Shanghai Traffic Jams
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.
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
This article provides interesting challenges.
As a proponent of carsharing, I am dismayed that the $4,600
for each car doesn't dampen demand for _owning a car_ (vs. using it).
least they are dreaming of owning only one car per _household_, vs. one
every person of driving age, as it is over here.
The article doesn't mention the parking problems, nor what it costs to
(I am just reading the very important new book: Shoup, Donald, 2004,
High Cost of Free Parking_). The amazing growth of high-rise
suggests it is very expensive.
It would be interesting to _offer_ carsharing to see what demand it
I continue to be convinced that carsharing will catch on over there
other "developing societies" only only if the "model" cultures embrace
first, showing that car-ownership is not what it is cracked up to be.
Vrtucar, Ottawa, Canada
The New Mobility/World Transport Agenda
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