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During the 1980s, in nearly every Chinese city, morning and night, a spectacular sight emerged Cthousands of bicycles took to the roads. All these bicycles looked like a^ Moving Great Wall. ̄ Two decades later, a new and vastly different scene has emerged!cars are crawling on the road at rush hour and bicycles are a rare sight.

Two decades ago, most Chinese people would be proud to own a bicycle. It was used for exercise, travel, or transporting goods. As a main mode of transport, it could be spotted everywhere around China. The numerous ^army of cyclists ̄ used to be a uniquely striking scene in Chinese cities, thus giving China the title of the ^Bicycle Kingdom ̄.


However, the growing number of cars, as well as the accompanying widened roads, has pushed the bicycles to ever-narrowing bike lanes and sometimes sidewalks. The bicycle travel environment has become worse and more dangerous. In some big and medium-sized cities where the traffic congestion has become increasingly serious, bicycles are gaining unjustified infamy as the main contributor to congestion. It seems as though Chinese people are abandoning bicycles, and China¨s reputation as the ^Bicycle Kingdom ̄ is being impaired. This is despite the fact that China is still the world¨s largest producer and exporter of bicycles and still has a large population of cyclists. According to recent polls, the proportions of pedestrians and cyclists are in rapid decline. According to Bingren Li, Chief Economist for the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Construction, the cyclist population is decreasing at a rate of around 2%-5% annually in China. Based on another survey, Beijing's cyclist population has dropped from 38.5% in 2000 to 19.7% in 2009.

As the most populous country in the world and one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, China is implementing climate change mitigation strategies to support China in a transition towards a low-carbon development path. The development of bicycle transport will not only be of great significance to China in terms of mitigating its energy crisis, alleviating urban traffic congestion, and improving air quality, it will also directly contribute significantly to sustainable development in China and the world.

 

Source
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The Traffic on Changan Street in Beijing in the 1986. Download from ^60 years Changes from Kingdom of Bicycle to the Largest car market in the world ̄Sept.07, 2009. http://auto.163.com/09/0907/12/5IJVIELN000838QO.html
Image:downed from<http://cimg2.163.com/catchimg/20090907/8061774_0.jpg>

 

 

 

 
 
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