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New path is a cycle of true progress

By Hu Yongqi in Xiamen, Fujian | China Daily | Updated: 2017-09-02 08:14

In order to ease traffic congestion, Xiamen introduced China's first elevated bicycle path in its downtown area and about 5,000 people use it each day as they commute between their homes and offices.

The 7.6-kilometer path went into operation in January along Yunding Street on an overpass structure near the express bus lanes.

It is open from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm and, at 4.8 meters wide, it has two lanes in opposite directions. Cyclists can detour or take a break at designated points. It connects three industrial parks, five communities and three shopping malls.

It also has seven platforms designed for parking about 600 bikes, which can be taken to the ground by nearby elevators.

A system has been installed to monitor whether people are taking bikes or other vehicles, said Wei Jianlong, an employee at Xiamen Public Bicycle Management Company. "The system will sound an alarm if someone tries to drive an electric motorcycle onto the lane," he said.

The company has set up surveillance cameras every 200 meters in addition to warning signs that remind cyclists to control their speed to under 25 km/h.

A record high of more than 13,000 cyclists on Feb 11 used the path during the Spring Festival, Wei said. To connect with other means of public transport, it has 11 entrances where people can take a bus, and in the future a subway.

Xiamen has promoted express buses over the past few years to facilitate commuters, but many people have to wait 10 to 20 minutes before getting on a bus during rush hour. The path eases crowd numbers.

The city is known for its beautiful scenery, and people can enjoy it as they cycle past shimmering lakes on one side and swaying palm trees and beautiful parks on the other.

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