With the largest population of any country in the world (nearly 1.5 billion people!), you may wonder how China keeps so many people, and the traffic they cause, orderly. To many Westerners, the flow of traffic may seem chaotic, but it really isn’t. There is a nice system of give-a-gap and take-a-gap for those driving. A horn honk doesn’t mean get out of my way, rather: “Hey! I am here and moving forward… so, let’s not bump into each other.”
In the paragraph above, I was describing traffic for motor vehicles, but what about pedestrians? Yes, China does have a system in place for them as well. As you can see from the picture below, it is clear where someone should stand before crossing a street.
Another welcome guide for the pedestrian is the indicator for telling you when it should be safe to cross the street. I would strongly encourage everyone walking the streets in China to keep yourself aware of the cars near you. As with any country, you never know what someone may do.
With so many people using the streets of China, sometimes the traffic signals seem to stay a certain color for an extended amount of time. For those of us who grow impatient easily, China lets you know how much longer it will be before the light changes colors, which is a wonderful idea to me!
The picture above was taken on a VERY busy street corner in China. I don’t have access to any statistics, but I would imagine that letting people know when the light is going to change has prevented accidents from occurring. The traffic flow in China takes a little getting used to since the volume may be higher that what many Westerners are accustomed to, but it usually works well!