Cyclist Friendly Kaohsiung / 自行車友善城市 高雄
Cyclist Friendly Kaohsiung
◎English Translation:Lin Fang-ju
◎Photos Courtesy of Pao Chung-hui, Kaohsiung Environmental Bureau
Kaohsiung City Government has been working hard to create more environmentally friendly transportation systems. Cycling has always been popular in Kaohsiung and interest has certainly increased with the extensive and newly developed bike path network. With these extensive bike paths it is now safer and more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians to get to work and school. In 2010, Kaohsiung was featured by CNN as being one of the top cycling cities in Asia and by the end of 2013 cyclists will be able to enjoy 600 kilometers of bike paths.
Currently, Kaohsiung has approximately 250 kilometers of bike paths, including Cueihua Cyclist's Bridge that opened in 2010. The bridge is Taiwan's first cyclist bridge that is used for crossing main roads and keeping cyclists and pedestrians safe from busy traffic. Cueihua Bridge crosses over busy Chongde and Cueihua 4th Roads. In 2011, the City Government continued with its development of new paths and continued to integrate them with existing ones. Currently two north and south bound paths are being planned with the scenic mountains in one direction and the ocean in the other.
The City Government plans to build a second cyclist bridge across Zhongshan and Kaixuan Roads with an accompanying tree lined pedestrian bridge. Forecasted as a new landmark for Cianjhen District, the second cyclist bridge and accompanying park will provide more security for cyclists and a park for people to relax. The bridges will also provide visitors a more interesting and safer way to travel around Kaohsiung. Cyclists are also encouraged to visit the service center at the Heart of the Love River which offers shower facilities, bicycle repair, rest area and coffee shop.
Kaohsiung City Government has also launched a public bicycle rental scheme that provides 49 racks with automated bicycle rental to make cycling more convenient. Central Park MRT Station's rack is used most frequently. The city is planning on adding 25 rental racks over the next year, which will be mostly located near MRT stations, with the first rental hour being free. Kaohsiung certainly is a cyclist friendly city!
A visit from Kaohsiung's sister city Erzgebirgskreis County
On October 26th Mayor Frank Vogel of Germany's Erzgebirgskreis County led a delegation to visit Mayor Chen Chu. His aims were to strengthen the cities' friendship and personally invite Mayor Chen to visit in 2014 and celebrate a 20 year partnership.