A big reason Beijing is polluted: The average car goes 7.5 miles per hour( Gwynn Guilford, Quartz, Jan. 3, 2014)
Also discussed here: China’s Urban Nightmare: Gridlock(The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 2, 2014)
Also here: Spatial and Social Characteristics of Urban Transportation in Beijing(9 page pdf, Jiawen Yang, Transportation Research Record: Journal of the Transportation Research Board,2010)
Today we review a report that compares the degree of traffic congestion in Beijing and Wuhan with large western cities that have similar trends on the growth of car ownership (and urban road building) with GDP and with the degree to which congestion has strangled traffic flows to a point where drivers in Beijing average only 12 kph. Interesting that Wuhan implemented a congestion pricing system in 2011 while more progressive cities such as New York City have failed to proceed with it as one of the most effective ways of reducing urban congestion.
Also interesting that Beijing’s twin city in Canada shares an almost identical ratio of km road lanes to urban area (of about 3-4 to 1), an indicator of poor urban transportation design (Ottawa also lacks modern Light Rail Transit, depending only on buses and planning to get a basic LRT system in the next 10-15 years).
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