Beijing wants people to leave the car at home, and jump back on the bike

Just twenty years ago, most Chinese urban families would not even dare to dream of owning a car, most have never been inside of one!  Ten years ago, many of the nouveau riche started showing up in them.  Nowadays, nobody bats an eyelash if there are two cars per family, as long as they can find, and pay for parking.

Needlessly to say, this singular pursuit of the four-wheeled life has marginalized the biking culture.

Horrified by the implications of billions of cars on the road – challenges in logistics, infrastructure maintenance, and worst of all, pollution, Beijing is implementing some reforms to bring the bikes back.

Xinhua says:

The city will restore bicycle lanes which were cut to make more room for cars and buses. It will also work to relieve a shortage of secure bicycle parking. …  The government will build more parking lots for bikes alongside bus and subway stations so that cyclists could easily transfer to other transport vehicles. Meanwhile, the city is making bikes more available for hire. By 2015, about 1,000 outlets will be offering 50,000 bikes for rent.

Perhaps they can learn from the Danes, or the Dutch.

Related article: best of 2017 .


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