02 Oct 2008:
Beijing Renews Driving Limits
In an effort to restore some of the air-quality gains it made during this summer’s Olympics, China has reinstituted driving restrictions in Beijing
. Thirty percent of government cars in the capital will remain parked each day, the government announced. And starting Oct. 11, other drivers will have to leave their vehicles home one day a week, based on the last digit of their license plates. Beijing, with more than 3.5 million cars already, is adding 1,000 new vehicles a day. Officials estimate the restriction will take 800,000 vehicles off the roads daily; in addition, businesses will stagger their opening hours, and downtown parking rates will rise in an effort to encourage public transportation. The rules echo some of those adopted temporarily during the Olympics in August, when China also limited truck traffic and shut down factories in an effort — largely successful — to clear Beijing's notoriously polluted air. In a survey last month, 69 percent supported those changes.
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