12 August, 2007

1 Million cars...where did they go?

Supposedly, Beijing is removing 1 million cars from the roads between 7 August - 20 August. I'm not surprised by this and completely believe they can and will do this (did something similar last October for the China-Africa Summit). However, I didn't notice any reduction in cars between the 7th - 10th.

Beijing has over 3 million cars on the road today...they add over 1,000 new cars to the roads each day. Why not stop adding? I know it's not that easy...but for a government who can tell 1 million people they can't drive for 2 weeks, why can't they tell potential car buys they can't buy for 1 year? Yes, this has other impacts (car sales, fuel sales, etc...), but there will be just that much more of a demand post Olympics - just start preparing for that.

Much of the city traffic, in my view, is caused by people walking and on bicycles. The "people watchers with flags" really don't do much in the way of stopping people from walking or riding through the intersections when they aren't supposed to.

1 comment:

Esteban said...

Mike,

How does the mass transportation work in china? The only good way to prevent people from using cars (besides banning, which has too many negative impacts IMHO) is having a state-of-the-art mass transportation system that is fast (since nothing can compare with the comfort of sitting in one's own car speed is the one advantage mass transportation can use as a battle flag).

As I watch Buenos Aires' transit get more chaotic every single day due to more people and more cars and no smart investment in mass transportation I can't help but feel that more cars filling up the same old streets and avenues, or making more highways is a dead end for any city that has a half-thinking city-planning ape in it's ranks.