ISSUES2012 No.4
Editor’s Note: Driven by the sustained socio-economic development in the past decades, China has seen a rapid motorization along with its unprecedented urbanization. In particular big cities, the motor vehicle possession volume has doubled for several times at an accelerating speed. However, when more and more people enjoyed the speediness, convenience, comfortableness and freedom brought by cars, they have been also suffered from the negative effects of motorization, particularly traffic congestion and air pollution. As one of the severe urban diseases, traffic congestion happens in not only the primary mega-cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou, but also more and more secondary cities like Kunming and Jinan, as well as some medium-sized cities. In view that traffic congestions play a remarkably negative role on the socio-economic development of the cities, some special measures have been taken to control either the ownership or the utilization of motor vehicles, such as the measure of bidding for vehicle license in Shanghai, as well as those of lottery for vehicle license and restricting motor vehicle usage based on the last number of license plate in Beijing. More cities are planning to take such kinds of measures to deal with the headache issue of traffic congestion. Although these measures of traffic demand management did have some remarkable effects on alleviating traffic congestions in short-term, facts have proved that the effects would decrease in long-term along with the continuous increase of motor vehicle possession volume. These measures can only be regarded as temporary, rather than fundamental ones. It should be recognized that transportation is not a technical issue of traffic, but a systematic issue of moving people. Therefore, in order to efficiently tackle with the severe traffic congestions in Chinese cities, more efforts should be made to restructure the urban functions of cities so as to reduce the number and distance of daily commute, to promote the public transport of multiple modes and the green travels by biking, walking, etc., so as to reduce the potential use of cars, as well as to enhance the traffic management so as to improve the efficiency of transportation.

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