Residents Say Tree Planting Causing Congestion 屏鵝公路近日頻塞車 居民批「種樹百里工程」

Congestion has been occurring on Ping-E Highway. Local residents say it's due to a project by the Directorate General of Highways to plant trees.


Ping-E Highway is one of the main access roads to Hengchun peninsula. Traffic jams have frequently occurred as of late, reducing the average speed to less than 20 kilometers per hour. Local residents say it's related to a Directorate General of Highways project to plant trees. On July 1, it launched the 2.0 version of a project to plant trees along the highway. It is spending NT$680 million to improve the flora along the 112-kilometer-long highway. Environmental groups say this project basically consists of chopping down trees and planting new ones, and is a waste of manpower and resources. Moreover, over 60 percent of the trees that will be planted are foreign species.

Chuang Chieh-jen, Chairperson, Forest City Association: “They're extensively digging up existing shrubs, over 100,000 of them, and then planting new shrubs. They're destroying trees too.”

Yang Kuo-chen, Former Chairperson, Taiwan Academy of Ecology: “What issues have you found with existing things that are making you eliminate them? Once you plant new ones, will the issues be gone? You need to say what they are.”

Other groups say what residents need the most is a highway, not for the government to uproot trees and then plant new trees. They said the project needs to be suspended.

Chang I, Member, Executive Committee, TEPU: “There is absolutely no need for it. The entire road is a verdant corridor. What the people of Hengchun want the most is a highway, yet the government refuses to give them that.”

Chen Jiau-hua, Legislator (NPP): “I would like to ask the National Audit Office to examine the budget of this project and the Directorate General of Highways to postpone the implementation of this tree planting project until it can provide a detailed explanation about it.”

Chuang Chiang-lung, Chief Engineer, Maintenance Division, DGH: “We're not eliminating everything, we're implementing it in a principled way of replanting and reviewing.”

The DGH said the project is about eliminating unsuitable trees, not eliminating all trees. It will address the congestion by carrying out the work in segments and not working on weekends.

 

 

 

通往恆春半島的主要幹道屏鵝公路,近來常常大塞車,導致平均時速不到20公里,當地居民認為跟施工有關。因為公路總局1日開始,在沿線進行「屏鵝公路種樹百里2.0提升計畫」,當中6.8億用在112公里的公路上改善植栽,卻被環團質疑這計畫形同砍樹再補種,勞民傷財,而選擇的植栽還有6成以上是外來種。

森林城市協會理事長莊傑任指出:「大量挖除既有的灌木,而且是數十萬棵的灌木,然後再重新種灌木,真實的真相其實就是毀樹百里。」

台灣生態學會前理事長楊國禎認為:「我們現有的東西,你評估有什麼樣的問題,你必須把他剷除掉我們去種新的,你的問題在哪邊?你要提出來。」

也有環團質疑,當地居民最需要是快速道路不是挖樹再種樹,呼籲政府暫停施工。台灣環盟執行委員張怡表示,「根本就完全沒有必要,因為一路上都綠油油一片,那恆春人最想要的快速道路政府不給。」

時代力量立委陳椒華呼籲:「針對這個計畫的預算執行,請審計部進行調查,那第二個就是請交通部公路總局,在沒有種樹計畫詳細的說明(前),種樹的這個施工暫緩執行。」

交通部公路總局養路組主任工程師莊江隆回應:「以一個補植或是檢討為原則方式來執行的,並不是一個全面汰除的工作。」

交通部公路總局表示,工程是汰換不適合的樹木,不是全部刨除,至於交通堵塞問題,會規劃分段施工及周末停工的方式來改善。
 

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