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Urban Planning Self-Starter: Chinese Commuter Fined After Painting Road

The man was fined about $150 for unauthorized road painting. Crews arrived afterward to restore the arrows to their original orientation.
The man was fined about $150 for unauthorized road painting. Crews arrived afterward to restore the arrows to their original orientation.

He had had enough. A man in China's Jiangsu province decided he would be the change [in the traffic patterns] he wished to see in the world — or, in this case, in his daily commute.

The Modern Express reports that a man named Cai was questioned by police for repainting traffic arrows on roads in the city of Lianyungang earlier this week. As the BBC reports, Cai was ultimately fined 1,000 yuan (about $150) for the offense.

Chinese broadcaster CGTN posted video footage to YouTube of the freestyle traffic updates. It shows the suspect in a bright red jacket adding straight and left turn arrows to the traffic pattern as cars, trucks, buses and bikes speed past. Sporadically, he moves out of the way for vehicles driving in lanes he is painting.

The footage also shows when police caught up with Cai. The South China Morning Post reports that he admitted to the painting.

"I saw the straight lane was always packed with cars, while the turning left lane has a lot of space," he said, according to the Post. "So I thought changing the signs would make my commute smoother."

Later in the video, a traffic crew arrives to repaint the roads to their original directional indications.

Traffic police said Cai's actions were "very dangerous," according to the Post's report. NPR could not confirm whether Cai used a stencil to outline his work or whether he made his mark completely freehand.

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