(Global Times) A survey index of Beijing residents designed to gauge the level of civilized public behavior rose to a new high in 2017: for the 12th year running.
The Beijing Public Behavior Index hit over 85 points for the first time last year: 1.5 points higher than 2016. The overall index rose 20.47 points compared to 2005.
Lining up when shopping, walking and taking an elevator have all improved, residents say.
But in the view of respondents, the top three examples of uncivilized behavior were spitting, running red lights and refusing to sort garbage.
The Renmin University of China third-party think tank survey found that indexes regarding public communication, public viewing and public participation have also experienced significant growth in recent years.
With Beijing residents growing increasingly aware of the importance of maintaining a clean environment and observing social and moral codes of behavior, the survey suggests a change for the better.
Forty-year-old Guan Zhong has lived in Beijing for 11 years. Guan told Metropolitan that in recent years he has seen more cars yielding to pedestrians and letting elderly and children go first on zebra crossings.
"Although there is still some uncivilized behavior that happens from time to time in Beijing, it happens far less frequently than before," he said.
Residents today possess a stronger awareness of environmental protection, said a 19-year-old Beijinger who asked not to be fully named.
"There used to be a lot of illegal stalls on streets, and now you can barely see one anywhere in Beijing," she said.
Establishment and enforcement of laws and regulations concerning urban management were helpful to eliminating uncivilized behavior, she said.
China's urban management officials have become stricter about street vendors, she noted. "As a result, the streets in Beijing are tidier and cleaner than before," she said.
The booming take-out industry has created some new and noticeable uncivilized behavior, she warned.
"To deliver food to their customers on time, I once saw a deliveryman squash into an elevator full of riders," she said. "It was obvious that we could not take one more in, but he just pushed his way on. I think that was bad behavior."
Some deliverymen ride on the wrong side of the road despite knowing the danger, a Haidian resident told Metropolitan. She asked not to be fully named.
Regulations along cannot solve the problem, she said. "The deliverymen themselves should raise their awareness of obeying rules and correct their behavior accordingly."
Random parking of shared bikes and locking shared bikes with a private lock are not only headaches for the street authorities, but also for Beijing workers and residents.
"When I go to work in the morning, I would like to ride a shared bike to the nearest subway station," a product manager complained to Metropolitan. "But sometimes when I have chosen my bike, I find that it is actually locked by a private lock or it is still undergoing maintenance. So I have to go for another. The process can be quite time-consuming."
On a positive note, management of bikes has been strengthened. Many Beijing locales have lately set aside special parking areas for shared bikes.
In the long run, the shared bikes not only benefit users like commuters, but will also play a part in civilizing the hurlyburly competition of urban traffic.