Beijing plans new ring road to ease congestion

Beijing’s traffic authority said the city is planning more subways and roads, including a new ring road, to alleviate its traffic jam.

The city’s commission of transport told Xinhua that by 2020, the megacity of 21 million people will add 220 kms of roads and 100 kms of highways.

And a new ring road is expected to break records of Beijing’s six ring roads covering over 2,200 square kilometers.

The municipal authorities has planned to connect existing roads to form a “third-and-half ring road” between the third and fourth ring roads, in a bid to ease the congestion during rush hour.

The capital city’s 554-km urban rail network will also be extended by about 350 kms.

Biking will be encouraged as a greener way of commuting, with 3,200 kms of cycle lanes and at least 100,000 bicycles for rent by 2020.

The spokesman of the commission said that the priority will be biased toward biking and walking. The city will create a safe, convenient and comfortable environment for cyclists and pedestrians.

Traffic jams have prompted Beijing to limit the number of vehicles, encourage public transport and restore the popularity of bicycles, the once dominant vehicles on Chinese roads whose lanes are now commonly occupied by automobiles as a result of increased car ownership.

Beijing also plans to follow a national guideline to build a dense network of narrow roads. Big cities in China usually feature wide yet loosely-distributed roads, which experts say are inefficient and unfriendly to pedestrians.

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