As a newcomer in town, pursuing this project to document the bike lanes of Kunming, China has been an interesting way to learn about this city, where massive infrastructure projects could threaten an incredibly robust biking culture. So in my final post, I wanted to share a visual reflection of my own personal favorite aspects of Kunming’s bike lanes:
The variety of bipedal vehicles and their uses
Conveniently-located roadside bike parking lots
Sturdy vintage Chinese bicycles with self-made modifications
Small bicycle repair-shops
Xiaoximen underpass early weekday mornings before rush hour. Breakfast carts and newspaper stands are conveniently located alongside the bike lanes.
Sounds from the People’s Road
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I began this series with a broadly framed question:
How will the dramatic changes in Kunming’s transit system shape the daily lives of its residents?
I was hoping that it would lead to productive conversations about the changing road conditions in the city. I was never disappointed, especially when these talks evolved into lively discussions about scenic bike routes or the best roadside mixian (rice noodle) shops. Difficult to truly capture, yet deeply impressionable, are these personal stories and collective explorations.
I wonder if these photographs will soon become antique reminders of the past.
Post by Sewon Chung.