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Beijing Auto Population Soars

Xinhuanet. Beijing added 147,000 new cars in the first five months of 2005, increasing the total car population in the city  to 2.41 million.

While it took 48 years for the number of vehicles in Beijing to reach one million, it only took six years for it to add another million.

Earlier this month, the Beijing municipal government issued a transportation development plan, saying that the city would have 5 million automobiles by 2020, which means nearly every family would have a car.

In order to deal with the coming intense traffic, the plan vows to build more highways and roads, encourages citizens to take buses and subways and recommends constructing more parking lots.



I heard a report on NPR a while ago about this same issue. Someone was quoted as saying "A population who owns cars is a sign of a mature society." (Or something to that effect.)

I thought "No. The sign of a mature civilization is one that can have public transportation that's so efficient and inexpensive that a person could live full, uncompromised lives without ever having to own a car."


Icelander nailed it. It's not about owning a car -- it's about being able to effeciently (cheaply, quickly, safely) being able to travel where you'd like to go.

Hopefully Beijing figures out that building more roads and parking lots only results in more traffic, not less. Build those mass transit options now, before it becomes too difficult later!


Totally agree with icelander. Beijing will only get more traffic congestion by increasing road construction. I remembered when my sprawling city of Port-hacourt in southern Nigeria was building wider roasds to accomadate the anticipated traffic. At first it was fun driving around with almost no traffic, today its a nightmare of pollution and congestion.

I could imagine a city like London or new York where nearly noboby owns a car, but everybody owned a foldable segway. They can ride the segway to a trainstation, fold it so it can get on the train. When they get out, they extend it and ride to where ever they want to go. No need for waste garage as they can ride the segway indoors, take it on elevators and store it in their wardrobe. My idea of an efficient city transport system.



Please be advised that a new book on subject is fresh off the press.

The book title is: "HOW TO LIVE WELL WITHOUT OWNING A CAR" by Chris Balish.

This book is a step-by-step plan to reduce the number of cars on the road and to empower all people in the fight to effectively reduce the world's dangerous dependence on oil and to reduce global warming.


Tom Balish
Ledyard, Connecticut

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