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Kaohsiung CityGovernment

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    Traffic Calming Zones nearby Schools and Residences Designated for a Pedestrian-Friendly Environment in Kaohsiung Print
    • Publishing Date:2018-11-23~2019-02-01
    • Update Time:2018-12-04 10:01
    • Clickthrough Rate:20

    (Kaohsiung News) In order to build a people-oriented transport system and solve common problems in the neighborhoods of Kaohsiung such as road-use conflicts between pedestrians and vehicles and illegal parking, the Transportation Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government decided to designate “traffic calming zones” in the city’s school areas where pedestrians or school kids pass through frequently. It aims to coordinate the existing pedestrian networks and reduce the speed of cars travelling through these areas so that an environment that guarantees traffic safety can be provided for the students and residents in these neighborhoods.  
    “Villages” or the areas surrounding elementary or junior high schools are used as the basic units to create these traffic calming zones. The City Government, after studying the pedestrian traffic and (intersection) characteristics of these areas, proposed appropriate measures to improve road safety. A research conducted by World Health Organization indicates that “at an impact speed of 30 km/h, the pedestrian fatality rate is 5%, but the rate goes up to 80% when the impact speed exceeds 50 km/h.” Therefore, the City Government implemented a more practical method that emphasizes speed control. In addition, the focus of the relevant plans is on the use of marking sidewalks, coupled with other traffic work means including relevant markings, signs, and pedestrian signals, such as “Speed Limit 30” or “Caution! Children”, in the hope off reducing speed of a motor vehicles.
    The Transportation Bureau pointed out that before implementing this plan, the Education Bureau and the Civil Affairs Bureau were asked to help sound out the elementary and junior high schools as well as the village offices under their jurisdictions. After assessing the viability of the plan, investigating suitable locations and facilitating the coordination between different groups, the Bureau has completed the improvement of road safety in 85 school districts and 5 villages, including Cianjin Elementary School in Cianjin District, Sin-Sing Elementary School in Sinsing District, and Fong Siang Elementary School in Fengshan District, thus transforming “lanes and alleys in every neighborhood and village” in these districts into an environment that guarantees traffic safety.
    Huang Wan-Fa, Acting Director-General of the Transportation Bureau, said that sidewalks cannot be built in some urban areas due to issues such as the widths of the roads, leading to the situation where pedestrians and vehicles have to share roads jeopardizing pedestrian safety. Meanwhile, as some schools are located close to main roads on which cars usually travel at higher speed, the City Government has put up “Traffic Calming Zone” signs by these school districts and communities to remind drivers to slow down and watch out for pedestrians. In addition, the Government has also evaluated some road sections suitable for the implementation of marking sidewalks that are connected with the school commuting routes, so as to enhance the sidewalk quality and pedestrian safety.
    In order to keep promoting the policy of designating traffic calming zones, the Transportation Bureau will adopt some follow-up measures to examine the roads in some urban areas where traffic accidents occur more commonly. Where these roads surround schools or communities with a particularly high pedestrians’ safety concern, the Bureau will work with the relevant departments to survey these locations and discuss about the designation of traffic calming zones, so as to achieve the dual goals of ensuring traffic safety and creating a people-oriented transport system.
    (Contact person: Mr. Li Ci-Ching, Traffic Engineering Division Chief, 0963-599-596)

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