstructing traffic should be run over by a tank. :wink:


#6

hurry up with its sidewalk revamping project and put the damn scooters where they belong-on the street and not zooming around pedestrians, mailmen included.

Once a roadway has been completed, as is the case in front of the National Library, then anyone caught parking or riding on the sidewalk should have his license suspended. Enforcing the law (all the time) is key to having scooter riders comply with the new system.

Anyway, why is that these motorcyclists have it all their own way? It seems the whole system is geared for their convenience. They ride machines that pollute, they park everywhere, and they ride anywhere. What’s more-they do not pay for their convenience. It’s all free. Whereas those who take public transport pay more in fares for one day’s travel than a scooter rider pays for gas in week. It costs me NT$100 a day from Danshui to Taipei on the MRT. Taking public transport is in some way a community service; less harm done to the environment for one. But it costs more, not only in time and money, but also in suffering the danger and inconvenience of scooters parked and ridden everywhere.

As a foreigner, this is my one biggest gripe. Unsanitary outdoor cooking, ugly buildings, noise pollution are all bearable, but when someone on a scooter honks for me to give way to him on the sidewalk, I feel like punching the farker in the face.


#7

I like most things but…
I hate those young guys who ride their hotted up scooters recklessly along the street with no consideration for others. I find myself secretly wishing for them to can off and break something.


#8

I think people drive way too fast in the small, narrow residential allys in Taipei. I would like to see speed bumps installed in the allys as well as “go slow” signs at the entrance of these small allys.

It would be nice if the City would try to encourage residents to clean up their spaces… Illegal structures should be taken down.

Enforce the laws. All laws. All the time.


#9

I agree with bassman.

And I also hate being subjected to the shrill noise of a suped-up scooter (isn’t that a ridiculous notion anyway) and also those race bikes on urban streets. I see no reason that such needlessly loud machines are permitted in the City. :x


#10

they need to throw down some road spikes for those speedsters or have the cops shoot out their tires. Either way these guys need to go - I mean look at the 200 guys on scooters that got together in GaoXiong and threw rocks at the cop cars. I say the cops should shoot back. :wink:


#11

I think we should probably keep our responses to city planning… I don’t think the original poster has much influence with the police.

One thing I’ve always wondered about, and thought would be a good idea, was common underground piping (sorry, I’m just a layman and don’t know the technical terms). I know in many places in the west, there are underground pipes or tunnels everywhere (I think along with the sewer systems generally), where cable, telephone, electricity, etc etc wiring is placed. This would get rid of all those crisscrossing wires floating about the city, and I think would improve the overall appearance of neighborhoods a great deal (it’s one of those things you don’t really notice per se, but greatly impacts the landscape).
With something like that in place, illegal cable would also drop dramatically, as the gov’t could simply cut any ‘floating’ wire it saw, as it would obviously be illegal. If people started actually paying for cable, maybe we’d get a decent channel or two… :stuck_out_tongue:

I like the small parks in neighborhoods, as a previous poster mentioned, but generally only 30% of their area is usable (and that portion is concrete, brick or a playground), with the rest being fenced off and having WAY too many different species of trees and bushes… I wouldn’t mind having a little open grass area in some of them.

I generally find overhead walkways across streets kinda annoying, personally, and far too often quite ugly. I’d rather have the underground type if anything (I prefer just straight crossing the street, but I’m also a lazy @ss…)


#12

Maybe it would make sense to do something about those uneven boardwalks. Every shop designs its part of the boardwalk the way they prefer, and sometimes, they just paste tiles on top of what’s underneath, resulting in different hights of the boardwalk every couple of metres. Sometimes, it’s really dangerous to walk there in the dark, and I wouldn’t want to push a baby pram here or be in a wheel chair. And get rid of those dangerous tiles, anyway, they’re a serious health hazard when wet.

I also don’t quite get it why at some places, there are two escalators running in the same direction instead of one in each direction (as it is the case when you leave the MRT at Taipei Main Station towards the bus stations through the empty underground mall). Or why in the MRT stations on the Mucha Line, there is often one escalator to go up (to get to the other direction) but none on the other side to go down. Or why they put escalators in many places but none in those exits where people are likely to have luggage (I hate to drag my suitcase up to the exit for the East Bus station - the buses there go to airport!!). I think that could be changed easily!

Oh, and it would be nice to have easier access to the park on the riverside along Shuiyuan Rd. The elevated highway runs there, and possibilites to cross it by a footbridge are really sparse. It would also be nice to have more places to just sit down, like in MRT stations (not enough seats) or big spaces. There is not always one of these really nice little neighbourhood parks around. I love these, though!

I agree with Rascal on more rubbish bins. And on making sure that vehicles stop to let pedestrians cross when pedestrians have the green light.

That’s my rambling for now :wink:

Iris


#13

First of all introduce stricter rules for immigration of Canadians, there’s so many of them now, they’re even taking over City Hall :shock:

Next complete decent emissions tests on scooters and ban 2 stroke engines and old scooters (a scooter emits as much pollution as a car and often more so, there are 10 million scooters in Taiwan). Scooters pollution is the number one pollutant and detractor of Taipei City. I drive one too I admit.
The Taipei govt. should sponsor hybrid fuel technology for scooters. I read recently they cancelled the electric scooter program, try something with more power and closer to market.
The MRT cost how many billions of USD. I estimate getting a decent hybrid-fuel cell scooter together might cost less than 100 million USD and improve the lives of everyone on this island. Think of the export market!

Remove all hideous green overpasses immediatedly and introduce proper road crossings for people to walk across.

Designate an area the ‘Arts area’ , make it relatively tax free and introduce special building and maintenance codes in this area.
Build a theatre and an arts cinema. Put in an ‘international’ night market or traditional…allow some semi-open air restaurants and make it all pedestrianised.
Do this at the riverside and incorporate public pathways and perhaps a nice new pedestrian bridge or two.
Taipei needs a nice district like this—Hsimen Ding and Warner Village are limited.

Use the River. Clean up the river. It can be done. Look at northern England and Germany where people can now fish for salmon (it’s true the River Tyne that runs through Newcastle can now support salmon fisheries). Make access to the river easier and safer with more lighting and better cycle paths.
This of course means a lot of extra environmental protection but it is possible. The more people who get used to the river as being an amenity the more they will push for it’s clean up.
I know typhoons make this difficult but with proper flood planning why not?

The extra pavement is a great idea and makes Taipei look a lot better and more importantly makes it possible to WALK somewhere. A proper code for wires on the exterior of buildings is needed. Make it obligatory for store owners to build even interior sidewalks outside their store or better still tax businesses and build a proper 1st world even sidewalk and maintenance to be the responsiblity of City Hall.

Finally introduce English or PinYin signage on bus routes and buses. Fire all bus drivers and replace them with somebody who took a driving test and actually likes their job.


#14

a mayor that doesn’t try to make political hay by prostituting himself to street protesters would be nice.

less seriously in the shequ where I live, Jichingli in Shihpai there is a great “greenification” program that encourages residents to turn their balconies into small gardens, it really makes a difference on some alleys. nice little program.

get the rest of those subways rolling. the mrt is the single best thing that’s happened here since i got here.

i love being able to hike in the hills. hope that nasty looking slash of a highway i’ve seen slicing through the hsiangshan area by the wtc on planning maps doesn’t happen.


#15

Oh dear, that’s the opposite of what I said. The crossings are getting better, but you have to wait. You have to believe that the drivers are really going to stop and that they are sober enough to see the red light. I’m serious about that - one drunken woman driver killed four policemen in one go when she ploughed into them quite near where I live - It could have been me and my dog. Also those immature rich kid aggressive drivers in their sporty white cars - they think it’s cool to run red lights at high speed and they frighten me. I’d rather cross by a bridge, thanks - you don’t have to wait for the lights and they offer shelter from the rain. If we don’t like the green colour, they could be prettified in other colours and have sculptures, plants or whatever added. [color=green]Keep the green overpasses![/color] [color=violet]Paint them pink for all I care, but keep them![/color]


#16

[quote=“daltongang”]
i love being able to hike in the hills. hope that nasty looking slash of a highway i’ve seen slicing through the hsiangshan area by the wtc on planning maps doesn’t happen.[/quote]

Sorry to say it, but it’s already in progress. I live right in that area, and they ripped out ALL the trees along that side of the road… too bad, it used to be a fairly ‘pretty’ section of road. Then they ripped out ALL the trees along the entire median for that section. I’m just hoping they decide to make it green again when they’re done (I’m not talking about paint!!)
The actualy project might not be that much of a disturbance once its done… I hope. It would be about 40 meters of road and then goes into the long tunnel…


#17

Remove all illegal constructions in narrow alleys and surprisingly you’ll get a wider alley!

Ban sidewalk kitchens and food stands! Move them indoors!
Make designated areas for street/food vendors (while making them legal and have them pay taxes and improve hygiene)


#18

Why don’t we clean the whole place up, put up a replica of the Statue of Liberty and destroy the local culture while we’re at it.
:wink:
Let’s not try to make Taipei just like every western city, let’s keep the things that make Taipei unique. The street vendors are not that bad :smiley: . I think the number one concern is to remove the corrupt officials from the local government :laughing:
I like Ma Ying Jiu - He’s the man. Ma for President :smiley:


#19

I hate the fact that the roads around yang ming shan and other roads also are constantly resurfaced unevenly with lots of bumps intentionally so that they can do the work again and again and again and earn the money to justify a higher budget for repairing the SAME roads 4-5 times a year. This is one place our tax money goes to.


#20

I personally think those overhead passways are ugly and dislike using them.

I do wish that parks had more green and less concrete, though I disagree with the previous posts that some parks have too much plant variety. Grass is hard to maintain and not as good for the environment.

Taipei is surrounded by rivers and unfortunately doesn’t take advantage of it for community usage. The riverside is cut off from Taibei by the highways. One of my favorite parts when I lived in Boston/Cambridge, MA was the usage of the Charles River, particularly the Esplanade. You can stroll/walk/jog along many miles of the river, and in the summer, listen to free music concerts.

Speaking more of green, I would like the pathway along the mall that extends the length of Dunhua to continue north past Zhongxiao.

A dedicated taxi stand outside busy communal areas (i.e., outside Asiaworld on Dunhua and Nanjing) would be better for both pedestrians and drivers.

Whenever I go to Dihua Jie, I think that many of the older architecture is being torn down is unfortunate. The older areas of Taibei should be restored and preserved; you could then do walking tours of Taibei’s history and culture.

Civic Boulevard is an eye-sore, and that ugly green paint has got to be changed. And what’s up with that zebra’s ass at the intersection with Dunhua?