Shanghai is continuing its crackdown against the scourge of shared bikes with certain popular areas in downtown Huangpu District being designated as bicycle-free zones.
Huangpu authorities announced earlier today that individuals could be fined if caught riding or parking bikes — both private or rented — around People’s Square, Yuyuan Garden, the Bund, Xintiandi, Nanjing Road Pedestrian Street and Tianzifang.
In addition, 27 roads will also be banned from bicycle traffic. Most of them are popular commercial streets without bike lanes like Nanjing East Road and Huaihai Road, Shanghai Daily reports.
Officials have told major bike-sharing services in the city that they must remove all shared-bikes from these restricted areas by April 19th or else be fined 20 yuan per bike. Representatives from Mobike, Ofo and Xiaoming have agreed to comply with the campaign.
Over the last year, the popularity of bike-sharing has exploded in Shanghai. The Shanghai Bike Authority has estimated that there could be as many as 500,000 shared bikes in Shanghai by the end of the first half of this year.
While these shared bikes may be cheap, convenient and good for the environment, they have created havoc downtown, clogging up sidewalks and even streets.
Last month, images went viral online showing some 4,000 seized shared bikes brightening up a parking lot in Huangpu District. The bicycles had been left parked illegally in the sidewalk or street by their careless users. Most of the seized bikes belonged to Mobike, the leading bike sharing service in China, which initially refused to pay any fees to have the bikes returned.
Huangpu authorities are hoping to clean up this whole mess before the May Day holiday travel rush hits and we’re all subsumed under wave after wave of shared bicycles. Shanghai Daily reports that officials are even thinking about using a “high-tech electronic fence” that will prevent illegal parking in some of the banned areas — though it’s not clear how this technology will work.
Meanwhile, Huangpu isn’t the only district in Shanghai looking to crack down on shared bikes. Authorities in Jing’an District have announced that police will be on the look out for illegal bike parking along 20 major roads in the district.
And the bike-sharing crisis is not limited to Shanghai alone. Over the Tomb Sweeping Day holiday 10,000 bicycles flooded into a single Shenzhen park in one day, prompting authorities to ban bikes from entering the park the next day.
[Images via Shanghai Daily]
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