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Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Bikes and Why Now?: Update on the Taiwan Review Article

I recently blogged on the Taiwan Review's article and then, today, I see it in an all new iteration in an article from Taiwan's other newspaper---The Brunei Times.

The Brunei Times repeats the Taiwan Review article but curiously dispenses with any negative criticism.

On closer inspection the Brunei Times seems to carry a lot of Taiwanese news considering that there anre no Taiwanese publications that are members of the Asian News Network; a collaborative system of content sharing. Any conspiracy minded people out there want to guess what's up?

"FOR ardent cyclists, Taiwan is well known as the home of some of the world's top brands of bicycles.

When it comes to world destinations for the sport of cycling, however, the island might not be the first place that comes to mind. In fact, roads congested with cars, buses and motorcycles are a familiar scene in the bustling major cities and townships where the majority of Taiwan's 23 million people live.

That is changing, however, especially since July 2009 with Republic of China (ROC) President Ma Ying-jeou calling for the integration of bicycles with other mainstream means of transportation and urging new policy and regulations specifically for bikes.

Government investment in the creation of bike paths and cycling routes is also on the increase. The Cabinet-level Sports Affairs Council has budgeted NT$4 billion (US$125 million) to develop a network of bike paths around Taiwan from 2009 to 2012. Some 250 kilometres of paths have already been created in recreational areas of Taipei City and Taipei County, while around 120 kilometres of paths have been established in downtown Taipei City, mostly on shared sidewalks. In 2009, the Tourism Bureau set up 172.5 kilometers of bicycling routes in scenic areas of Taipei and eastern Taiwan, with the same amount planned for this year."