Wang Qishan, Beijing's acting mayor who successfully led the fight against SARS in the city this year and was thus highly praised by the people, said frankly that the present biggest headache to him is the city's traffic problem.
Wang made the remark at the Fifth Annual Meeting of the International Business Leaders Advisory Council to the Mayor of Beijing.
Now Beijing has been building more and wider roads, only resulting in more serious traffic jam. This is a rather complex problem, involving aspects concerning both city layout and structure. This consistently frank and open acting mayor admitted right on the spot that management problems do exist.
By last August Beijing's possession of motor vehicles had exceeded 2 million units, with private cars accounting for over 60 percent. The rapid increase of motor vehicles puts even more pressure on the city's already traffic snarls.
Wang set out the timetable for the construction of rail traffic, one of public traffic forms--in the next few years. Beijing's rail traffic will grow at a speed of 40 kilometers a year, with its total length reaching 300 kilometers before 2008. "These projects will not only create good conditions for hosting the 2008 Olympic Games, but will significantly lift up the city's carrying capacity".
(People’s Daily September 12, 2003)