Yimin Feng |
China was once considered to be the “Kingdom of the Bicycle,” with bikes dominating city streets across the country, but over the past four decades, China’s dramatic economic prosperity and urbanization has seen many people move to motor vehicles as their primary means of transport, contributing to a marked deterioration in air quality.
According to data backed by the World Health Organization (WHO), Hangzhou’s air pollution is well over WHO’s safe level.
However, in a bid to improve public health and the environment, the Hangzhou authorities have put a fresh emphasis on cycling, which, allied with digital technology, is helping to cut pollution: other cities are following their example.
Yimin Feng | Youth riding share bikes and hanging out by the UNESCO World Heritage Site West Lake in Hangzhou, China.
Over the past decade, the local government has been improving bike-friendly infrastructure, such as lanes and traffic signals created solely for cyclists, and has provided almost 86,000 public bikes. A smart card allows users to easily access all forms of public transport, from bikes to boats to buses.
“All together there have been 760 million rides, that’s almost half the population of China,” says Tao Xuejun, general manager of the Hangzhou Public Bicycle Service. “So far, more than 400 cities in China have adopted our project. Our dream is to promote our model across China and all over the world.”
As a result of these initiatives, according to Tao, cycling has become a popular choice for both local citizens and tourists, and the efforts of the Government-run company have been rewarded with international recognition, including the International Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel in 2017 […]
via ‘Bicycle Kingdom’ Makes a Comeback, as China Seeks Solutions to Tackle Air Pollution Crisis — HUMAN WRONGS WATCH
Often there is only one person who drives his/her car, along with no other passenger, thereby making the other 3 seats redundant. Such is not the case with a bicycle – space-friendly, so less traffic congestion too.
Exactly. Fortunately Critical Mass was successful in changing the narrative – now city officials are trying to get people out of their cars and onto bicycles.