Taipei's Gongguan to establish pedestrian zone for night market

The Taipei City Government Department of Transportation (台北市政府交通局) yesterday announced that a pedestrian zone will be designated for the Gongguan(公館) Night Market so as to improve the shopping and sightseeing experience for locals and foreign tourists alike.

Gongguan, the noted business district, is set to establish a pedestrian zone for its more notable night market. Located in one of the busiest areas of Taipei, its renowned night market is a hotspot that appeals to tourists and locals, especially during the peak of summer vacation.

In accordance with Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin's (郝龍斌) Municipal White Paper, the mayor stated that as part of his city development goals he aims to connect various Taipei City tourist sights to boost the tourism economy. At the centre of the plan is the development of the Gongguan Riverside New World Park, which will feature the Gongguan Night Market so as to successfully expand the prosperity of local vendors and boost economic growth.

However, the Gongguan area also serves as a transit point between Taipei and New Taipei City, with two bridges and Roosevelt Road, all of which are widely used by commuters. Therefore, for the safety of shoppers and in hopes of providing a more relaxing environment, the city's Department of Transportation officially announced the initiative tailored to pedestrians and bicycle riders, so that they could enjoy a safe stroll and move freely in the otherwise dangerous and busy area.

The programme seeks to prohibit vehicles from entering the area between noon and 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays such as Moon Festival and National Day. Cars and motorcycles will be mediated through the redistribution of paths to provide sufficient space for pedestrians and bicycle use. The redistribution will also likely relieve traffic jams often observed around the area. The programme is set to begin on Aug. 2 and will have a trial period of three months to give the department enough time to assess the necessity of the designated zone.

The designated area could aid citizens in taking advantage of newly constructed public facilities and experience cultural diversity and art, as well as the variety of entertainment that Gongguan has to offer, according to the city government.