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Beijing overhauling transportation

Beijing may be designing the city of the future on order to control traffic problems. They are overhauling everything from building new roads, limiting cars and licenses, providing bike sharing, increased bus routes, and limiting driving hours. Below are some highlights of the changes taking place in Beijing.

“Beijing Traffic Control Restriction Policy Limit on new car licenses Only 240,000 car licenses will be issued in 2011 through number-drawing (lottery), with a monthly average of20,000.

“Beijing government agencies and institutions entirely funded by the city government are not allowed to have any additional cars for the next five years.

“The city will be categorized into three zones according to their levels of traffic congestion, with higher parking fees in congested areas.

“Bus routes starting with the number 9, which indicates they link the downtown to suburban areas, will be connected with subway transits outside the 3rd and 4th ring roads. An additional 354 trains will be added to subway, and the interval between trains on these lines will be reduced to two minutes. School shuttle systems will be developed.

“More than 30,000 government-invested parking spaces will be built at transfer points of subway transits. Low charges will be collected at these parking lots.

“A bike-sharing system featuring 1,000 sites equipped with more than 50,000 bikes will be completed during the next five years.

“As many as five citywide expressways with a total distance of 37.3 km will be built before the end of 2012. More than 200 km of new roads will also be completed in downtown Beijing by then. Express tunnels will be built under the eastern and western wings of the 2nd Ring Road and Taijichang Dajie. The Xishan tunnel will also be built.

“In addition to the above, Beijing will continue to implement the ‘Drive Your Car One Day Less Every Week’ policy of limiting cars according to rear license plate numbers. The “odd/even” license number restriction of motor vehicles will be adopted during times of inclement weather, major events or important festivals, among other reasons of peak traffic.”

Implications from IFTF:
We could very well be looking at the city of the future here. Developing cities all over the world face traffic congestion unimaginable to people who have not had to sit through them. All these urban centers will have to deal with these issues much like Beijing is sooner or later.

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Sources:

NISTPASS January 2011 pgs. 15-16
http://newsletters.clearsignals.org/NISTPASS_Jan2011.pdf#page=15

Major policies released to ease Beijing's traffic.
http://europe.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2010-12/24/content_11751134.htm