Beijing's bid for the 2008 Olympic Games has gained new momentum as a group of projects are near completion, including the Fourth Ring Road.
The 50-kilometre long road, which will open in June, will be a principal expressway connecting the majority of planned Olympic venues in the north and west of Beijing.
The local government has officially named the Fourth Ring Road the "Olympic Boulevard."
It will have eight-lanes with 147 flyovers to connect with the major streets of the city.
Travel time will be less than 30 minutes to take athletes and judges back to their lodgings if Beijing hosts the Games, officials with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee said.
The construction of three streets -- Deshengmenwai, Xizhimenwai and Xueyuanlu -- in northwestern Beijing to connect the Second, Third and Fourth ring roads will be finished this July, according to officials from the local government.
The three roads have been designed without traffic lights to speed up traffic flow and ease the city's transportation pressure.
Guang'an Avenue, the third major east-west street in the city, will open to traffic this July. Parallel to Chang'an Avenue and located in southern Beijing, the Guang'an Avenue is expected to promote the development of southern Beijing which has lagged behind the rest of the city.
Transportation is always a challenge for any city that wishes to host the Olympic Games. In this respect, Beijing is well prepared.
By 2007, a fairly sophisticated transportation network will be completed. The five ring roads with linked expressways, the newly built City Rail and the Olympic Subway will contribute to an efficient transport system, officials with the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games Bid Committee said.
Besides convenient transport networks, a good environment is a must for Beijing to promote its Olympic bid, officials with the city's Garden Bureau said in a recent interview.
Green belts and parks will be greatly increased in the future, Jing Changshun, director of the bureau's park department said last week.
The bureau has planned to make more parks open to the public to create more space for city dwellers to do exercise, Jing said.
All parks adjacent to streets and residential communities - about 40 percent of the city's parks - will be open for no charge, he said.
The bureau has urged construction companies to increase park coverage in new residential communities.
(China Daily 05/18/2001)