Monday, May 10, 2010

Beating Beijing's traffic...

It is a problem every major city has to deal with, it is just that some deal with it better - or more ruthlessly - than others. We're talking about traffic congestion and what needs to be done to strike a working balance between public and private transportation.

Well, a couple of weeks ago we asked the experts, Dr. Yulin Jiang,Director of the China Urban Sustainable Transport Research Center at the Chinese Ministry of Transport, and Mr. Shomik Raj Mehndiratta, senior transport specialist with the World Bank.

You can take a listen to Beijing Traffic on this MP3 link (Hour 1)

One of the issues raised was how user friendly Beijing's subway stations were to those who wished to 'park and ride' - in Chris' case, park the bike and ride the subway.

So this morning he rode his clunky old fold-a-bike the almost 3-kilometers to the station only to find - aghast - parking spaces for a dozen or so cars and no facilities for bikes! Not what you'd expect in a city once famous for its bicycles!

Chained to the fence in Yonganli.

Outside Babaoshan

At the end of the subway commute in Babaoshan, the situation wasn't much better. A row of bikes chained up to the fence outside the station. Now technically this is actually illegal. Not very encouraging is it, especially not with Chris' known predilection to hug every tree in sight and somewhat ambitious plans to save the planet?

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