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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grate Expectation: A Cyclist Pleads His Case For Safer Streets

I came across this article (zh) posted by a Taiwanese cyclist who has undergone a series of operations to repar the collarbone he broke while trying to escape one of the recent rain squalls that have been plaguing cyclists on Taiwan over the past two months.

In essence, the author ducked into a gas station and lost his grip on one of the steel grates surrounding the station.

The EPA requires all gas stations to be ringed by special collection gutters to prevent polluted runoff from entering the storm drain.

The author believes the gas have made a minimal effort in the installation of these units, which has resulted in a hazardous situation for two wheeled vehicles. (apparently, bikes and scooters wipe out on these all the time).

Ride Safe!

So far the government has done little about improving the safety around gas stations. Therefore, the next time I need to pass a gas station or drop in for a little relief, I will be sure to avoid the steel grating and steel drain caps. It is pretty much common sense to avoid metal plates in the road, but I guess things could be made a bit safer.

The Bicycle and the Battle of Identity Politics.

She's Got Good Taste

I just thought I would post this recent picture of DPP Chairwoman, Tsai Ying-wen trying on a bike helmet. Tsai is currently running for the Mayorship of New Taipei City in November's municipal elections. In several posts I have referred to the bicycle as a seme for the Taiwanese identity and Taiwanese national pride, therefore becoming an object of political capital coveted by political actors of various colors. Whoever owns the image of the bike owns what it represents to the electorate.


Battle of the Bikes
Yesterday the DPP New Taipei City candidate, Tsai Ying-wen, led a bike centered campaign event to draw out supporters. Meanwhile, the KMT candidate led his own event flanked by bicycles. (Liberty Times and China Times articles.) In the New Taipei City elections the bike often deployed as a symbol of a future of sustainability.