Green Traffic Week

September 18, 2007 - by Pauline Law

As part of the greening of China before the 2008 Olympics, the Ministry of Construction has introduced a campaign for this week, "Green Traffic Week", China Daily reports. The goal of the initiative is to raise the proportion of commuters who use public transit to fifty percent.

On Saturday, September 22, 108 cities will participate in "No Car Day", which Yahoo! News reports is the first nation's first. The cities will designate special areas where private automobiles will be prohibited. Instead, commuters are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transit. In Beijing, traffic will be restricted in the area between Tianqiao and Zhushikou, as well as Wangfujing to Bamiancao from 7am to 7pm.

China Daily's article on No Car Day does not, however, mention whether or not public transit capacity will be expanded to accommodate the expected surge of passengers during No Car Day, nor does it give an explanation as to why the Ministry of Construction chose Saturday to hold the event.

A previous No Car Day held only in Beijing on June 5, 2006 reportedly decreased typical traffic jam routes from 50 to 48 and reduced private vehicular traffic by approximately 250,000 cars.

4 Comment

  • 1.Candice  |  September 18, 2007, 3:44 pm

    Law can only regulate people's action, and only with people's initiative mind of environmental protection can we enhance our air quality.

  • 2.Samantha  |  September 19, 2007, 1:56 pm

    Share your car with others will be a good solution to ease the traffic pressure on Beijing. In addition, an increasing number of comfort and convenience of public transport will attract more people.

  • 3.Justin  |  September 19, 2007, 5:05 pm

    Although various measures have been carried out in order to alleviate the traffic congestion, the traffic problem has been getting more and more serious in china, at least here the capital city. Why is that and where is the solution? Maybe it is time to turn to other traffic improvement means other than the ordinary ones. Well, I just wonder, if a 100% or even higher car purchase tax is imposed, what will happen then, you can imagine it yourself.

  • 4. Pauline  |  September 20, 2007, 5:00 pm

    Re: Candice -- laws can also mandate the presence of catalytic converters in cars. Catalytic converters reduce automobile emissions significantly. Most cheaper vehicle makes in China do not have them since they raise the cost of vehicle ownership significantly: I believe that they cost about 6000RMB since the key material in a catalytic converter is platinum. Furthermore, more expensive cars with catalytic converters mean that fewer of them will be purchased -- amplifying the anti-pollution effect that mandating the installation of catalytic converters would produce. The Chinese government should balance its support of developing a native car industry with a more pro-active approach towards regulating the emissions that vehicles produce.

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