The complete title of this entry should be:
- Top 3 Failed Innovation in Shanghai that I Supported
Shanghai is a changing city and an international city. The change on transportation system is among the best. I should say I am very happy about the improvement the transportation administration made for Shanghai. Good examples are: Dynamic Traffic Display Board. However, things are not always as good as planned. There are three innovations that follows the international best practices that I strongly supported turned out to be failure.
First, Numbering of Highway with A + Numbers
Shanghai’s highway system was named after the starting city and the destination city. For example, the highway from Shanghai to Nanjing is called Hu-Ning Highway 沪宁高速公路; the high way from Shanghai to Ping Wang (near Suzhou) via Qing Pu is called Hu-Qing-Ping Highway 沪青平高速公路.
This naming convention brought many trouble for international visitors. To follow the international practices, the transportation administration changed the naming to A+number. For example: Shanghai-Nanjing Expressway was named A11 and Shanghai to Hangzhou Expressway was named A8.
Hand made by Jian Shuo Wang. Used in Group Drive to Yang Cheng Lake
Recently, report said it turned to be a big failure because few people can remember the new names. Does A11 go to Hangzhou or Nanjing? Not very sure and it has caused great confusion. Many car accidents happened for this. Now the authority has added the Chinese name and Pin Yin near the A1, A2,…. A11 signs.
Second: Press for Green Light
At some pedestrian, big blue buttons were added so people can press this button for green light.
There are such buttons everywhere in Seattle, but it is not as useful in Shanghai. Sometimes it does not work (refer to Push-for-green-light button section in Traffic Rules in Shanghai). People never use it because in such as a populated city, the button is not necessary at all. It is hard to find a cross-road that lack of passing people. Just assume the button is always pushed.
I don’t mean to complain. I was a strong supporter for this button but the fact educated me that something works in the western countries may not work in Shanghai.
Third: Taxi stops
New taxi stops were constructed across the city. Passengers can press a green button on the equipment and the big display board on the top will show a waving hand and taxi will stop by. It reduces the interference of random call for taxis.
Up to now, no one is using the equipment. When I press the button to call for taxis, no taxi stops because the taxi drivers don’t know what the waving and the beeping mean yet. It may take time for everyone to get used to it, but there is hint that this great innovation may take quite some time to be adopted.
Something in the West? May not work in China
These are vivid example of what works great in the west may not work in China – just as the economy of China has beaten down many of the expectations of western economist.