Automatic Bike Lane Barriers Restrain Red Light Running Chinese Cyclists

A pilot project set up by traffic police in Luoyang, China seeks to curb cyclists, tricyclists and scooter users who whether obliviously, intentionally, but either way dangerously cruise through red lights without stopping.

Once a bicyclist's paradise, China has seen exponential growth in vehicular traffic over the past several decades. Urban cyclists might feel they've been ignored in the rush to motorize if not for the establishment of dedicated bike lanes in many major cities.

Too often, unfortunately, China's bike riders (ranging from pedal-powered two-wheelers up to scooters and electrobikes) seemingly want to have their cake and eat it too. In other words, they enjoy the protection offered by bike lanes while selectively ignoring other rules of the road if they contradict their own interests, with the running of red lights being the most glaring example.

Car and truck drivers have noted this trend as well with many figuring if the cyclists don't respect the rules of the road, why should they? As such, a number of frustrated drivers have taken to the bike lanes in an effort to circumvent stalled city traffic. Anarchy and chaos loom... what is to be done?

One answer takes the form of automated fences that raise and lower in conjunction with the traffic lights. Two of these fences have lately been installed at busy intersections in the city of Luoyang.

When the traffic lights change from green to yellow and red, the so-called “anti-red light barriers” descend to block the bicycle lanes while leaving the vehicle lanes unaffected. Some space is left so that bikers can make right turns while the light is red, which is legal in China.

As well, the barriers are designed with internal sensors that halt the descent if they meet any obstruction, guaranteeing no wayward cyclists will get guillotined. Should the system show positive results, no doubt it will be extended to other bike lanes in Luoyang and other Chinese cities. (via Shanghaiist and NetEase)