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Beijing to build special bike lane
Last Updated: 2018-05-31 11:16 | China Daily
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Beijing will start construction of its first special bicycle lane in September connecting a crowded residential area with a business center to ease traffic congestion, the municipal government announced.

Unlike other bike lanes in Beijing, which are often crowded with cars, this one will be exclusively for cyclists.

Yang Xiufeng, an official at the Beijing Commission of Transport who is in charge of road construction projects, said the bike lane is designed to be 6.5 kilometers long and 6 meters wide. The speed limit will be 20 kilometers per hour.

"Construction of the lane will be completed by June next year," Yang said. "In addition to two regular lanes in each direction, the center lane will be reversible and serve as a passing lane. To make it more convenient for riders, the lane will have eight pairs of exits and entrances. There will be no traffic lights along the whole distance."

The lane will connect the Huilongguan residential community in Changping district with the Shangdi area of Haidian district, where many companies are located.

Yang said the authorities will continue to research bike lanes and might extend the lane to Zhongguancun Software Park, where many IT companies are located.

The Beijing Municipal Institute of City Planning and Design proposed the bike lane in 2016. It takes just 20 to 30 minutes to commute by bicycle, while it can take more than an hour by car during rush hour.

About 370,000 people live in Huilongguan, with up to 20 percent of them working in Zhongguancun. More than 16 percent work in Shangdi.

Even if people don't drive and choose public transportation, they still have to leave home an hour in advance because of the large number of people using buses and subways during rush hour.

Beijing has many designated lanes for bicycles. However, cars are increasingly encroaching, and they are often crowded with parked cars.

Beijing has nearly 6 million cars, up from only 1.3 million in 1998.

Zhang Lian, an IT engineer who lives in Huilongguan and commutes by subway, said she welcomes all methods that can ease congestion.

"The new bike lane will definitely be convenient for us. Right now, there are always a bunch of cars parked near the subway stations during rush hour," she said. "When the bike lane is finished, I will ride to work."

However, Yu Shenlan, a resident of Huilongguan in her 30s, said she doesn't think people will easily change their commuting habits. When it's too cold or too hot, many people still prefer to drive, she said.

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