According to government statistics, Beijing now has a bit more than 3 million registered vehicles, which pump out an estimated 1.3 million tons of pollutants every year. Local environmental officials cite this as the primary reason behind the city’s ever-worsening air quality and the persistent haze that hovers over the skyline.
In a country that was known just a decade ago as the “kingdom of bikes,” the number of cars hitting the road continues to skyrocket. The China Automotive Industry Assn. reported last week that nationwide, domestic auto sales through July had already topped 3.5 million this year, a 24% increase over the same period last year.
An estimated 1,000 new cars are added to Beijing’s roads daily, a rate that has raised concerns from Olympic officials that traffic and pollution, if not curbed, could force outdoor endurance sports, such as long-distance cycling races, to be postponed or rescheduled. [Full Text]
Read also: Beijing Bans Cars to Clear Air for Games by Alexa Olesen.
[Image source: Washingtonpost.com]
More on Beijing’s traffic, please watch following clips on Youtube: