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China Celebrates ‘Car Free Day’ – With Gridlock

From a tut-tutting AFP:

China observes ‘Car Free Day’ with the usual gridlock

by Peter Harmsen Sat Sep 22

More than 100 Chinese cities including Beijing staged a “Car Free Day” Saturday to fight congestion and pollution, but the streets of the capital remained defiantly clogged with traffic jams.

Beijing’s middle class climbed into their cars to go shopping and touring as usual, apparently disregarding an injunction to leave the vehicles at home — a pattern that seemed to be repeated in the other 107 participating cities.

“It’s the same as always,” said taxi driver Dong Yongjun, as he navigated up the capital’s congested Third Ring Road. “I don’t see any difference.”

The situation was similar in other major cities, such as Shanghai and Wuhan, a vast industrial city in the centre of the country…

“Limiting the use of cars is not practical in the city,” said an unnamed official with the municipal government, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency…

Every September 22 is “Car Free Day” in many countries around the world, but it is the first time China has tried to join in a substantial way.

The day came at the end of China’s “Public Transport Week,” which was meant to publicise the government’s goal of getting 50 percent of the nation’s urban residents to use buses and trains rather than private cars…

Gee, what a shock.

Of course our media and the rest of the Gaia-lovers would prefer that they go back to rickshaws.

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, September 22nd, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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