Traffic jams to be eased by regulating urbanization

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CRI, October 12, 2010
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Worsening traffic conditions during the past two national holidays have attracted increasing attention among drivers across the country.

Liu Ming, a driver in Beijing, complained that he was stuck in traffic for nearly three and a half hours near the Beijing toll station on the morning of Oct. 8, the day after the official National Day holiday.

With 4.5 million registered motor vehicles on the roads, such traffic jams are commonplace in the Chinese capital today. Similar gridlock has plagued other major Chinese cities like Shanghai, Guangzhou and Wuhan.

An increasing number of vehicles and high rates of urbanization may be one reason behind worsening congestion, according to a report released by China News Service.

The urbanization rate was at 46.6 percent in 2009, up from 17.4 percent in 1978. This rate is expected to hit 70 percent before 2050, according to the report.

The same report warned that China's transportation infrastructure, and public resources are not sufficient to accommodate such high levels of urbanization and the environment and living conditions will suffer as a result.

The report recommended that China heavily regulate urban sprawl, as currently, 118 cities in China have more than 1 million residents, while more than 100 cities have been designated to become "cosmopolitan" cities this year.

Huang Qi, deputy director of the Institute for Urban Competitiveness of China, said that medium-sized cities should be the majority, balanced with a few large cities and numerous small towns. Cities of all sizes will play a role in a diversified economy.

Traffic jam can only be solved with strictly regulated urbanization.

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