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12/09/2006: "China's Car-Free Day"
After reflexively and thoughtlessly turning to the private atuomobile as a symbol of "modernity," China--the 750-pound gorilla of global warming (second only to the US, the official 800-pound gorilla)--is embracing the concpet of the Car-Free Day in order to fend off, if it can, its own growing addiction to oil- and land-wasting auto transport.
Shanghai will join more than 70 cities across China next year to promote a no-car day and encourage commuters to use cleaner forms of transport.

China has set aside the week of Sept. 16-22, 2007 as its first public transport week. And on the final day, private car owners will be asked to leave their vehicles at home and ride bikes, use mass transit or walk to work, school and shopping, Qiu Baoxing, deputy minister of construction, told a national meeting in Beijing on Saturday.

If all private cars stayed off the streets for 24 hours, China would save 33 million liters of gasoline, reduce urban pollution by 90 percent and prevent an untold number of deaths and injuries from traffic accidents, authorities said.
A nearly pathetic effort by the former Kingdom of the Bicycle, now a mere velocipedal principality next to tiny but rich (in both cash and civility) bicycling cultures such as Denmark and Holland, but it's an important step.

To read more about China's Car-Free Day, see China View.

To learn more about carfree living, with or without bikes, I recommend Carfree Cities.

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