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Couple experience a turn for the worse

By Tian Xuefei and Zhou Huiying in Harbin | China Daily | Updated: 2017-05-17 07:52

Over the past eight years, one unfortunate family in Heilongjiang province has seen at least 100 cars crash into their yard, and sometimes even their home - which is placed right in front of a sudden 90-degree turn.

"Ever since 2009, when the road was built in front of our house, we have lived in fear of the rushing cars," said Xu Renxiang, 29, from Dongfeng village.

On Tuesday, Xu said, the Lindian county government provided "a satisfactory solution". But due to the deal they agreed to with the county government, she said she could not reveal more details.

Jia Haiyan, a publicity official of the Lindian Party committee, said the county government will provide the family an apartment in a nearby town.

"The family is still selecting from the options provided. They have moved out of the old home and are living in a temporary residence to ensure their safety," she said.

The family's fear started with the construction of a 7-meter-wide road built as a side road of the Daqing-Qiqihar Expressway. The family estimated that about 6,000 vehicles pass by every day.

Couple experience a turn for the worse

"The side road is much busier than the main highway because there is no restriction on the weight or speed of the vehicles," said Xu's husband, He Haijun, 30. "What's more, it's free.

"The turn is really a disgusting design that catches drivers off-guard, especially around midnight without lights. The drivers can hardly see our house."

The couple still remember the first time a vehicle crashed into their yard. In the winter of 2010, they were awakened by a loud sound and found two beams of light shining through the window. The uninvited guest was a car.

In 2011, a warning sign with a Chinese character meaning "slow" was set up in front of the yard, but it has had little effect, they said.

"It has become a billboard covered with various advertisements," a frustrated Xu said. "The most common one is for renting a crane for the stuck cars."

Houses along the road have similar features - all except He's, which has no short trees, stone bridges or European-style fences because they've all been damaged by cars.

After several replacements, the couple started choosing simple repairs.

In the yard, there are now several fortresses - a row of hollow bricks, a pile of coarse sand, a pile of smooth sand and an agricultural vehicle under the window of the house.

"They can't prevent the cars from rushing into the yard, but they can slow them down and stop them before they enter our home," He said.

Now, the couple's biggest fear is the safety of their 7-year-old daughter.

"Every day we tell our daughter to pay attention and be safe. And we don't allow her to play in the yard," Xu said. "She can't even make a snowman in the winter."

In 2010, the couple began petitioning the government to provide a safe place to live, but the problem wasn't solved until it was reported by media, they said.

Contact the writers at zhouhuiying@chinadaily.com.cn

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