Out of Control Policy Blog

"Just take their keys!"--China Edition

It's pretty tough to separate drivers from their cars, but China's going to try:

    China will initiate its first-ever nationwide "no car day" this weekend in an effort to promote environmental health and alleviate increasingly gridlocked urban roads, state press said Monday.

    Residents in 108 cities will be urged to take public transport, ride bikes or walk on the nation's first "no car day" on Saturday, the China Daily reported.

    "The move is an attempt to raise residents' awareness on energy saving and environmental protection because the country's cities are plagued by traffic congestion and pollution," the paper said.

    It did not say why the Ministry of Construction, the sponsor of the activity, chose a Saturday to hold the event.

    Government officials and state-run enterprise employees in some cities would be encouraged not to drive, while other urban centres would ban government-owned cars from taking to the roads altogether, it added.

    A week-long campaign to publicise the government's goal of getting 50 percent of the nation's urban residents to use public transport instead of private cars would also be initiated, it said.

Article here.

Mexico City has a long history of yanking keys from drivers. Officials figured that would have to cut pollution and boost transit ridership. They underestimated their constituents.

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