Over the recent holiday, I had the distinct pleasure of riding my recumbent trike in the wonderful city of Kaohsiung. This southern Taiwanese city is known for wide boulevards, protected side streets and ample scooter lanes. It was a real pleasure riding there! Notice in this shot, how large the scooter lane is (the space to the right of the solid white line). Notice that there is ample space for parked cars and scooters to co-exist.
Here is another example of the scooter lane. There’s enough room to park a big truck and still make it by with no problem!
Just look how wide the intersection is! There is plenty of visibility, and therefore, reaction time, making these large roads very safe for cyclists.
One thing that I really like about Kaohsiung is the food market areas. They run every day, some of them all day, some of them in the night only.
Often, I rode right in the middle of a regular lane. Not once did I experience an angry horn honking for me to get out of the way. In fact, on this ride I met some very nice people. Some took the time to ask me questions about the trike, while others gave me a friendly wave from a passing vehicle.
For some reason, Kaohsiung often gets a bad rap from expats, but I can’t figure out why. Here we see a brand-new KRT station, and an isolated scooter lane. Cars are not allowed to trespass into this scooter lane. I was able to ride in this lane with complete confidence.
I’ve also heard expats complain about the layout of the city, but as this example shows, they put some thought into the layout. Here you see a lane of car parking, along with a dedicated scooter lane. For the most part, parked cars don’t block the scooter lanes in Kaohsiung.
Lastly, this is one of my favorite situations – a completely protected side street for scooters, bikes and pedestrians. To the left of the traffic island on the left, is a 4 lane thoroughfare, and there is a matching protected side street on the opposite side of the thoroughfare, making six lanes in all.
So, the next time you plan on going to Kaohsiung, I suggest taking your bicycle, or renting one at the many locations throughout the city. You’ll enjoy the leisurely wide streets, dedicated scooter lanes, and the patient, friendly drivers in this southern Taiwan city.
UPDATE: I forgot to include the ride map. Click on this link to see it.