shanghai-traffic management voting booth

I think one of the things that make it difficult (and dangerous) in Shenzhen for pedestrians and makes things harder for urban planners in in Shenzhen is the lack of enforcement of both traffic and parking rules. A foreigner in Shanghai, who thinks Shanghai is starting to get better about traffic enforcement has seen a ‘voting booth’ at a street corner.

The “Satisfaction Post” (满意柱) allows citizens to vote on whether they are satisfied or not with the local police’s ability to control traffic.  Placing a red ring on a small plastic pillar means “satisfied,” while a blue ring means “unsatisfied.” Below the ringed voting system is a slit to submit any feedback.

The voting booth is also a suggestion booth.

I know that part of the enforcement problem is the small number of police in Shenzhen and that a larger % of the total police in China work in offices, rather than patrol the streets–which is why Shenzhen relies so much on cameras to catch traffic violations. But only a few types of traffic violations can be caught be cameras–and even those can be avoided by drivers who know where the lights are. Traffic enforcement needs to be done by humans on the street–constantly.

But in the United States, traffic enforcement and fines actually make a lot of money for city governments. New York City made more than US$ 400 million from parking fines in 2004–that was five years ago. That was parking fines, and does not include traffic fines. Traffic enforcement is not a cost for cities, it is a money earner.

More photos at the link, from psfk.com. And there is a link to the Shanghai Traffic Police web page. 上海交通安全信息网which might have more information.

UPDATE: according to a news article from yesterday, the city of New York is expecting US$ 686 million in parking fines this year. Some are saying teh city is being too strict on parking. Others feel that, while it is nice the city is collecting aprking  fines, it also needs to be better about traffic violations.

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