If you avoided the horror that was Shenzhen Bay Park this past holiday weekend, give yourself a pat on the back. The park, which boasts seaside views and lies next to a mangrove reserve, became so packed over most of the Qingming Festival weekend that some paths were almost unwalkable.
To give a sense of scale, from Sunday to Monday there were an estimated 300,000 entries into the park each day. According to the park management center, 10,000 bikes were also brought inside on Monday.
There were so many pedestrians on the most popular path, which runs along the bay, that they overflowed into bike lanes. Those riding shared bikes were forced to a crawl, and many ended up leaving their rides behind.
Check out the massive traffic jams below.
Here's a video of more bikes and people on the path, as far as the eye can see (VPN off):
Authorities were so fed up by the Mobikes, Ofos, Xiaomings and more clogging up the paths that they enforced a parkwide ban on shared bikes on Tuesday, April 4. The evening before, the Nanshan District government and Urban Management Bureau held a meeting with representatives from five bike-sharing companies.
At the end of the meeting, the five companies agreed to clear the park of bikes that same night. Some of them also texted their users, warning them about the ban.
Mobike workers retrieving their bikes on Monday night
On Tuesday, those on shared bikes were barred from entering the park. Space was set aside outside the area for those who needed a place to store their rides.
Judging from photos of the park that day, it's safe to say the measures worked.
While the success is a bright spot in the sometimes rocky relationship between city governments and bike-sharing companies, it does raise a question: could such bans become standard in the future?
If it prevents horrific pedestrian traffic jams from happening, maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing.