Alishan, April 12 - 13, 2010. Click pic for album

Taroko to Kending

Taroko Gorge to Kending, Feb 14 - 19, 2010.

Northern Cross Island Highway

Northern Cross Island Highway, May 19 - 21, 2008. Click pic for album
21st November, 2012

Dunhua bike lane, RIP?

Taking the doggies for a walk last week, I realized that the Taipei city government finally is doing something about that completely useless, wasteful bike lane going up and down Dunhua. To the tune of NT$100 million, it was useless from day one, which, of course, was just ahead of the 2010 mayoral election (why else would they build it?). Cars ignored it and parked on it and police ignored both it and the cars parked on it. It in fact made riding a bike even more dangerous since it provided a false feeling of safety.

What they did was dig up one whole lane and pour concrete into it, since everyone knows that bike lanes should be made of concrete (more likely, someone in the city government had a cousin in the cement industry). Then they painted the concrete green to make it really slippery when wet, and then, to make things even worse, all the lines and other signage was made in raised concrete rather than painted on the road surface, thus making for a bumpy ride. I always ride in the road, next to the lane. When Su Tseng-chang ran against Hau Lung-bin in the mayoral election, he promised that the first thing he would do if elected would be to erase the useless bike lane.

The failure was immediate and before long, Hau announced that the bike lane would only be a bike lane on weekends. As if that made any difference. Now they have scraped all paint and signage off completely, so it’s just a stretch of raw grey concrete. Haven’t seen any news about what’s going on, so I don’t know if the government will try to improve the bike lane, or if they are going to spend even more money on getting rid of it, maybe digging up the concrete and replacing it with asphalt again. We’ll just have to wait and see.

The bike lane in its current state, at the Civic Blvd intersection

Here are a few previos rants about the debacle: Kerb your enthusiasm, Dunhua bicycle lane revisited and Bike paths revisited, again.

2 comments to Dunhua bike lane, RIP?

  • Laopi

    I got a bike a few months ago and went up and down Dunhua on this useless lane.
    Everything you say is true, I’m glad I was not the only one to hate this!
    But actually, I was not aware of the whole story (thanks for pointing out to your previous articles!), so I was mainly pissed at cars stopping on it, and policemen doing nothing about it!

    At some point, I was wondering if kicking the outside rear-view mirror of every car illegally parked there wouldn’t have been a better idea…

  • Nathan

    Loved your view on this, sad but unfortunately all true, also your assumptions on why concrete somehow don’t feel too far off…