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Major Taiwan cities mark World Carfree Day

2011/09/17 21:56

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) Large cities around Taiwan, including Taipei, New Taipei and Kaohsiung, sponsored a variety of activities Saturday to encourage the use of public transportation, cycling and walking to mark World Carfree Day.

Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Wei-jen said at an unplugged concert at Daan Forest Park that emissions from motorcycles and automobiles are the largest source of air pollution in the city since it no longer host factories.

"We hope our citizens will support the carfree campaign to reduce carbon emissions," Chen said, adding that Taipei boasts a convenient public transport system which comprises mass rapid transit and bus services.

In Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, Mayor Chen Chu kicked off a mass bicycle ride across major city streets by cycling fans to drum up support for the carfree campaign.

Chen said CNN has rated Kaohsiung as one of Asia's five most cycling-friendly cities. The city has 26 cycling paths totaling 500 kilometers in length, she said, with plans to extend them to 1,000 km.

The number of solar energy-powered tourist boats will also be increased from the current five to 15, she said.

In New Taipei, the city government sponsored a carfree event in Danshui District, barring all motor vehicles, including motorcycles and cars, from entering the area from 10 a.m. through the evening.

New Taipei Mayor Eric Chu said the pedestrian-only event was designed to enhance public awareness of the need to use public transportation to reduce carbon emissions and protect the environment.

World Carfree Day falls on Sept. 22.

(By Wang Hung-kuo, Chen Chou-kuo and Sofia Wu) enditem/ls