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China's Shanghai Bans Bikes on Main Roads

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  • Shelly Nelson
    Here s a solution to gridlock: **************************** China s Shanghai Bans Bikes on Main Roads 1 hour, 12 minutes ago Add World - AP to My Yahoo! By
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 9, 2003
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      Here's a solution to gridlock:

      ****************************


      China's Shanghai Bans Bikes on Main Roads
      1 hour, 12 minutes ago Add World - AP to My Yahoo!


      By CHRISTOPHER BODEEN, Associated Press Writer

      SHANGHAI, China - Shanghai plans to ban bicycles from its major roads
      next year, banishing China's most popular form of transportation from
      its congested streets to make more room for cars, official newspapers
      said Tuesday.

      Police will also raise fines tenfold for cycling infractions such as
      running red lights, the Shanghai Daily reported. Such measures aim
      to "control the number of bicycles on city streets," it quoted police
      official Chen Yuangao as saying.


      The proposed ban, which extends restrictions already in place on some
      streets, has prompted protests by some city officials and members of
      the city's large cycling population, the paper said.


      "Bicycles are an environmentally friendly means of transportation
      that should not be banned," Zhao Guotong, an official of the Shanghai
      Economic Commission, told the newspaper.


      Shanghai should instead "take firm control of the increasing numbers
      of private cars," Zhao was quoted as saying.


      Shanghai, with an urban population of about 20 million, has some 9
      million bikes, the paper said. Numbers of new bicycles in the city
      grew by 1 million this year.


      Bicycles were long kings of the road in China, hailed by the
      country's communist leaders as the perfect proletarian transport:
      cheap, efficient and egalitarian.


      Like other cities, Shanghai, which boasted some of China's earliest
      bicycle factories, designated special bike lanes on main roads and
      built bicycle parking lots.


      In recent years, though, Shanghai has developed into a center of
      China's burgeoning auto industry, and growing affluence has spurred
      private car buying.


      Numbers of private vehicles in Shanghai nearly doubled to 142,801 at
      the end of last year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
      The figure is expected to top 200,000 by the end of this year,
      according to Shanghai media reports.


      That accounts for only a small percentage of vehicles on the road,
      though: Private automobiles are outnumbered six to one by buses,
      taxis, government cars, and commercial vehicles, according to the
      official newspaper Liberation Daily.


      City officials have tried to limit the numbers of new cars by raising
      registration fees and restricting access to the city center.


      Nevertheless, police officials cited the need to control two wheelers
      as the key to reducing gridlock, accusing them of ignoring traffic
      lights and occupying vehicle lanes.


      "Bicycles put great pressure on the city's troubled traffic
      situation," Shanghai Daily quoted Chen, the police official, as
      saying.
    • De Clarke
      For every 100,000 SUVs sold this year, American taxpayers will be paying a subsidy of some $1 billion. Revealingly, that s about the same amount of money the
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 9, 2003
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        For every 100,000 SUVs sold this year, American taxpayers will
        be paying a subsidy of some $1 billion. Revealingly, that's
        about the same amount of money the federal government spent in
        the 1990s to encourage American car companies to build hybrid
        cars. It's also about the same amount we are spending each week
        to keep our troops in oil-rich Iraq.

        http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17333

        article contains some interesting stats but overall is disappointing,
        hewing to the familiar theme of "increased fuel efficiency is all we
        need."

        as the previously posted article about Shanghai's outrageous, criminally
        stupid proposal to ban bikes from main roads demonstrates, auto gas
        consumption is only part of the problem. the expropriation of public
        space, displacement of healthier transportation modes, and gross distortion
        of public process are perhaps, in the long run, even heavier costs.

        de

        --
        .............................................................................
        :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
        :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
        :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
        :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
      • De Clarke
        an interesting longish article on the sociopolitics and economics of bottled water here http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1209-10.htm ... The WWF argues
        Message 3 of 7 , Dec 9, 2003
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          an interesting longish article on the sociopolitics and economics
          of bottled water here

          http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/1209-10.htm

          --- excerpt ---

          The WWF argues that the distribution of bottled water requires
          substantially more fuel than delivering tap water, especially since over 22
          million tons of the bottled liquid is transferred each year from country to
          country. Instead of relying on a mostly preexisting infrastructure of
          underground pipes and plumbing, delivering bottled water-often from places
          as far-flung as France, Iceland or Maine-burns fossil fuels and results in
          the release of thousands of tons of harmful emissions. Since some bottled
          water is also shipped or stored cold, electricity is expended for
          refrigeration. Energy is likewise used in bottled water processing. In
          filtration, an estimated two gallons of water is wasted for every gallon
          purified. When most people think of bottled water, they probably envision
          the single-serve plastic bottle, which has exploded in popularity and is
          now available almost anywhere food products are sold. The WWF estimates
          that around 1.5 million tons of plastic are used globally each year in
          water bottles, leaving a sizable manufacturing footprint. Most water
          bottles are made of the oil-derived polyethylene terephthalate, which is
          known as PET. While PET is less toxic than many plastics, the Berkeley
          Ecology Center found that manufacturing PET generates more than 100 times
          the toxic emissions-in the form of nickel, ethylbenzene, ethylene oxide and
          benzene-compared to making the same amount of glass. The Climate Action
          Network concludes, "Making plastic bottles requires almost the same energy
          input as making glass bottles, despite transport savings that stem from
          plastic's light weight."

          ...

          Despite such a sizable environmental footprint, the push to recycle plastic
          water bottles has not been as successful as many consumers might like to
          think as they faithfully toss their used containers into those blue bins.
          As Utne magazine recently reported, "Despite the ubiquitous arrow symbol,
          only five percent of plastic waste is currently recycled in America and
          much of that must be fortified with huge amounts of virgin plastic." One
          limitation is that recycling plastic causes it to lose strength and
          flexibility, meaning the process can only be done a few times with any
          given sample.

          Another problem is that different types of plastics are very difficult to
          sort, even though they can't be recycled together. Common plastic additives
          such as phthalates or metal salts can also thwart recycling efforts as can
          too high a ratio of colored bottles (such as Dasani's blue containers) to
          clear bottles. Because of the challenges, many recycling centers refuse to
          accept plastics. In fact, a fair amount of America's plastic recycling is
          done in Asia, where laxer environmental laws govern polluting factories and
          fuel is spent in international transport.

          According to a report recently released by the California Department of
          Conservation (CDOC), more than one billion water bottles are ending up in
          the state's trash each year, representing enough plastic to make 74 million
          square feet of carpet or 16 million sweaters. Darryl Young, the director of
          CDOC, says only 16 percent of PET water bottles sold in California are
          being recycled, compared to much higher rates for aluminum and glass. "It's
          good people are drinking water, but we need to do more outreach to promote
          recycling," says Young. Franklin says one potential deterrent to recycling
          may be that water bottles are often used away from home, meaning they
          aren't likely to make it into curbside bins. Young advises people to ask
          for recycling bins in retail and public spaces.

          Industry analysts point out that demand exceeds supply in the market for
          recycled PET plastic, which is used in a range of goods from flowerpots to
          plastic lumber. Franklin says deposit systems, or so-called bottle bills,
          would go a long way to improving the collection of used water bottles,
          especially since only half the country has curbside recycling available.
          But only a few states have bottle bills, largely because of strong
          opposition from the container, beverage and retail industries (and their
          front group, Keep America Beautiful). While Kay stresses that the IBWA
          urges consumers to recycle, he says his organization opposes bottle bills
          because "food retailers shouldn't have to devote any money-making floor
          space to storing and sorting recyclables, especially as that may lead to
          unsanitary conditions."

          ...

          --- end excerpt ---

          I just love that last bit. we shouldn't mandate the recycling of toxic,
          expensive, oil-wasting plastic bottles which end up littering our beaches,
          forests and roadsides and whose manufacture poisons groundwater and air --
          because recycling them might be "unsanitary" [sic].

          de

          --
          .............................................................................
          :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
          :Mail: de@... | Your planet's immune system is trying to get rid :
          :Web: www.ucolick.org | of you. --Kurt Vonnegut :
          :1024D/B9C9E76E | F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA B9C9 E76E:
        • Ed Beighe
          I m wondering what subsidy and tax incentives means in this context. It s kindof misleading and mixing apples and oranges -- i assume the author is
          Message 4 of 7 , Dec 9, 2003
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            I'm wondering what 'subsidy' and 'tax incentives' means in this context.
            It's kindof misleading and mixing apples and oranges -- i assume the author
            is referring to the newly expanded (obscene) section 179 deduction for
            6000+pound SUVs but that only applies to small businesses. I'm wondering if
            there's a generic tax break for hybrids(? i.e. that anyone can get?)

            from the article:

            ...Regrettably, we not only let these CEOs get away with their negligence,
            we reward them for it. In a remarkable reward for irresponsible behavior,
            the White House and Congress enacted tax incentives such that the owner of a
            Hummer, which gets less than 10 miles per gallon, receives a tax deduction
            of $34,000. The deduction for an efficient hybrid car that gets over 50
            miles per gallon is $4,000.

            For every 100,000 SUVs sold this year, American taxpayers will be paying a
            subsidy of some $1 billion.

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "De Clarke" <de@...>
            To: <CarFree@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Tuesday, December 09, 2003 5:11 PM
            Subject: Re: [CF] China's Shanghai Bans Bikes on Main Roads


            >
            > For every 100,000 SUVs sold this year, American taxpayers will
            > be paying a subsidy of some $1 billion. Revealingly, that's
            > about the same amount of money the federal government spent in
            > the 1990s to encourage American car companies to build hybrid
            > cars. It's also about the same amount we are spending each week
            > to keep our troops in oil-rich Iraq.
            >
            > http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17333
            >
            > article contains some interesting stats but overall is disappointing,
            > hewing to the familiar theme of "increased fuel efficiency is all we
            > need."
            >
            > as the previously posted article about Shanghai's outrageous, criminally
            > stupid proposal to ban bikes from main roads demonstrates, auto gas
            > consumption is only part of the problem. the expropriation of public
            > space, displacement of healthier transportation modes, and gross
            distortion
            > of public process are perhaps, in the long run, even heavier costs.
            >
            > de

            >
          • billt44hk
            ... roads ... Letter to the editor of the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong:- Dear Sir, The news that Shanghai will ban bicycles to promote more cars comes
            Message 5 of 7 , Dec 9, 2003
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              --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Shelly Nelson" <altair7_4@y...> >
              > SHANGHAI, China - Shanghai plans to ban bicycles from its major
              roads
              > next year.....

              Letter to the editor of the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong:-
              Dear Sir,
              The news that Shanghai will ban bicycles to promote more cars comes
              as no surprise. It is most interesting that the Mayor of Shanghai
              came to Hong Kong in October on a visit billed as being about co-
              operation between the two cities. He must have been delighted to see
              that our streets were packed with cars and had no cyclists. He was
              quoted in the SCMP: " The city (Shanghai) has eight million
              bicycles. In future, people should take public transport to work and
              use their bicycles for sport and recreation." (Of course his real
              reason for suppressing cycling was to make way for more cars, not
              public transport, as now publicly admitted).
              What is screamingly obvious is that the Shanghai policy announcement
              to suppress and marginalise cycling is precisely the policy
              practiced for many years in Hong Kong. Cycling as a low-energy
              pollution-free healthy mode of getting around has been wiped out
              here especially in the most populated areas of Kowloon and HK Island
              which have ideal topography and density for cycling and where there
              is the greatest need to relieve congestion and cut pollution. One
              might think the obvious stupidity of anti-bicycling policy would
              leave officials and politicians open to criticism but they evade
              this by promoting remote, distant and marginal "leisure cycling" as
              an alternative. The beauty of this for the ruling elite is that
              such "cycling" will not inconvenience or get in the way of the
              almighty motoring interests.
              This downgrading and marginalization of cycling, from being a
              supremely efficient transport mode, into "play" – mountain-biking,
              rental cycling along Tolo Harbour, etc., contributes to degradation
              of street environments and communities, escalating pollution, energy
              wastage, public ill-health, theft of public space by the car,
              traffic casualties, etc.
              How ironic as Shanghai (and Hong Kong) descend into carmaggedon that
              London is winning acclaim for its car reduction policies, and
              expansion of commuter cycling -now up by 20%-all under the leadership
              of an intelligent far-seeing Mayor.
              Yours sincerely

              Bill T
            • billt44hk
              I fully realise that Americans can be excused from usages such as Paris, France because of the overwhelming likelihood that if they just say Paris it
              Message 6 of 7 , Dec 10, 2003
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                I fully realise that Americans can be excused from usages such
                as "Paris, France" because of the overwhelming likelihood that if
                they just say "Paris" it is inevitably concluded that a place in
                Texas is intended :-)
                However, "China's Shanghai" ?
                Please tell me there's a Shanghai in Oklahoma or somewhere :-)

                Bill T
              • dubluth
                If every new SUV purchased was receiving the writeoff, the billion dollars per 100,000 SUVs makes the average writeoff $10,000. Not all SUVs are being
                Message 7 of 7 , Dec 10, 2003
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                  If every new SUV purchased was receiving the writeoff, the billion
                  dollars per 100,000 SUVs makes the average writeoff $10,000. Not all
                  SUVs are being purchased by business owners. Therefore not all have
                  the incentive of a tax writeoff. According to the article the $100K
                  hummer gets a $34K write-off, so the $10,000 average figure for ALL
                  SUVs sold (in the US?) -- those written off and not -- would seem to
                  be incorrect.

                  I have wondered where the most reliable information for arriving at an
                  estimate of the expense of this write-off may be found. If this
                  atrocity can't be ended, I would at least like to see a mandatory
                  stencil, like those on bags of food donated for famine relief, "1/3 of
                  this vehicle's sales price is being generously paid by US taxpayers."
                  Then maybe "congratulations, (owners name)" But who would we think we
                  were, demanding a bit of truthful advertising?

                  As for apples and oranges, I think of a tax incentive as a subsidy,
                  but maybe this is being too semantically loose. Taxpayers, largely
                  future taxpayers, are having to cover the reduced taxes of those
                  enjoying the write-off. In effect we taxpayers are transfering money
                  to qualified individuals, provided they spend it in a certain way.
                  That pretty well defines a subsidy.

                  Bill Carr

                  --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Ed Beighe" <ebeighe@n...> wrote:
                  > I'm wondering what 'subsidy' and 'tax incentives' means in this
                  context.
                  > It's kindof misleading and mixing apples and oranges -- i assume the
                  author
                  > is referring to the newly expanded (obscene) section 179 deduction
                  for
                  > 6000+pound SUVs but that only applies to small businesses. I'm
                  wondering if
                  > there's a generic tax break for hybrids(? i.e. that anyone can get?)
                  >
                  > from the article:
                  ...Regrettably, we not only let these CEOs get away with their
                  negligence, we reward them for it. In a remarkable reward for
                  irresponsible behavior, the White House and Congress enacted tax
                  incentives such that the owner of a Hummer, which gets less than 10
                  miles per gallon, receives a tax deduction of $34,000. The deduction
                  for an efficient hybrid car that gets over 50 miles per gallon is $4,
                  000.

                  For every 100,000 SUVs sold this year, American taxpayers will be
                  paying a subsidy of some $1 billion.
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