People are suffering from the heavy traffic and the air pollution, especially in big cities. During the past years, people paid more attention on building modern cities but ignore the environment problems. Nowadays, transport becomes a serious and difficult factor when designing the urban areas. The limited spaces which result from the number of cars decreased the mobility of traveling of people. The number of people who travel rely on the cars is increasing during the last several years. The problem in China is more serious than other countries. “Housing the world’s largest population, China is not immune to municipal issues, such as traffic jams” (Choi, 2106).
Traffic jam is one of the big issues in China. One of the most memorable traffic jams was the China National Highway 110 traffic jam. The traffic jams always become more serious on the Chinese holidays, such as China’s “Golden Week”, a seven days public holiday celebrating the country’s national day. During the holidays, Chinese citizens go out at the same time and thousands of vehicles were stuck for 60 miles in a span of 10 days. The jam apparently occurred because of bottleneck created by a new checkpoint in the town of Liulihe, about 35 miles southwest of Beijing (Ma, 2015).
Traffic jam in Beijing, China
Video of Insane Chinese Traffic Jam from Youtube
Facing the urban transport issues, more and more countries focus on the sustainable urban transport and developing a sustainable travel network to support active and public transport around the city that replaces most of the car journeys. The Buchanan Report showed that “To the detriment of all involved, what we chose was to prioritize ‘particular vehicles’ over ‘our civilization’. We went about solving ‘the traffic problem’ in ways that have manifestly damaged our towns and cities” (Dales, 2016).
In China, public transport systems are basically using the bikes and other green ways. Before the Mobike becoming popular, China has built a public bike transport system in many cities which is similar with the Mobike system. In Suzhou, the beautiful city in China, the urban public bikes are all in green. The local people call them “small green bikes”. The public bicycle service was launched by the government of Suzhou in 2010. Cycling in the city is not only a fashion, it is also affordable and time-effective. 49 parking stations were built for public bicycles across Suzhou. Foreigners between 16 and 65 can ask to rent bikes with their passports. The bike is free within one hour (Livingsu, 2012).
Public bicycle in Suzhou, China
To encourage more people using the public transport, Suzhou government also built a road called “Tai Hu Blue”, which is 23 km long and with 1.25 to 1.5 meters wide bikeways on two sides. The bikeways are made by colorful sustainable skid resistance materials. The roads are also built for jogging and walking. In addition, almost every road has bikeway, which makes it convenient to travel by bikes in the city.
Bikeways in Chinese cities
Only the bike public transport system cannot build up the public travel network. Most people cannot travel to a long distance by bikes. People still choose to travel by cars. Other green public transports are also significant. Except buses, Suzhou also built up metro system. The Suzhou Metro currently has three working lines: lines 1, 2 and 4. These lines cover a total distance of 120 kilometers. There are 93 stations. Lines 3 and 5 are under construction and other lines are under planning. The city of Suzhou has 10 million inhabitants. Like other cities in China, Suzhou has experimented an impressive growth in the last 50 years. The large number of people is transported by the metro everyday (Mapa-metro).
Rail Transit Map of Suzhou, China
During the lecture of sustainable urban transport, we practiced how to design and make the plan of the transport. The purpose is to develop a sustainable travel network to support active and public transport around the city that replaces 80% of car journeys within 15 years. Designing a good travel network can increase the mobility of the cities and improve the economy of the cities. For Chinese cities and other cities in other countries, there is still a long way to go to develop the travel network and improve the urban environment.
Choi, D. (2016). This could be the answer to China’s massive traffic problem. [online] Business Insider. Available at: http://uk.businessinsider.com/the-answer-to-chinas-traffic-problem-2016-6?r=US&IR=T
HuffPost. (2015). Unbelievable Photos From China’s Traffic Jam After 7-Day Holiday. [online] Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/china-traffic-jam-golden-week_us_5616c82ae4b0dbb8000da85d
Dales, J. (2016). No prizes for originality. Urban Movement. [online] Available at: http://www.urbanmovement.co.uk/thoughts/no-prizes-for-originality-john-dales
Livingsu.com. (n.d.). LivingSu. [online] Available at: http://www.livingsu.com/guide_detail.asp?id=21#.WlpASJOFhAZ
Mapa-metro.com. (n.d.). Subway: Suzhou metro map, China. [online] Available at: http://mapa-metro.com/en/China/Suzhou/Suzhou-Subway-map.htm