Shida residents vary on market row solution

The China Post news staff

Some residents around the Shida Night Market near National Taiwan Normal University on Saturday voiced different opinions concerning how to deal with the controversial row between operators of restaurants and stores in the market and residents.

A self-governing association of residents for three boroughs around the night market area was yesterday soliciting residents’ approval for a set of proposed solutions.

The association asserted that the self-help association formed by some other residents cannot represent the voices of all residents, that their community can’t lose its cultural characteristics, that the Taipei City Government can’t “bury its head in the sand” when dealing with the controversial case, and that the confrontation and conflict between residents and operators of night market stores should escalate. In addition, the new association also insisted that landlords of the stores and restaurants should promise to give feedback to the community, that the city government should close those stores that refuse to improve their operations, and that the city government should also tighten supervision of stores operating in the night market.

In response, the leader of the original resident self-help association, surnamed Liu, said it’s a good thing to have different opinions concerning how to settle the controversial case, but stressed that any administration should be conducted according to law.

Just one day earlier, restaurant and store operators at the Shida Night Market completed an opinion survey among themselves as they pledged to strengthen self-regulation in order to maintain market order and environmental quality. Leaders of the self-help association formed by the business operators said the survey will be forwarded to the Taipei City Government, which has been coordinating discussions between the businesspeople and residents in the area. They expressed hope that the city government will be able to adopt the principles of transparency and impartiality when dealing with the dispute, in which the residents want the government to crack down on the restaurants and stores for causing noise and pollution problems. Representatives of the business operators said they have received 402 copies of questionnaires concerning ways of improving business operations to avoid offending nearby residents. The majority of the businesspeople have agreed to take effective measures to improve the environment and lower the noise created by throngs of customers to under the decibel level stipulated in existing regulations after 10:00 p.m. every evening.

As many as 401 of them will also turn off music after 11:00 p.m. The planned moves are part of overtures to the residents for allowing the restaurants and stalls to continue operating. Taipei City Vice Mayor Chen Hsiung-wen is scheduled to hold a coordination meeting on March 11 and 13 to solicit opinions and responses from residents of the community near Shida Road area.