Bicycles No Longer Welcomed In China's Cities

China's pell-mell race towards modernization reduces reliance on bicycle for transportation.
August 25, 2006, 8am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"In 2005, China became the world's second-largest car market, selling nearly 6 million vehicles. Suddenly it was littering its western high deserts with oil pumps and sucking oceans of crude out of Sudan. Meanwhile, Shanghai was cracking down on cyclists, barring them from select vehicle-heavy downtown streets and increasing by tenfold the fines it imposed on two-wheeled lawbreakers. Ridership was way down. While 60 percent of Shanghai's population commuted by bike in 1995, only 27 percent did so in 2000--and the city's power brokers seemed happy about the decline. As one former deputy mayor saw it, "The bicycle is just a reminder of past poverty."

Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP

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Published on Saturday, September 23, 2006 in Sierra
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