Monday, April 9, 2012

The De-Bikification of Beijing - Commute - The Atlantic Cities

Not sure what to think after reading this.  It appears the poor like being rich, and the rich foreigners like to romanticize the ways of the poor.

The De-Bikification of Beijing - Commute - The Atlantic Cities:
"BEIJING — Just a few years ago, the streets of Beijing were clogged with so many bicycles that riders sailing through an intersection looked like a school of fish moving through the water.
Today the cars have taken over. In fact, Beijing more and more is just another traffic-clogged city with Chinese characteristics. Its bike lanes are rapidly filling with parked cars, auto rickshaws spewing exhaust, and strolling pedestrians.
Bicycle use in Beijing has dropped from about 60 percent in 1986 to 17 percent in 2010
To many Chinese, bikes are now for losers. The iconic Beijing bicycle is a sorry one-gear affair with a metal basket on the front which breaks so regularly that every street corner seems to have a makeshift fix-it stand.
"There is a quote: ‘I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bike,'""

1 comment:

  1. I would think that in such a crowded city, bikes would be the faster form of transportation. I ride a folding bike, and between riding and public transportation, I think it beats a car (speedwise) any day, just in traffic time alone.