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Re: WorldTransport Forum NY Times article on car dependence KARL FJELLSTROEMS RESPONSE ON SHANGHAI

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  • Lee Schipper
    Shanghai Traffic Jams * E-Mail This * Printer-Friendly Published: July 15, 2005 To the Editor: FROM July 15 NY TIMES A City s Traffic Plans Are Snarled by
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      Shanghai Traffic Jams

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      Published: July 15, 2005

      To the Editor:

      FROM July 15 NY TIMES
      "A City's Traffic Plans Are Snarled by China's Car Culture" (Shanghai
      Journal, July 12) correctly identified the rapid growth in car travel as
      the major cause of the city's transportation and air-quality problems.
      But Shanghai still has a bicycle, pedestrian and public transport
      culture rather than a car culture.

      Cars are owned by only around 1 in 10 people and account for less than
      15 percent of trips. Nine in 10 people move by other means, including
      walking, bicycles and buses.

      Further, European and wealthy Asian cities have shown that rapid
      economic growth need not result in sky-high demand for cars.

      The situation is far from hopeless.

      There are many examples of successful transport policies that Shanghai
      could adapt and apply, like parking restrictions in Copenhagen,
      congestion charging in Singapore, bus rapid transit in Seoul and
      high-quality pedestrian spaces in Hangzhou.

      Political will would make all the difference.

      Karl Fjellstrom
      Guangzhou, China, July 13, 2005
      The writer is director for China and Tanzania, Institute for
      Transportation and Development

      >>> hearth@... 7/14/2005 11:01:05 PM >>>
      > Subject: WorldTransport Forum NY Times article on car dependence


      > http://www.nytimes.com/2005/07/12/international/asia/12china.html

      This article provides interesting challenges.

      As a proponent of carsharing, I am dismayed that the $4,600
      registration fee
      for each car doesn't dampen demand for _owning a car_ (vs. using it).
      At
      least they are dreaming of owning only one car per _household_, vs. one
      for
      every person of driving age, as it is over here.

      The article doesn't mention the parking problems, nor what it costs to
      park
      (I am just reading the very important new book: Shoup, Donald, 2004,
      _The
      High Cost of Free Parking_). The amazing growth of high-rise
      development
      suggests it is very expensive.

      It would be interesting to _offer_ carsharing to see what demand it
      might
      induce.

      I continue to be convinced that carsharing will catch on over there
      and
      other "developing societies" only only if the "model" cultures embrace
      it
      first, showing that car-ownership is not what it is cracked up to be.

      Chris Bradshaw
      Vrtucar, Ottawa, Canada




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