Q: How many locals does it take to fill a sidewalk?
A: Four cyclists, a guy on a motorbike, two DVD sellers, a trio of street sweepers, a chuanr stand, and the shopkeeper who comes out to his stoop to throw a tissue onto the pavement.
Sounds cramped, right? Blame the increase in car numbers: many Shanghai streets were widened in the early 1990s to make way for more vehicles.
But here’s some good news: soon there’ll be extra room for pedestrians (or for another chuanr stand, at least). The Shanghai Daily reports that:
Narrow city sidewalks will be widened to at least 1.5 meters and some amenities and services, such as restaurants and public telephone booths would be barred from narrow walkways, under an infrastructure draft law.
Don’t get too excited though. The story also states that “the law will be discussed for two months.” So, still plenty of time to get barreled over by an eager bicycle rider, if you’re looking for that particular authentic Shanghai experience.