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Kaohsiung mayor vows to make the city cyclist-friendly

Kaohsiung mayor vows to make the city cyclist-friendly

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu vowed Monday to make the southern port city cyclist-friendly amid the trend that is seeing cycling become more popular as oil prices continue to surge.
Chen made the promise during an interpellation session at the Kaohsiung city council in which Councilor Wu Yi-cheng of the opposition People First Party asked her to improve the environment for cyclists who use their machines for commuting or for exercise.
Wu, who advocates the integration of the mass rapid transit system and cycling, reiterated the importance of the integration of the two transport methods in an era of high fuel prices, expressing hope that Kaohsiung City, which has long been notorious for its heavy pollution due to its high level of industrialization, can become the most cyclist-friendly city in Asia.
According to Wu, there are still many impediments to people who wish to cycle in the city, including many interruptions of bike paths because of heavy traffic, as well as a lack of parking areas for bicycles.
Wu suggested that the city government should construct overpasses exclusively for cyclists at places where traffic is at its most heavy, as well as dedicated parking lots for bicycles.
In addition, he also suggested that public and private enterprises set up shower rooms in office buildings for people who commute by bicycle.
Concerning a NT$30 million (US$990,000) city government plan to set up 20 bike rental stations around the city, Wu expressed hope that more such facilities can be established.
"The city government will do its best to achieve the goal," Chen said, asking Wu to offer more suggestions and information for the reference of the city government.
According to Chen, Kaohsiung, which saw the length of its bicycle path break the 100-km mark in April, will have 200 km of bike paths by the end of next year.