Beijing wants to go further than just a Car-Free Day
To celebrate World Car-Free Day on September 22 (referred as “922绿色出行活动” in Chinese), nearly 200 Chinese cities – a two-fold increase since 2007 – are promoting eco-friendly schemes to increase environmental awareness and boost the use of green transportation among citizens. Last week, the China Urban Public Transport Association, the China Urban Planning Association, and the China Urban Planning and Design Institute jointly issued the “2018 Green Travel Activity Initiative” and announced the theme of this year’s Car-Free Day as “Green Transportation, More Safety”. Following these general guidelines, cities are encouraged to formulate localized eco-mobility strategies. In Beijing, the municipality has announced an Eco-Cycling Month to promote sustainable transportation. In Wuhan, a 50%-off discount on bus fares will be offered to all riders until the end of September.
China has also expanded its programme to include a Green Traffic Week (September 16-22), prior to the Car-Free Day, to reduce emissions and promote more eco-friendly transportation modes including public transportation, cycling, walking, etc. In many cities, on the Car-Free Day, certain usually congested zones will be designated for buses, pedestrians, and cyclists only. For example, in Changsha, a number of car-free zones, including Furong Road, Labor Road, Xiangjiang Road and Wuyi Avenue, will be in operation and from 9:30 to 16:30 on September 22 private motor vehicles are prohibited on these routes.