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Better quality of urban development should reflect more inclusive

April 7, 2016

By Zhang jihong


Recently, ShenZhen city’s government focus on sprucing up electric bicycle which led to a heated social discussions on the internet. The reason includes two sides. On the one hand, the prohibition of the electric bicycle was too quick, about 20000 electric bicycles were seized in a few days. On the other hand, “one size fits all” management led to the conflict and debate on this management model between the different classes. The different groups who support or oppose the electric bicycle all gave the sufficient reasons, thus forming two camps online debate.


The support party is mostly low-income community, because the electric bicycle is the main tool for their urban trip. From the demand point of view, the electric bicycle is a low-end passenger transport for short distance and end freight transport for distribution. The electric bicycle is better than the public transport and passenger car on the cost, convenience and flexibility,as well as it is superior to the bicycle. That is the reason why the electric bicycle grew so fast in China. The China’s electric bicycle ownership is about 200 million and annual sales of 30 million. Wherein the electric bicycle ownership of the first-tier cities Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, were about 400-500 million, which means then in the four cities more than half of households have electric bicycles.


The opposition party is mostly higher-income community, or basically private car owner. Their reasons for opposing the electric bicycle is the primary cause of traffic accidents. Speeding, with people running red lights, retrograde is a phenomenon of electric bicycle often occur. The traffic control department statistics show that in 2014 the country due to traffic accidents caused a total of 59,997 people were killed. Among them, the person died due to electric bicycles total 5314 people, injured nearly 2.7 million people. This figure indeed shows that the electric bike is a big risk factor in terms of traffic safety.


However, because there is a problem of electric bicycles, whether you should use broad-brush approach negated the existence of electric bicycleas the city manager? Firstly, China's current electric bicycle ownership was 200,000,000. The vehicle fleet by the end of 2015 was 279 million, of which 172 million is car, which means that there are 100 million of which motorcycle. In terms of volume, electric bike plusmotorcycle were more than 300 million, nearly twice of the car. Currently the subject of travel. Secondly, the trip distance from the city residents, the proportion of trips within 5 kilometers of more than 80%. Belongs distance travel, more suitable for motorcycles, electric bicycles and bicycle travel. From these two angles, the electric bicycle theory and in fact should not be one size fits all formula negated.


So, why is there such a problem? Firstly, China's management of the road traffic regulates only motor vehicle or non-motor vehicle, due to the motorcycle into the category of Motor Vehicles. Thus, with respect to the electric bicycle, the motorcycle travel more standardized. Secondly, China's urban planning and development is almost a paradigm, although on the road constantly widening, heightening. But almost all the rights of way are given a car for short trips and better motorcycles, electric bikes and bicycles are almost ignored in the state. Little of China's urban bike lanes, even in some sections to draw the bike path, but in daily travel, the bike paths are either occupied by parking cars, either in vehicles occupied. This will inevitably lead to electric bikes or bicycle through the motor vehicle lanes, leading to increased risk. Therefore, the fundamental way to solve the electric bike is not blocking or forbidding, but how to ease. A basic fundamental right of way is to first back electric bikes and bicycles. Faced with the existing stage of development, must face a different group of travel demand, the city should draw dedicated bike lanes, the vehicle can not be occupied. The second is to speed up the study of management practices of electric bicycle, electric bicycle production, marketing, and other aspects of driving individually to regulate. So as to enable the development of the city's more realistic, but also ease the contradiction, traffic travel safer.