URBAN BIKING: Biking In Beijing

Published on Jul 1, 2013
Bike advocacy in the Bicycle Kingdom? Take a look at biking in Beijing today with bike advocate Shannon Bufton, co-founder of the Beijing based Smarter than Car advocacy group. As biking is growing in cities across the world, auto-centric policies have had a negative impact on biking in Beijing. This fact demonstrates the importance of bike advocacy in cities with both strong and weak bike infrastructure.

A few interesting points of note about biking in Beijing.

  • All development includes bike lanes. Some of those lanes are used by cars for parking, but lanes do exist. However, people are living further and further away from their jobs. Biking is not a great option if one lives 1 1/2 hours away from work by subway.
  • Thanks to the Olympics, the roads in Beijing are smooth, which make biking a great experience!
  • Drivers understand bikers. Most drivers today grew up biking because the current ubiquity of cars is relatively new (with a growth spurt of car ownership thanks to China wide auto policies implemented in the 1990s). Biking is easier when drivers understand the limitations of a bike (stopping distance, visibility, etc.).

Smarter Than Car: http://www.stcbj.com/en

Mind the Gap is a documentary project examining the sustainable urban transportation. Check out the webisode series under videos at: www.mindthegapmovie.com