Highways may alternate usage to cut jams
License-plate traffic rationing methods could be considered and discussed with local government, said National Freeway Bureau (
) yesterday, in response to criticisms of Freeway No. 5’s traffic jam during the Tomb Sweeping weekend.
The Tomb Sweeping weekend had caused severe traffic congestion on Freeway No. 5, and resulted citizens blasting the government for lacking thorough traffic planning and preparation.
Deputy Director-General of National Freeway Bureau Wu Mu-fu ( ) said while Freeway No. 5 currently employs high occupancy traffic management during weekends, the ministry has also considered an odd-even numbered license plate traffic flow rationing method to resolve traffic problems.
Wu explained that further discussion with local governments would be required, in consideration of the local citizens’ rights. Compared to other methods, the license plate rationing involves higher regulation intensity, said Wu.
“We will definitely discuss the method with the Yilan government before implementing the traffic rationing plan. It’s too early to be certain, as these are ideas in its early stages.” Wu said.
E-Tag Scanning Points
The ministry plans to set up E-Tag scanning points at Yilan’s main roads to understand whereabouts of vehicles entering Yilan through Freeway No. 5, citizens’ touring habits, thus planning a more attractive public transportation system.
Wu also pointed out that E-Tag scanning infrastructure have already been set up at certain points of access roads and interchanges in Yilan, mainly used to scan E-Tag numbers and analyze traffic flow.
The ministry reassures citizens that E-Tag scanning will not store license plate numbers for illegal purposes.
“We aim to use the E-Tag scanning system to help analyze traffic flow onto highways, as 80 percent of vehicles already have installed
E-Tags,” Wu said.
Shuttle Bus System in Yilan
In recent years, the ministry has found it difficult to push forward the shuttle bus system infrastructure in Yilan, pointing out that the bus industry maintains a passive attitude towards a business limited to weekends only.
Wu said the planned concentrated shuttle bus system will be used to provide transportation to popular tourist attractions in Yilan. Citizens are more likely to choose public transportation over driving once more shuttle bus stops are set up.
“Taking public transportation to Yilan would be a recommended choice once a more completed shuttle bus system is provided” ex- plained Wu.
The ministry is taking a progressive approach in implementing transportation infrastructure, Wu said, citing that each transportation strategy should be analyzed upon its circumstances.
Technology Enforcement in
Hsuehshan ( ) Tunnel also faced serious traffic jam during the holidays, due to implementing technology as law enforcement methods.
The implementation of technology enforcement means drivers will be penalized for not abiding by regulated driving distance. It resulted in severe traffic congestions in some parts of the Hsuehshan Tunnel, with several drivers distancing their vehicles up over a hundred meters in fear of becoming fined.
In response to legislators blasting the technology enforcement method, Wu pointed out the enforcement was set up by the National Highway Police Bureau ( ). It is still in the testing phase and aims to replace labor law enforcement at the end of the year.
Wu reassures drivers that the technology enforcement system will not penalize short driving distances during traffic jams.
“Whether it is technology or labor law enforcement, penalties will still be dished out to violators,” Wu said, further emphasizing that the ministry prioritizes long-distance tunnel safety measures above all.