Shanghai bike ban to be extended, believe police

As China gets richer, car ownership increases. Bikes are increasingly seen as 'poor man's transport' and cycling to be discouraged. In Shanghai, bikes have been banned from many roads and traffic police want to see more bans put in place so cyclists don't get in the way of motorists. According to the Shanghai Daily News, bikes could soon be banned from all of the city's main arterial roads, not just short sections as at present.
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"Bicycles put great pressure on [the] city's troubled traffic situation," said traffic cop Chen Yuangao.

"Through new regulations, we expect to control the number of bicycles on local streets."

As well as outright bans on sections of six of Shanghai's major roads, the police will have new powers from May 1st to penalise cyclists who disobey traffic laws. On-the-spot fines will rise tenfold.

Shanghai residents own 9 million bicycles but "with a growing number of cars on local streets, drivers and cyclists find themselves competing for space on increasingly crowded roads," reports the Shanghai Daily News.

"We have to produce a local traffic law to limit the number of bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles on city streets," said Zhu Yinglei of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

"Many bicycle riders just disregard traffic lights and occupy vehicle lanes at their will."

But not every official is quite so anti-bike. Zhao Guotong of the Shanghai Economic Commission said:

"Bicycles are an environmentally friendly means of transportation that should not be banned.

"Instead, the local government should take firm control of the increasing number of private cars."

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