TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Just as first section of the improved Suhua Highway (蘇花公路台) is poised to open before Lunar New Year, a photo showing the extensive list of vehicle types that are banned from using the new highway has already generated a backlash among Taiwanese netizens.
A photo of a new sign, posted on Jan. 18 on the Facebook group Suhua Highway, shows that delivery trucks, buses, bicycles, motorcycles, and scooter all all banned from entering the new stretch of highway, with only sedan cars apparently allowed to pass. After listing all the banned vehicle, the person posting the image then asks incredulously, "but pedestrians are actually not banned from walking on the highway?"
The old stretch of Suhua Highway very dangerous, thus the proposal to build the new section was put forth the Facebook user adds,"Now the highway bureau says that the new Suhua Highway is too dangerous, so need to go back to the safe old Suhua Highway." He then asks, "if the new highway is much more dangerous than the old one, what was the point of it all?"
Although the post went up at around midnight, there were over 537 comments:
"Spending that much money on a road that everyone can use is that hard?"
"You're afraid of danger, so you build the Suhua Highway. You're afraid of danger on the new Suhua Highway so you prevent people from using it. Taiwan's transportation official apes are really good at making changes."
"Scooters and delivery trucks must resist against rockfalls."
While others thought the penalty for violating the rules was too light:
"Only a NT$600 (US$20) fine, what I want is safety."
"NT$600 is just like a Disney FastPass fee."
According to the Directorate General of Highways, that initially, the road will only be open to small cars, and later, depending on conditions, buses and large trucks will be allowed. Due to poor air circulation in the tunnel and the fact that they are 3 kilometers in length, scooters will probably not be allowed for some time to come.
Many netizens expressed their displeasure of the likely extended ban on scooters in particular:
"Scooters in the old Suhua Highway tunnel never led to anyone suffocating."
"There are many other long tunnels that allow scooters, why did no one ever suffocate? Big trucks and buses could suffocate too, so that's why they were banned?"
"Small passenger cars have equipment that makes oxygen."
Sign showing all the vehicles banned from Suhua Highway. (Image from @Suhuahighway)