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Cars Conquering the Bicycle Kingdom

2:45 PM EST on February 8, 2007

The Globe and Mail reports:

Last year, China became the world's second-biggest car market, behind the United States. In Beijing alone, there are 1,000 new cars on the streets every day.

As a result, bicycles are increasingly being squeezed to the margins. The streets are choked with traffic and automobile fumes. New roads are sometimes built without any bike lanes. Hundreds of bicyclists are killed in collisions with cars every year.

Pedal power has become so life-threatening that many Chinese have abandoned their bicycles.

The article refers to the foreign bicyclist who was photographed in a confrontation with a motorist and comments:

All of this is provoking a backlash across China. A movement isemerging to promote the rights of bicyclists. Environmentalists arecalling for bike lanes to be restored and expanded. Newspapers arecrusading on behalf of bicyclists, investigating the scandal of roadswithout bike lanes.

photo: idogu/Flickr

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