02 March 2017

Bike Share Bikes Seized In Shanghai

Drivers here in NYC all complain about parking, or the lack thereof.  

Some, it seems, simply don't drive their cars for that very reason.  Or, at least, I came to believe that after seeing cars parked in the same spot for months at a time.  I still recall the Cadillac Seville (the model with the slanted rear end) I saw parked on a Washington Heights street when I moved into the neighborhood. It was still in the exact same spot seven years later!

I've often heard that you "don't have to worry about parking" if you ride your bike to work or school, or for errands.  That's somewhat true:  It's certainly easier to park two motorless wheels than four turbo-powered ones.  Still, there have been times I wasn't able to park my bike:  I arrived at an office, store or other place, only to find that other cyclists had already locked their steeds the signposts, parking meters and other structures to which bicycles could be secured.

Apparently, in China, cyclists have an even harder time parking their bikes.  Residents of Shanghai have complained about that:  They say they can't find places to leave their own bicycles or electric bicycles because parking spaces designated for them are taken by...other cyclists.  

So far, that doesn't sound like much of an emergency.  At least, most people wouldn't see it that way.  The bikes parked in designated spots, however, are taken up with bicycles from bike-sharing programs.  

In Shanghai, there are hundreds of thousands of such bikes. People who use them leave them, not only in the designated spaces for residents' bikes and electric bikes, but also on the streets.  Sometimes they block traffic, especially in older areas of the city, where streets are as narrow as three meters.

So, city authorities have picked up about 4000 illegally-parked bikes--most of them owned by bike-share operator Mobike--and penned up in a public parking area.

Mobike, for its part, says it will cooperate with authorities, in part by paying a management fee to help with the problem.


  1. Weird how they color coordinate them. It's actually a pretty composition of artwork.

  2. Chris--I was thinking the same thing. Then again, if you saw the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics (in Beijing), those photos wouldn't surprise you!