wheels of progress
- I don't know if this is an agency report others might have seen. It is in
today's South China Morning Post;
Quote: The "Kingdom of the Bicycle" is in danger of losing its title.
Only a decade ago, the bicycle could still be regarded as the main occupant
of the wide boulevards in Beijing and other cities.
But times are changing and its demise as a major mode of transport, replaced
by the pollution-belching motor vehicle, provides visual confirmation that
China is emerging as an economic power." Unquote.
Note the apparent irony-free linking of vehicle pollution with economic
progress, nay POWER. Presumably China will have arrived as a world power
when it manages to equal US levels of toxicity.
Anyway it continues to say the percentage of regular bike users has dropped
from 61% in 1997 to 43% this year. Figures for the actual increased rate of
car ownership aren't given so could there be some grounds for optimism in
the revelation that bus use has increased from 8.75%to 22.25% in the same
Quote: "Private car ownership which was just a dream for many 10 years ago,
is another reason behind the reduction in bike numbers. There are now 48
private cars for every 10,000 city residents". Unquote.
Doesn't sound like a lot but the car growth will be exponential and how
many billion souls are we talking about here?
Quote; "Bejings streets, too, no longer seem as clogged (sic) with bicycles
as they were only two or three years ago. This is partly due to the fact
that cycling is no longer a pleasure but an unpleasant chore in the heavy
Sounds familiar. And depressing. Sorry to spoil anyone's Sunday