'Two wheels bad, four wheels good'

Discussion in 'Bay Area Bikers' started by C. Deforrest Smith, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Effective Jan 1st, there is a complete motorcycle/moped ban in
    Guangzhou (Canton), China, which has led to...a big pile of scrap - a
    big one...


    More complete story here:


    Two wheels bad, four wheels good
    By Step Vaessen in Guangzhou, China

    The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has got rid of more than 320,000
    motorcycles from its streets - literally overnight - to reduce air
    pollution after government surveys found it to be the country's most
    polluted city.

    But some suspect Guangzhou's car industry, the fifth biggest producer
    in China, had lobbied for the ban to boost sales.

    The ban, which took effect on January 1, has crippled small businesses
    and forced hundreds of thousands to look for affordable alternatives
    such as the bicycle.

    For many, motorcycles have long been the main means of transport.

    Many residents fear losing their livelihood because of the new
    regulation despite the government's promise to create new jobs.

    A motorcycle taxi driver who has been in Guangzhou for three years told
    Al Jazeera he would now have to leave town to find another job.

    But not everyone has complied with the new law. A handful of motorcycle
    taxis were seen operating after Monday's ban came into effect.

    Distress sale

    The ban has also created a second-hand market where owners are forced
    to sell old and even new machines at low prices to farmers from out of

    Small traders complained they were suffering losses because they were
    unable to transport supplies cheaply after being forced to sell their
    motorcycles which, if unsold, will be officially confiscated after two

    Although not everyone in Guangzhou believes that pollution is the main
    reason for the ban, nobody dares to openly complain, and people have
    given up on their bikes for fear of the law.

    But some city dwellers said they could already feel a difference only a
    few days after the ban.

    One resident said: "The air quality has improved and there is less
    noise. The outlook of the city is completely new. I am sure it will get
    even better over the weeks to come."
    C. Deforrest Smith, Jan 12, 2007
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  2. C. Deforrest Smith

    Jim Service Guest

    i was in china a year ago and was amazed to see huge numbers of electric
    scooters. they were close to rivaling the number of bicycles. by the
    way, china is no longer a sea of bicycles, cars have taken over.
    this was in shanghai, xian and chengdu.
    Jim Service, Jan 13, 2007
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  3. C. Deforrest Smith

    Rich Guest

    I've had one for a couple of months now, and while it doesn't account
    for most of the mileage I've put on since then, it does get used for the
    majority of trips. While the scooter lacks the acceleration power of
    its gas-burning cousins, I generally catch up to them at the next
    traffic light anyway.

    Rich, Urban Biker
    Rich, Jan 13, 2007
  4. C. Deforrest Smith

    Mike Nelson Guest

    The article should be entitled "Two-strokes bad, four-strokes good."
    Whtat the article does not point out is that the motorcycles being
    banned are mostly two-strokes with loud pipes. I've lived in places
    like the Philippines where motorcycle taxis are common, and these things
    are a plague. They are almost as wide as a car with the sidecars, so
    they don't save much room on the road. They are filthy with oil and
    very loud.
    Mike Nelson, Jan 15, 2007
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