Beijing new measures drafted to ease congestion

Dear Mingming Liu(and Su Song, Thank you for asking us. And it is of course extremely delicate to make these kinds of comments in public in this manner. You have been asked to rally us on this, which I understand. And since you need our best feedback today, one only has to pick up pen and do ones best. Which now follows in very quick and concise form, point by point as you have asked.

But first, whoever it is who is responsible for starting this program and these measures in Beijing is to be congratulated for having nailed down a number of key strategies. It is a great start, but perhaps we can offer one or two soft thoughts in the hope of making it more effective.

(1) Government Cars

Strategic recommendation:

– Hold steady, but above all shift to carsharing for all government fleets as possible

(2) Parking

Strategic recommendation:

– If we think of parked cars as “dead transportation”, it can help us perhaps gear in mind that we should be doing all we can to support live transportation

– It is now well understood at the leading edge of policy and practice in our sector that increasing parking supply is not in itself a solution and certainly not where the strategy is to expand parking spaces in any built up conurbation.

– A wise strategic parking policy will favor high occupancy vehicles

– While the need for using solo cars for work and other regular trips needs to be countered by proving better 21st century public and semi-public (shared) transport

– This last means that we have to be subtle: and reach behind the parking issue to think instead of the broad access issue. With this approach we start to see many useful possibilities and options to spending scarce public money on “dead cars”.

(3) Public Transport

Strategic recommendation:

– Speeding up the construction of BRT is a wonderful policy and to be strongly supported.

– But we would also like to “strategize” public transport to make better use of technology, including developing via ICT better user information systems

– The key to public transport that really does its job, in addition to high quality, is that it should be seen to “belong” to the users. This suggests that all users of PT should feel that they have “ownership” of the system, meaning mainly that they get on board and use the system without hesitation. For this they need to have (a) electronic passes hitch (b) they regard as being economically reasonable as far as the price they pay. Best of all, would be a system like Paris’s Navigo (among other fine examples) where PT users pay a low but not inconsequential monthly or annual fee which gives them free and full access to the system.

(4) Public Bicycle

Strategic recommendation

– The public bicycle option looks good, especially if you may full use of the real knowledge that is available on how to make it really work and by the way, the people who know most about it anywhere in the world including JCDecaux and Bixi. If I were you I would pay them (or experts who have worked closely with their best projects) handsome amounts for sharing with you everything they have learned about how to make a PBS system work.

– There is a PBS planning conference being organized in Kobe in late February. I would certainly recommend that you be present there.

– The key to the success of a PBS is not the bikes, nor the stations, nor the technology but the infrastructure for safe cycling. The PBS makes little sense unless real resources are allocated to this last..

(5) Road

Strategic recommendation

– Underground tunnel to be built in the central area.

– This is an understandable reaction, but I cannot believe that careful analysis will not result in a better option.

(6) Odd/even Pate Number Scheme

Strategic recommendation

– We need to note that this idea has been had and tried in many parts of the world and in more than nine cases out of ten have had poor and undemocratic results.

– These approaches lead to small wars between car owners and public authorities. I would say that these would be wars well avoided.

– If we go back to the basic objectives/reasons for wanting to do this, we will surely find better ways of achieving them

(7) Anything else?

Strategic recommendation

– Share/Transport: We would recommend that you organize a series of workshops or Master Classes to look into the concept of share/transport which offers many potentially attractive options. For some first background on this, you may wish to have a look at the results of the first World Forum that was held in Kaohsiung last September.

– The second World Forum is priestly under discussion to be held in China in the second half of 2011.

– I am respectfully sure that there are quite a number of policy options in this broad class that are worthy of close study and most probably rapid and cost-effective implementation.

# # #

Let me conclude by apologizing for this bold series of proposal and recommendations, which I do not mean to be lacking in respect for those responsible for this program. I am very much impressed that they are looking at these important issues in such an imaginative and open way, and can only hope that the small comments they find here will be of modest help to them. I am sure that others here will join in trying to help, despite this very tight deadline. (With that in mind, I am circulating this note and the original request (just below) to a number of my best informed world contacts working in the area of sustainable transport. The more smart people we put on the problem, the better will be the results.)

A final point about the wonderful contribution that Beijing can make if they set out to create a new model for transport in cities, which will not only serve them well but which will also be an inspiring example for cities all over the world. And we do need more inspiration.

With all good wishes,

Eric Britton

| 8-10, rue Joseph Bara 75006 Paris. | +331 75503788. | eric.britton | Skype: newmobility |

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From: mingming liu []
Sent: Thursday, 16 December, 2010 04:34
To: Clean Air Initiative — Asia
Cc: Gianina Panopio
Subject: [cai-asia] Beijing new measures drafted to ease congestion seeking for comments

Register at the Clean Air Portal ( and join our Communities of Practice (

Dear friends,

Beijing government is working on easing congestion and looking for comments from the public in terms of the new measures they drafted. We thought that this is the perfect time for us to make our voice heard.

Please reply to cpo by this Friday Evening (17 Dec 2010) and with attention to Ms. Su Song (Transport Specialist) and Ms. Mingming Liu(Administrative Assistant) so we can forward to Beijing government on 19 Dec 2010. Sorry for the short notice.

CAI-Asia would like to collect ideas from you and make a summary to send the suggestions through our network and the announced public channel to the final decision makers.

Although you can write as you like, we suggest you organize your ideas following structure:

1. Rank the measures outlined by Beijing Government (1 = most preferred), if you think they should be prioritized differently.

2. Provide comments(ie, specific cautions in detailed policy design and operation) to each measure.

3. Add additional measures which you think Beijing should consider, but not yet.

Here is the detailed measures for your reference:

(1) Government Cars

Number of government cars would not be increased in the next five years

(2) Parking

Adjustment of parking fees in 3 areas(1st area: inside 3rd ring road; 2nd area: from 5th ring road to 3rd ring road; 3rd area: outside of 5th ring road):

Type of Parking Space 1st area 2nd area 3rd area
Parking Fee
Lane parking 10 7 3
Off-road open parking area 8 5 2
Underground parking area and public garage 6 5 2
Note: 1. Progressively increasing price structure is used for lane parking. If more than 1 hour, extra 50% each hour will be charged on the basis price for each hour.
2. The parking fee is added every half an hour. If the parking time is less than half an hour, it will be charged the same price as the fee of half an hour.
3. Full-size cars would be charged twice of small cars

50 thousand public parking space would be built in central area;
Old communities would increase parking fertilities;
Strengthen the management of parking space and the serious punishment of illegal use of streets.

(3) Public Transport

Speed up the construction of BRT

(4) Public Bicycle

To build public bicycle service system with 1,000 stations and 50 thousand bicycles

(5) Road

An underground tunnel to be built in the central area.

(6) Odd/even Pate Number Scheme

If necessary, only vehicles with odd or even plate number can be driven on selected roads

(7) Anything else?

CAI-Asia China Project Office

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