Shanghai Is Back on the Bicycle Bandwagon

shanghai.jpg

The Shanghai Daily reports:

SHANGHAI is making efforts to prove that the title of "kingdom of bicycles" still fits the world’s most populous country, even in the car age.

The city is renovating a 300-kilometer network of "cycling arteries," covering at least 60 percent of local roads open to cyclists, and plans to separate bicycles from motorbikes and scooters in some busy areas.

The government also plans to follow what London does: Using colorful road material to pave cycling lines and make them more noticeable. The efforts were inspired by a recent government-based survey showing nearly 30 percent of locals use bikes, motorbike or scooters as their regular transport.

In many western cities such as New York, cycling is a form of sport, and most people take subway or bus to work every day. In China, however, many people still follow the tradition of using bikes every day because it’s cheap, easy to use and quick.

  • brent

    Since the subject is China, and I have nasty jet lag plus way too much coffee today, I will go off on a tangent- I visited Hong Kong for the first time last week and must comment on the abysmal pedestrian realm. I blame it on a massive overinvestment in pedestrian infrastructure for the benefit of the car traffic (which does move along at high speeds with surprisingly little congestion). All main vehicle thoroughfares are closed off from pedestrians with metal barriers. One can only cross the streets at corners- if you are lucky. In many cases there are enormous, confusing, ugly pedestrian bridges and tunnels. The simple act of crossing the street can mean a confounding trek through a rat maze of escalators, stairs, and nonsensical street crossings. It can literally take 15-20 minutes to go from points A to B which are only 20 meters apart. It seems to just be accepted there- I found myself the only lunatic who would jump over the sidewalk barriers and run across the street. Anyhow, I was reminded of why I break minor traffic laws as a pedestrian here at home- the laws are designed for other people and I have no respect for them.

  • Eric

    Is there an officially stated reason as to why NYC does not implement brightly, or at least differently, colored bike lanes?

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