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Zebra crossings get romantic twist

ROMANTIC zebra crossings in a central China city have sparked controversy with some saying they beautify the streets and others concerned about their effect on traffic.

From this month, designs other than the traditional white bars have appeared at eight pedestrian crossings in Luoyang City, Henan Province, today's Henan Business Daily reported.

The designs, created by the city's traffic police, are in tune with their surroundings, said a traffic policeman surnamed Guo.

For example, a red peony - Luoyang's city flower - appears on a crossing in the city's downtown area, and the phrase "I Love You" is on a crossing near a hospital. Two hearts can be seen at a crossing near Wangcheng Park, a popular meeting place for lovers, and the Olympic rings are on a crossing near Luoyang Stadium.

Guo said the designs, painted within the crossings, would not confuse drivers or pedestrians. They would encourage pedestrians to walk on and cheer up drivers waiting lights to change.

Guo admitted some pedestrians had been standing on the designs to have their photographs taken, but said this had not affected traffic so far.

Most local people loved the designs, he said.

But the designs draw negative reactions from some Netizens, the Henan Business Daily report said.

Netizen "Hefeng" worried that the designs are not standard and might confuse drivers and pedestrians.

"Liu Xinchao' said the patterns do not adhere to the nation's standard zebra crossing design.

But "Fanhualuojin" agreed the zebra crossings should keep up with the times. As well as its function as a traffic sign, a zebra crossing should provide a positive effect on its surroundings, he argued.

Luoyang is not the first Chinese city to introduce designs to zebra crossings.

Chengdu City of southwest China's Sichuan Province unveiled a love-themed crossing in February. The crossing in Hejiangting, described as the most romantic street in Chengdu, had attracted lovers and newly-weds to cross there and be photographed.
Elsewhere, a colored crossing has been seen in Taizhou City in east China's Zhejiang Province and a musical stave is on a crossing in Harbin City, the capital of northeast China's Heilongjiang Province.


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