Legislators and political advisers in Shanghai have urged the government, bike-sharing startups, and cyclists to jointly solve the problem of illegal parking of hired bikes as the problem grows throughout the city.
Conflicts over parking has occurred in several cities. The latest one occured on Jan 15 in Shenzhen, where around 500 hired bikes were piled up by security guards at a community where residents were angry about the cyclists' illegal parking.
"Bike-sharing operators should take the initiative to discuss with local government authorities where the bikes can be parked and where they can't. Moreover, users must register with real names when using the bikes and those who violate parking regulations must be punished," Wang Rulu, a member of the Shanghai Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, said on Jan 15 during the annual sessions of the city's legislative and political advisory bodies.
Hired bikes operated by companies such as Mobike, Ofo and Bluegogo have grown in popularity since their appearance in April. They are easy to rent through smartphone apps and can be parked at users' convenience. The number of such bikes in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou has surpassed 100,000.
"However, their illegal parking has caused inconvenience for pedestrians and hindered traffic safety," Wang said.
In Shanghai, sharing bike operators suggest users park in certain areas marked with white lanes on the pavement, which are designated as areas for bicycle parking by the government. But often, especially during rush hour near metro station entrances, the bikes spill over into other areas, and some users park them randomly on the pavement or even in motor vehicle lanes.
Mobike says that it receives as average of 30,000 reports of illegal parking a day.
"We need a solution sometime soon as the number of hired bikes will continue to increase in the near future," said Wang, who is also chief engineer at Shanghai Metro Maintenance and Support Co.
Cao Guoxing, head of public relations for Mobike, said the company is talking with authorities in different cities about solutions.
Jiang Xiaoqing, a municipal legislator in Shanghai, suggested adding illegal parking violations to citizens' credit records.
"Every user must obey the public transport regulations," said Jiang, who is also deputy director of the radio news center of Shanghai Media Group.