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Old January 24th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #1
hkskyline
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Beijing Goes Back to the Bicycle

Beijing encourages cycling in bid to cut traffic
24 January 2010



BEIJING (AP) - Authorities in Beijing unveiled a plan Sunday to make the Chinese capital more bicycle-friendly in the hopes of reducing the city's choking pollution and alleviating congestion.

For decades, China was known as the "bicycle kingdom" but that moniker has become outdated as more and more Chinese buy cars amid the country's economic boom. Last year, China overtook the United States as the world's biggest auto market, with total vehicle sales of about 13.6 million.

Beijing has 17 million people and four million cars, a figure that continues to grow and strain the city's already overloaded road system.

Meanwhile, 19.7 percent of Beijing residents ride bicycles, and authorities hoped to raise that to 23 percent by 2015, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The city will restore bicycle lanes that were cut to make room for cars and buses, and build more bicycle parking lots, particularly next to bus and subway stations, the report said, citing Liu Xiaoming, director of the Municipal Communications Commission.

In addition to the moves aimed at encouraging bicycling, the government will also implement new restrictions on car drivers, Xinhua cited Liu as saying, without giving specifics.

Currently, car owners in Beijing are banned from driving one day a week, with the day depending on the last number of the car's license plate.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #2
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What Beijing needs is creating more capillary roads to cater for local traffic and non-motorised traffic. It's going to be difficult with the Hutongs everywhere, but you can't carry on with one massive 10-lane motorway but every 1000 metres.
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Old January 24th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #3
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Great news.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 01:27 PM   #4
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Bad news, but its their matter.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #5
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Hopefully a trend for things to come.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 09:10 PM   #6
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I don't know why China even thought of following the disastrous unsustainable suburban American model. For a population that huge, Tokyo's model would have been the best for China's soon to be massive cities.
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Old January 25th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #7
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I wouldn't like to be the person telling the Chinese to emulate the Japanese!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 01:03 AM   #8
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They have no other choice. Imagine 1.3 billion cars in China?? They wouldn't be able to get out of their garage!! Roads would be full.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:26 AM   #9
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Yeah, for decades up thru the early 1990s, the bicycle was king on the road in China.

It's delightfull to hear that bicycling could be on the verge of a comeback in China's urban centers, it can't happen soon enough!
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Old January 26th, 2010, 02:40 AM   #10
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Good on ya China!
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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I'll never cease to associate cycling to work (not for fun, neither for exercise or competition) as a corolary of deep poverty, IMO. Many people in Latin American countries have those associations too, but I don't know how much of a status symbol trading your bike for a car is. In emergent countries where changing a specific pattern of consumption, transportation, education, clothing etc. has a strong cultural association with progress and prosperity, such back-changes maybe hard to happen on short-term.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:40 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I'll never cease to associate cycling to work (not for fun, neither for exercise or competition) as a corolary of deep poverty, IMO. Many people in Latin American countries have those associations too, but I don't know how much of a status symbol trading your bike for a car is. In emergent countries where changing a specific pattern of consumption, transportation, education, clothing etc. has a strong cultural association with progress and prosperity, such back-changes maybe hard to happen on short-term.
when people go by bicycle or go to work on a bike it tells a lot but in a positive way. cars are the past (except the new electric / hydrogen cars), public transport, bicycles and going by foot are the future. just because noone drives a car anymore (f.e. HK, NYC, amsterdam and other cities) doesn't mean they are not modern. on the contrary.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:44 PM   #13
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Or Tokyo, I'd like to see "suburbanist" say Tokyo isn't modern because of all the bicyclers Tokyo makes the american suburbs look like the stone age.

Singapore is also very modern and very pedestrian friendly.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 08:55 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NihonKitty View Post
Or Tokyo, I'd like to see "suburbanist" say Tokyo isn't modern because of all the bicyclers Tokyo makes the american suburbs look like the stone age.

Singapore is also very modern and very pedestrian friendly.
of course, tokyo is the example for megacities with regard to transit / traffic.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarulez View Post
cars are the past (except the new electric / hydrogen cars), public transport, bicycles and going by foot are the future.
Cars are not the 'past' - granted, PT will improve and planning will focus more on enabling cities to become more walkable and accessible to other forms of transport.
Cars will always prove more desirable than public transport for a large portion of society, except for major dense cities for commuting to the centre, no matter how efficient/clean/etc public transport is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chinarulez View Post
just because noone drives a car anymore (f.e. HK, NYC, amsterdam and other cities) doesn't mean they are not modern. on the contrary.
Maybe not HK, but in Amsterdam people also drive - it's all about balance. Yes, give people the option to use PT and they will when it suits them. But to assume that 'nobody drives' anymore is silly.
In London - with one of the largest PT systems in the world (albeit, granted, not the cheapest or most efficient), people still drive. They may use the train to get to work in the centre during the week when driving would be more expensive and slower because the city is just too populated/dense to suport mass car commuting to the centre. But outside of 9-5 monday-friday, people prefer cars if they have the option. In the evenings, or at weekends, people will and do drive into the centre. The car is far from dead. Most of the world does not live in HK or Tokyo etc.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:41 PM   #16
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Mass transit is good for getting around the city too if done correctly.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
The car is far from dead. Most of the world does not live in HK or Tokyo etc.
I agree with you, it is far from "dead" in tokyo as well. But the main point is having options. The problem with the american model (which china was following for several years) is they plan the cities to revolve entirely around the car without other options..
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayviews View Post
Yeah, for decades up thru the early 1990s, the bicycle was king on the road in China.

It's delightfull to hear that bicycling could be on the verge of a comeback in China's urban centers, it can't happen soon enough!
Bicycles haven't exactly retreated en-mass from China's streets. There has been a small shift away from bikes perhaps, with certain roads having become bicycle-unfriendly, but most of the time streets are still 'infested' with bikes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suburbanist View Post
I'll never cease to associate cycling to work (not for fun, neither for exercise or competition) as a corolary of deep poverty, IMO. Many people in Latin American countries have those associations too, but I don't know how much of a status symbol trading your bike for a car is. In emergent countries where changing a specific pattern of consumption, transportation, education, clothing etc. has a strong cultural association with progress and prosperity, such back-changes maybe hard to happen on short-term.
And I will never cease to associate you with desparately needing to grow up, Saburbanist.
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Old January 28th, 2010, 12:27 AM   #19
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Old January 28th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niterider View Post
Cars are not the 'past' - granted, PT will improve and planning will focus more on enabling cities to become more walkable and accessible to other forms of transport.
Cars will always prove more desirable than public transport for a large portion of society, except for major dense cities for commuting to the centre, no matter how efficient/clean/etc public transport is.



Maybe not HK, but in Amsterdam people also drive - it's all about balance. Yes, give people the option to use PT and they will when it suits them. But to assume that 'nobody drives' anymore is silly.
In London - with one of the largest PT systems in the world (albeit, granted, not the cheapest or most efficient), people still drive. They may use the train to get to work in the centre during the week when driving would be more expensive and slower because the city is just too populated/dense to suport mass car commuting to the centre. But outside of 9-5 monday-friday, people prefer cars if they have the option. In the evenings, or at weekends, people will and do drive into the centre. The car is far from dead. Most of the world does not live in HK or Tokyo etc.
i'm not saying that the world should abandon cars, my post was just related to cities. it is very feasible to live in a city without a car, there are many examples proving this thesis. and now back to topic: i'm really glad that our government is making the right moves concerning pollution control in the whole country, beijing is one of them.
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