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Our interviews, surveys and fieldwork paint a complex picture of bicycling in Beijing. While bicycles are still welcomed by different groups of people in China, they no longer symbolize wealth nor are they valued as they once were. The shift in values, however, does provide a more welcoming environment for bicycle rentals. More work still has to be done to promote bike rentals and electric bicycles, even though these areas are showing promise. We have taken note that the increasing prevalence of private cars has negatively impacted bicyclists' travel behavior; the lack of traffic safety remains a serious issue. Surprisingly, even with rapid urbanization, Beijing residents still own a large number of bicycles, but the frequency of their use is declining. Furthermore, more attention needs to be paid to small and medium-sized cities where most cyclists live.

From international experiences addressing bicycles and car growth, we have learnt how to integrate bicycles into the public transportation system and promote bicycle use. These lessons are applicable to a megacity such as Beijing or the more common small and medium-sized cities in China.

Because the bicycle is still an integral part of Chinese society, we need a national initiative that encourages bicycle use to rescue the vanishing ^Bicycle Kingdom ̄. To paraphrase the famous archictect and urban designer, Jan Gehl, for the benefit of pedestrians and cyclists, we must make better use of the public space and make our city more vigorous, safer and healthier.





©2011 Rescuing the Bicycle Kingdom for ThinkQuest