New Taipei City reverses course on new design for house number plates

A new design faced complaints about aesthetics and legibility

The design which won a contest (top) and the version which New Taipei City decided to abandon (bottom).

The design which won a contest (top) and the version which New Taipei City decided to abandon (bottom). (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Following widespread complaints about the aesthetic value and legibility of new house number plates, the New Taipei City Government decided Saturday to suspend their introduction.

The replacement project would still be completed by next February, but a previous design which won an online contest would be reintroduced, the Central News Agency reported.

Due to earlier complaints that existing plates had become hard to read because of wear and tear, the city was planning to spend NT$85 million (US$2.75 million) to replace 1.2 million door plates.

However, when the city presented the new plates last Wednesday, critics noted the design, and in particular the colors, had changed from the winning proposal.

The turquoise-green color of the numbers and background for the street name had been replaced by a more bluish hue for the background, purple for odd numbers and orange for even numbers.

A proposal to affix smaller plates, leaving out the name of the street, from the second floor of high-rise apartment buildings provoked criticisms that the change would make work more difficult for firefighters, delivery services and rescue teams.

On the street level, the low legibility of the plates, in particular the orange numbers, could lead to more problems including traffic accidents, CNA reported critics as saying.

After the city government’s change of heart, the new plates will only use white and turquoise but will still include different local landmarks for each of New Taipei’s 29 districts.