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Cycling in Taipei

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I was very lucky to be sent to VéloCity Global conference in February 2016 by my colleagues at Cycling Action Network in New Zealand, and Cyclist.ie in Ireland.

Taiwan was an interesting choice on account of its enormous bike-manufacturing history, and certainly the conference had an industry flavour.

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Taipei’s an ordered, polite, fast-moving and trendy city with dense, three-to-five storey historic blocks between long & wide boulevards of multi-lane traffic.  Scooters own the roads.  Thousands of them swarm every traffic light and junction, and they nestle into every cranny of parking throughout the city.




The city layout seemed to be of wide, fast boulevards cutting through beautifully dense, lively four- to-five storey city fabric, with a scattering of high-rise commercial buildings -both residential and office- throughout.

On the super-efficient and ubiquitous subway system, it’s all orderliness and consideration.  Boarding passengers wait behind white lines til the last alighting passenger has gone, and LED wand-wielding officials calmly direct passengers at rush hour.

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Cycling was a mix of on-street in those historic blocks, and footpath along the boulevards (I tried on-road there but got scared).  I used the  YouBike rental system,  the highest bike turnover of any rental system in the world- somewhat surreal since they’re exactly the same bikes as in my Dublin hometown!  There’s an article about cycling in Taipei in Guardian ‘Cities’ service by Nick Mead.

Far from accommodating more car use, Taipei recently demolished a highway overpass , to create open space round a historic building (see screen grab from that YouTube video)



I loved the dense, busy neighbourhoods.


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A really positive experience and one I’m very grateful for.







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