Rampant rickshaws upsetting residents

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, June 23, 2010
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Rickshaws running back and forth at Houhai Photo: Yang Jie

Rickshaws running back and forth at Houhai Photo: Yang Jie 

Rickshaw tours in Houhai and its surrounds are causing residents to protest.

A woman living in Nanguanfang Hutong has even sought help from high authorities and widely read online community tianya.cn.

"I am five months pregnant and don't have the strength to drive out the noisy rickshaw riders and visitors outside my home," wrote "marry8010" on a tianya forum. "I have been forced to temporarily live with a friend."

"marry8010" added in her post that she had written a complaint to the city mayor, called police and the office responsible for managing rickshaw operations, all to no avail.

A woman surnamed Wang told the Global Times that she has been living in the area for nearly 50 years. "These drivers are also tour guides who introduce the hutong to their guests, which also brings noise."

A siheyuan courtyard, said to have hosted the "first Olympic family," attracts numerous visitors every day, and nearly every rickshaw rider tries to lure tourists there. Drivers reportedly tell visitors that foreign heads of state have visited.

A businessman surnamed Cheng who rents a house in the area said that rickshaw drivers are paid 10 yuan ($1.47) when they introduce a tourist to the "Olympic" siheyuan. Cheng said that besides the noise, rickshaw drivers' recklessness "endangers pedestrians."

Chen Yang, an officer from the Shichahai subdistrict administrative office, told the Global Times that as a combined residential and tourism area, problems were bound to arise. "The hutong tour has run since 2008, and [we] specify routes and times for the riders," Chen said.

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