Cars, motorcycles, and scooters in Taiwan. Here's where the greasemonkeys and gearheads talk shop. Oh, and if you're looking to buy a used car, check out the vehicle listings at www.taiwanted.com.
I have. I moved to the suburbs. I'd not have a car if I lived in the city. And yes, I have naked ladies on my telephone at the touch of a button. Modern life!
The run ins you had were either due to illegal clamping (which logically means a clamper would be more likely to go to jail than be kept out of it) or they were caused by you parking illegally. :D
I've never heard of parking wardens (who are hired by the council or by private companies) being people who would take the job to avoid jail.
Dragonbones, since when did taxis in Taiwan become expensive?
Sandman, you found the naked ladies? See. It's not all bad!
Some of them are... doing... things to themselves. Its an eye-opener for sure!
Not so sure about that. My contention was limited to the need for/convenience of a car in Taipei, and I admitted that i can walk to work from my home.
I still believe that a car is completely unnecessary for city-dwellers.
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Well, there can't be many people who voluntarily decide to become traffic wardens (or clampers). And since the position of, say, obersturmführer doesn't exist in this day and age, it's an ideal job for personalities who might otherwise find themselves arrested for something sordid. The devil finds work for idle hands and all that.
TBH I'm referring to the system rather than the people themselves. Parking in England is pretty much designed to create 'offences' where none exist. Someone overstayed their pay-and-display by 30 seconds? That'll be 40 quid please. Sorry, but that's just stupid. Clamping even more so. Charge people for what they use. Charge them exorbitantly if it's a precious resource (eg., a spot in a prime location in a crowded city). But don't impose arbitrary and draconian punishments for non-existent crimes which (a) make the problem worse (b) become necessary to fund the complex enforcement of said draconian punishments and (c) turn the enforcers into hated social pariahs. I'm saying this as someone who fundamentally dislikes cars and the chaos they create. If you're going to make them mandatory (which certain countries apparently do) then at least treat their owners with a minimum of fairness.
I meant the system of payment, which is only implemented in certain locations. It's simple, it requires minimal manpower, and it works. It assumes that most people are basically honourable, which is a good place to start.
The old street in Danshui has become a lot less cluttered since it became pay-to-park. Extending the same system to the whole of Taipei city is a Good Thing.
Cars and kids: I get that there may be a certain time in one's life when having a car is useful, and possibly marginally cheaper. I remember what that's like. The problem is people tend to retain the habit even when it becomes unnecessary and/or more expensive. I had a car between the ages of 17 and 29. Before and after that, I did a lot of walking and sitting on buses/trains, and I'm pretty sure it hasn't done me any harm.
This internet thing sounds awfully educational. Schoolkids must find it very useful indeed.
The latter. The run in (singular) was because I parked on one side of the street and crossed over to get a parking ticket from a machine on the other side. Supposedly, one side of the street was in one borough and the side I was parked on another, so my parking ticket wasn't acceptible. Or some bollocks like that. I had to phone up and pay 100 quid or so to get the clampers to come and de-clamp me.
They were very prompt, though. Big lads in body armour.
yet scooters will be allowed to park on sidewalks and pollute to their hearts content. Brutal!
I have a car but we don't often drive into Taipei city proper, it's less stressful and cheaper just to MRT to central and North in except for the east of the city where the no2 highway makes it easy to navigate. Even though work could potentially cover parking I still would take the MRT, it's too convenient , safe and cheap.
I use the car on weekends only practically once or twice a week these days, I guess it isn't worth it but since I already have it, parking is thrown in and it's useful for some weekend trips I'll hang on to it for the moment. if it was more expensive for tax and insurance and parking maintenance like in the EU I would have got rid of it already.
Now when I lived in Taichung I drove several times a day!
If we moved out to Sanxia or Linkou or something then the car would become part of the daily routine again.
But you got to ask yourself the question....what would astronaut Chris Hatfield do?
That is the fault of stupid council rules. Not of the people who are paid to enforce them. Must have sucked for you though.
There is still this feeling amongst the British public that parking attendants are people who, in their daily lives, are utter wankers who choose this job because they take pleasure in being wankers to other people. This feeling grew up when London was suddenly swamped with cars and the free parking rules ended. Also, many of the parking wardens were Caribbean descendants who were tempted to come to the UK and were given jobs as traffic wardens and bus conductors. Black people telling the average Joe Londoner how to behave? It's hardly acceptable now, let alone in the 1950's. So there is also a racist element to the origins of the 'parking attendants are wankers' feeling.
Perhaps expect to see a change in attitude to people giving out tickets and therefore a change in the profile of people giving out tickets in Taipei as more and more people get pissed off with having to pay parking tickets. Little old ladies on scooters will be replaced with burly lads (if there are any).
What you now find in the UK sadly is that the laws around parking are murky and unclear and people who take these jobs tend to be on the lowest rungs of society, because, well, fuck them! There are spates of illegal immigrants being found working as parking attendants because nobody in their right mind wants a job where they are abused all day every day. (Except secondary school teachers!)
You're quite correct that the rules are stupid, murky and unfair. Deliberately so, as far as I can tell. But the people who are paid to enforce such foolishness probably are utter wankers: partly because they are free not to take such a job in the first place, and partly because the job itself would make you so eventually (this is about where the Stanford Prison Experiment gets a mention).
However low your rung on the ladder, however dire your circumstances, however dodgy your visa, nobody is forcing you to become a cog in a dysfunctional system. Tesco always want shelf-stackers. Or you can go on the dole. Either option offers you more respect (and self-respect) than being a traffic warden.
So it absolutely is their fault. They fully deserve the abuse heaped upon them - not for being poor, or black, or stupid, or immigrants, but for conspiring to make society a slightly shittier place than it could be. Without the assistance of people prepared to write out the FPNs or lock the clamps in place, council pen-pushers with lukewarm IQs would have no means to enforce their ridiculous schemes, which take on a hideous life of their own and become self-perpetuating, sucking in even more poor/black/stupid/foreign people who might otherwise be spared such indignity.
This won't happen in Taipei for the simple reason that government officials here are (in my experience) somewhat more competent than the dregs who operate British councils. The present system of billing people for their parking time works extremely well. People who don't pay get a penalty notice in the mail (as I understand it - I've never got one). In other words, there will be no need for actual human beings to hand out scads of parking tickets.
It's low skilled and you don't need great English to do it. I'm not sure therefore that everyone who takes that job has the freedom to choose another job. Also, Britain is in a bit of a mess now. 1 million people using food banks. Besides, they are just doing a job, giving tickets to people who don't obey the parking laws. The rules are wank, not the people who have to enforce them. I think further the idea that power corrupts spreads way beyond the reaches of giving out tickets. Are parking wardens in Taiwan viewed as wankers by the Taiwanese? Is this a global feeling or a British one? I kinda feel pity for traffic wardens, but then again, I don't drive and I am well known for rooting for the unpopular team!
Just doing a job enforcing wank rules? I find that a tough position to defend.
I agree in general that with overly populated urban areas strict parking laws are clearly necessary, as long as the rules are there for good reason and not simply cash generators.