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April 13, 2017

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No-go bike areas set up downtown

HUANGPU District is taking a tough line over problems caused by the shared-bike craze that has gripped Shanghai as well as other Chinese cities.

Yesterday the government of the downtown district launched a crackdown that by setting up banned areas for both parking and riding bikes — and warning that violators will be fined.

It ordered that all bikes, whether private or rented, cannot be parked around People’s Square, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, Xintiandi, Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street and Tianzifang.

The district has also listed 27 roads, mostly popular commercial streets without bicycle lanes such as the Nanjing Road E. and Huaihai Road, where bikes cannot be ridden.

The major industry players including Mobike and Ofo have been told to remove all their shared-bikes from the restricted areas by April 19.

If they fail to do so, the district government will charge the bike rental firms 20 yuan (US$2.90) for each of their bikes it has removed.

Bike-rental services have grown rapidly since they began appearing on the city’s streets a year ago. Shanghai has more than 450,000 rental bikes, and 4.5 million registered users.

However, the boom in renting bicycles has also brought complaints — about vandalism, rider violations and parking.

Many bikes are found cluttering up pedestrian walkways and parked in lanes set aside for cycling.

The Huangpu government aims to resolve these problems by May 2, an official with the government said yesterday after a meeting between government bodies and bike-rental companies.

“Huangpu has very limited parking space while the number of shared-bikes has been booming,” the official said. “The district will face great pressures during the Labor Day holiday in May when large numbers of travelers are expected.”

To cope with the challenges, a high-tech electronic fence will be installed in some banned areas to help to prevent parking abuses, he said without elaborating on the new technology.

Industry leaders Mobike, Ofo and Xiaoming yesterday agreed to cooperate with the government’s campaign.

Mobike said it would send more maintenance workers in those areas to move the bikes out in time.

According to the city’s new road and traffic management law, which comes into force on March 25, riders who fail to park bicycles in designated areas will be fined from 20 to 50 yuan by traffic police.

Jing’an District has also announced that police officers will crack down on illegal bike parking in more than 20 roads including Nanjing Road W., Changshu Road and Chengdu Road N.


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