Why did the chicken cross the road? If it's a Chinese chicken from Chengdu, to meet his or her love interest on the other side of the Love Zebra Crossing! Joking aside, the chicken was probably just following the local custom in this central Chinese city. According to a police spokesman, “Hejiangting is where almost all of Chengdu's newlyweds go because it is a place where two rivers join together. It has a beautiful meaning.”
“We know that drivers are very polite in other countries,” continued Yang Shu Zhi, Chief of Brigade No.1, Third Substation Traffic Police Bureau of the Chengdu Public Security Department, “So we want to advocate the same virtue by using the Love Zebra Crossing as an example.”
Yang has a point: official reports note an average 14 people are injured in road accidents daily while last year in total there were approximately 4,000 traffic accidents in Chengdu. Aside of the human cost, the local government loses the equivalent of over $1 million annually.
Though getting drivers to think more about the safety of their loved ones is the main motivation for painting and maintaining the Love Zebra Crossing, the crossing itself has brought more pedestrian traffic to the area: specifically, brides and newlyweds hoping for a romantic photo op and maybe a little luck in love along the way.
The crossing, which was recently renewed for the upcoming Qixi Festival (the Chinese Valentine's Day) can be found on South Tianxianqiao Road near Hejiangting. The city has arranged for a traffic policeman to keep watch over the crossing as an untimely accident would be unfortunate for all concerned. (via Channel News Asia, IntroCN and Eastday, top image via Buka Gambar)