Beijing Announces Traffic Rules to Combat Air Pollution

Global Voices Olympics Danwei says Beijing recently announced traffic rules that will be in effect during the Olympics. The rules dictate that from July 20th to September 20th 2008, only cars with license plates ending in odd numbers can drive, among other rules. Authorities estimate the new rules will cut down on Beijing's traffic by 70 percent [zh]. Richard Brubaker at All Roads Lead to China blog worries that traffic disruptions are inevitable.

China's netizens weighed in on the new rules. GeLaDanDong complained:

随着北京奥运会的日益临近,奥运对我们的生活的影响也开始越来越大了:禁烟令、禁塑令、坐飞机不能带洗发水、打火机、坐经济舱只能带一件随身行李……,听说以后地铁也要这样;坐火车也不让带水果刀了……,应该还有很多很多。 还有就是从7月20日开始直道9月20日的单双号限行!由于住地距离单位有30多公里的距离,所以早早开始考虑如何解决这个问题。 首先想到的是再买一辆车…无论是买新车还是二手车似乎都不太理想。 那么,乘公交车吧!好,至少要换乘三次。而且换乘站点距离较远,全程大约需要2.5小时.

An English translation of the comments would be:

As the Beijing Olympics comes closer with every passing day, the Games’ influence on our lives is also increasing: commands to stop smoking and a ban on free plastic bags; when taking planes you can't bring shampoo, or lighters; when sitting in economy rows you can only bring one piece of carry-on luggage….I hear that these rules will soon apply to subways, too: on the trains, you can't even bring a fruit knife…there will probably be more and more rules. And now there's this temporary regulation that will alternative driving days according to cars’ even and odd-numbered license plates, from July 20 to September 20! Since my residence is more than 30 kilometers from my workplace, I'm going to have to start thinking soon about how to solve this problem. First I thought about buying another car (with a different license plate)…but no matter if I buy a new or a second-hand car this isn't ideal. Alright, then, take the bus! Well, I have to change buses at least three times. Furthermore, the place to change the bus is far, and the whole process will probably take about 2.5 hours.

And another, at RenXin Blog:


The comments’ English translation is:

Although it's being anticipated, I still feel the (two-month) period is a little too long, and it will bring a lot of inconvenience to the people. There's no way out, (because) for the Olympics, we want to the fullest amount of thought preparation (and) get around all difficulties, to ensure satisfactory success.


  • Kelly.

    Thanks for the link.

    To be clear, I am not worrying… both Beijing and Tianjin have announced their traffic restrictions, and both cities are baning trucks with plates from outside the city to pass through the city. This will mean that a truck coming from a supplier will not be able to deliver within city limits for 2 months.

    At the very least, it will force costs up as a transhipment will need to occur outside the city.

  • timur

    I guess 2 months traffic control might turn Beijing into a more environmental friendly place. Its easy for me to support for this policy, since i am not physically in Beijing. Chinese government is trying really hard to make this game perfect, wish this would be another best Olympic game in the history.

  • seeinginsea

    Cheer up, Beijing!

  • Knights


  • Knights

    Well, with the price of gas, we will eventually use bicycles (it’s great for air and exercise!)

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  • […] are very happy with the blue sky the Olympics have brought, and many have even proposed keeping the car restrictions in place. But for some people (rich people and migrant workers alike), one effect that the Olympics […]

  • […] 4 Juli, 2008: Beijing Announces Traffic Rules to Combat Air Pollution […]

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