Bicycle Diaries: Beijing traffic taming

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22.9.07

Beijing traffic taming

the city marks car-free day
for the first time

The city join 1000s of other cities today in this year's World Carfree Day. Although it's the first time the city council has signed on for this global event, the first time would seem to be a cause for rejoicing, the ploticos aren't bending over backwards. They'll ban private cars from only two stretches of a downtown street, each about 250 yards long. That's 0.003 per cent of Beijing's roads. Peter Ford reports in The Christian Science Monitor, 21 September 2007:
Wang [Yong, owner of the Beijing Bicycle Rental Co.] says he is confident the Chinese will eventually get savvy enough to get out from behind their steering wheels and onto two wheels. "We used to be poor and look forward to owning a car as a status symbol, but we have to get over that," he insists. "The government moves slowly, slowly, but I see things getting brighter. We just have to be patient."

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