The City Fix, a blog about urban mobility is reporting that the leaders of the government in Beijing are finally realizing that their recent group-hug of the auto culture is seriously screwing up their city.
That’s great because even by casual observation, the city is, vehicularly-speaking, going to hell in a handbasket. When I was out in Beijing for the Olympics in 2008, it was obvious that cars had really replaced bikes. In many areas of the city I was the only person on a bike in sight. That’s a big change from a culture where the car was a foreign and very expensive novelty.
So the government is putting bike lanes back in, restoring bike rental facilities and trying to crack down on bike theft issues. That’s a trend we hope more cities will follow.