公館裡最擠的地方 ～ The Busiest Place in Gongguan
The Busiest Place in Gongguan
Author: James Smyth
Editor: Huang Xin-hui
Many people wait for buses in front of Gongguan MRT Station to take them to and from work and school. It seems like you can get anywhere from there. But the busiest place in Gongguan doesn’t have that many people and bicycles. Because there are so many cars at the Roosevelt & Keelung intersection, pedestrians find it dangerous.
It’s a roundabout. Cars and motor scooters pass through it in packs. Two policemen and a hoard of stoplights direct traffic. The policemen use batons to restrain offending vehicles. Pedestrians can walk around the intersection, but even though it doesn’t take that long to cross because the lights alternate so quickly, you don’t see very many of them. On the MRT Station’s side of Roosevelt Road, there’s also an underground walkway.
Two big roads and two small ones, 27 lanes in all, go into and out of the roundabout. In addition, the Keelung Elevated Highway passes over it and a bus-only street goes under it. Keelung Elevated Highway stretches from the other side of Xindian River to Xinhai Road. The entrance and exit for the tunnel are right in the middle of Roosevelt Road, on either side of the roundabout, for vehicles to pass straight through it. Also, the subway line, which is not visible, follows Roosevelt.
Most of the vehicles entering the roundabout turn right or go straight, but those with patience can also go left. A car that misses its exit can circle around and try again. Though there are over a hundred vehicles passing through at any one time, I haven’t seen an accident there or even a spot of trouble. However, my Taiwanese friends tell me it’s a dangerous intersection. Cars certainly have to be careful there. Perhaps they’re cautious because they don’t want to make tens of thousands of people late for work.
Some interesting buildings alongside the streets are two Taipower Buildings, a general office building, a police station, and a public junior high school. The students there must hear the traffic all day long. Because crossing the road isn’t easy, volunteers come before and after school to help the students. Also, there’s a breakfast stand. Motor scooters often stop in front of it to buy egg cakes, dumplings, and other Taiwanese breakfast.
It’s an impressive intersection with a creative design.