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Dutch-Chinese collaboration to help Beijing increase bicycle use

Dutch to help achieve vision in Beijing’s masterplan for cycling to be at least 20% of transportation by 2020. 

A new strategy to increase the amount of cycling and reduce traffic congestion in Beijing has been put together by Ecofys, Royal HaskoningDHV and the China Academy of Transportation Sciences (CATS).  

The project, which has been funded by the Asian Development Bank, aims to halt and reverse the dramatic decline in cycling in Beijing. It was 63% of transportation in 1986 and was just 14% in 2012. It continues to fall. 

The team has studied the current transport situation and examined reason behind the decline in bicycle use. One of the challenges to overcome is that bikes are not seen for everyday use and cars are seen as an indicator of success.

Beijing, Royal HaskoningDHV

Source: Royal HaskoningDHV

Beijing street view

The team has developed a strategy to increase cycling. Recommendations include high quality bicycle routes and parking facilities, upgrading and extending the public bicycle sharing system, more trip destinations within cycling distances and integration of cycling with a the public transport system for commuting. The recommendations have been submitted to the Bank and Beijing Municipality.

Royal HaskoningDHV team leader and bicycle transport expert Wim Van der Wijk said: “Most importantly, it identifies the need for an institutional setting that recognises cycling as an integral part of urban transport planning, with high level politicians and officers promoting cycling with enthusiasm. This requires a cultural change within the existing institutions in power.”

Asian Development Bank senior transport specialist Ki-Joon Kim said: “Cycling can make a substantial contribution to promoting sustainable transport in Beijing. Beijing Municipality has acknowledged this and set a goal in its Urban Master Plan to raise the bicycle share of transportation to at least 20% in 2020.” 

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