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October 24, 2013

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Opinion divided over limited access to historic Jing’an Villa

RESTRICTING access to the previously bustling Jing’an Villa lane this week has divided opinion in the city, with some people welcoming the quieter environment but others complaining of the inconvenience.

Previously, the picturesque lane provided pedestrians with easy access between Nanjing Road and Weihai Road.

Built in 1932, Jing’an Villa is popular with locals and tourists for its traditional Shanghai architecture.

However, an electronic access control system was introduced on Monday. This is to prevent illegal shops and eateries shut a month ago from reopening by starving them of customers.

One passerby, surnamed Yao, complained that the lane was now off-limits to pedestrians who’d taken the path for years.

“I’ve walked this lane for decades,” said Yao.

Some residents also expressed their frustrations.

An elderly resident, surnamed Fu, said she often forgets her electronic card to open the gate. “It’s totally inconvenient for me,” said Fu

A young woman living there supported this view.

“Every time relatives visit or goods are delivered, we now need to go to the gate and wait for them,” she said.

Meanwhile, security guards say the new system has increased their workload.

“We need to question everyone without a card attempting to enter, having to check things like relatives’ names,” said senior security guard Sun Changgui.

However, the new arrangement also found supporters.

“It’s much cleaner now,” said rubbish collector Zhao Shiqing. “There were napkins and other rubbish all over the place before.”

Resident Zhang Tao, said most people living there approved of the access control system. “We’ve seen a decrease in outsiders and parked cars.”

And elderly resident Li Zhenghua said the community was much more peaceful.

“Now it’s become an actual residential community without stores and restaurants.”



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