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Road naming man fined

An audacious man who illegally named a street after himself is to be fined for his cheeky antics.

The man, named Ge Yulu, became an Internet sensation after he named a street after him and shared the experience about it on social media, with the tagline: “How to boast a road named after oneself in Beijing.”

The former student from Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2013, searched for Beijing streets in the city that had been unnamed. Once Ge Yulu had located an unnamed road he set about making a self-made sign with his name on and planted it in the city’s Shuangjing neighborhood, in Chaoyang District. He named the untitled road Geyu Road, as “road” is already pronounced as “lu” in Chinese.

The online map “Amap” picked up “Geyu Road” in 2014 and included it on its navigation system. It was quickly followed by Baidu Map in 2015 and Google Map in 2016.

Ge said the practice was originally an art design project exploring relationships between names and individuals and the fun of private symbols in public places. He didn’t expect it to viral with netizens online.

Yet Ge Yulu’s fame soon came to an end when an official, from the city’s urban planning committee, found out about his street-naming shenanigans. Ge Yulu was told residents cannot personally name a road or make and hang road signs on unnamed lanes. Those who do take such liberties will be fined.

The administrative department, in charge of urban planning, is responsible for naming roads.

Local urban management authorities were scheduled to remove the road sign today, on July 13. Ge Yulu’s road has yet to be given an official name.

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