Traffic Safety, Industry Expansion, and Tourism Development in Indigenous Villages
In order to ensure traffic safety in indigenous villages (districts), the Institute of Transportation was assigned to create a transport improvement plan for indigenous villages (districts) in mountainous regions by the Ministry of Transportation and Communications. The plan involves the collection of population, industry, road traffic and other related data from 30 indigenous villages (districts) along with a review of the transportation demands of commuters, tourists and local industry. The purpose is to provide improvement methods for traffic safety, transportation management methods, alternative public transportation, etc. The plan will be completed by the end of 2014, and compiled into an “Indigenous Villages (Districts) Transportation Improvement Plan” for presentation to relevant authorities as a reference for implementation of transportation improvement in indigenous villages (districts).
Indigenous villages (districts) are vast, accounting for about 53 percent of Taiwan’s total land area. Most are in rugged mountain areas. The design criteria of roads vary because of environmental constraints, which cause transportation in mountain area to be much less convenient than other places. Geological instability makes roads susceptible to heavy rain and earthquakes, not only affecting those going to work or school but also the development of industry and tourism. It is necessary to conduct an overall improvement program.
The Institute of Transportation has invited the Council of Indigenous Peoples, National Development Council, Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Soil and Water Conservation Bureau, Construction and Planning Agency of the Ministry of the Interior, Department of Railways and Highways, Road Traffic Safety Committee, Directorate General of Highways, and Tourism Bureau to form an Indigenous Villages (Districts) Transportation Improvement Committee. The committee was tasked with setting criteria and making onsite surveys.
Based on information from the Directorate General of Highways, the committee has already completed a list of 190 restricted roads in indigenous villages (districts) that cannot accept large buses. After monthly onsite surveys and cautious consideration of a total of 431 road improvement projects proposed by 30 villages (districts), the committee selected 111 road improvement projects from 23 villages (districts). Not including proposals covered under the Council of Indigenous Peoples’ 2014 Characteristic Indigenous Village Road Improvement Project, the budget for this plan is approximately NT$359 million.