‘Idle-Free Taipei’ Wants YOU to Promote Clean Air in Taipei

Wild East news staff

Idle-Free Taipei (台北不怠速)[Edit: 2015/1/15 link no longer works] is holding a Clean Air promotional campaign on Saturday, July 2, 12:00-2:00 p.m, to educate the public on the facts of idling vs. not idling, and are asking volunteers to meet at Roosevelt/Keelung Rd. intersection to help with the event.

“What we are doing is trying to educate motor vehicle operators around Taipei about idling at long traffic lights,” says lead organizer, John Fleckenstein. “For example, Taipei commuters use about $900,000 worth of fuel every day while sitting at a red light. Once people are aware of this money-saving ‘go green’ technique, they will make it a habit and encourage others to do so.

At the event, volunteers will be holding informational signs aiming to educate and have an impact on scooter drivers passing by, signs with short messages, such as “Cancer is the leading cause of death in Taiwan,” “Taiwan is the 49th most populated country, but produces the 20th most CO2,” and the like. Volunteers will also be handing out masks to scooter drivers, in keeping with the message of the harmful effects of CO2 and other exhaust emissions.

“This will be a great opportunity for our volunteers as well because it allows for them to see immediate effects of their support,” added Fleckenstein. “Unlike other events, which of course have the best intentions — such as rallying for the Former Tobacco Plant, anti-nuke protests — we will be witnessing our results firsthand. For every scooter driver that turns the key and thinks to him or herself, “That was easy,” there will be an Idle-Free Taipei supporter who will also be thinking, “That was easy.”

The goal of this Clean Air Promotion is to gather a LOT of people at Roosevelt Rd/Keelung Rd Intersection and educate Taipei’s scooter commuters on a few key facts about idling engines:

* Taipei spends nearly $900,000/day on fuel at red lights.
*Prenatal exposure to air pollution can result in an IQ score 4-5 points lower.
*Cancer is the leading cause of death in Taiwan. 20% of these deaths are from lung cancer.
*Taiwan is ranked #49 in world population, but #20 in CO2 output.
*Taiwan is ranked #25 in CO2 per person. (Japan is #35, CHINA IS #80!)
*Scooter mechanics confirm that stopping/restarting a scooter engine does not cause any extra damage.

“Once made aware of these shocking facts, we’re hoping scooter drivers across Taipei will make a conscious effort to eliminate unnecessary idling at those endless red lights: 99…98…97…96….!” said Fleckenstein.

The Clean Air Promotion wants to be loud and proud, complete with media coverage, bubbles, and a special musical guest.

One thought on “‘Idle-Free Taipei’ Wants YOU to Promote Clean Air in Taipei

  • July 1, 2011 at 8:47 pm

    I think the Taipei authorities should upgrade the traffic light system. Cut out (and stop putting in place) unnecessary lights and instead use a ‘yield’ sign or blinking red lights (stop n go), esp. after midnight at many of them. 2) Why aren’t they synchronized better? Usually you have to stop at every 2nd or 3rd intersection; AND 3) waiting 3 minutes at some of them is BRUTAL.


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