Rise and Decline of the Bicycle in Beijing

The strong tradition of bicycle use in Beijing has been in continuous decline since the mid1990s with bicycle share of vehicular traffic dropping from 62.7% in 1986 to 38.5% in 2000 and dropping even lower to 16.4% in 2010. Among various factors contributing to the rise and fall of bicycle use in Beijing, four are identified as having the greatest impact: policy and regulation, built environment, bicycle industry and socio-economic conditions. Through a historical review and analysis of the relationship between bicycle use change and the abovementioned four factors, this research reveals the following: (1) the historically inherited, grid street network system and the low rise, high-density housing form contains fundamental features that favoured cycling; (2) the integration of non-motorized modes in the road network during the Pre-and Early Reform Period, as well as growing bicycle industry and moderately increased income were the major contributing factors of the bicycle boom during the 1980s and 1990s; (3) the launch of the National Automobile Industry Policy in 1994 had a detrimental impact on bicycle use, marking the beginning of a dramatic decline in bicycle use in Beijing. The city’s current transportation planning not only lacks a real interest in sustaining the tradition of bicycle use in Beijing, but also lacks a clear target and an integrated approach for reviving bicycle use. However, the strong existing bicycle industry, the remaining high level of bicycle ownership among Beijing residents, and the shrinking but still preserved bicycle route networks in the city provide solid foundation for a more progressive bicycle planning policy.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This paper was sponsored by TRB committee ABE90 Transportation in the Developing Countries.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Transportation Research Board

    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Authors:
    • Yang, Ming
    • Wang, Qiuning
    • Zhao, Jinhua
    • Zacharias, John
  • Conference:
  • Date: 2014


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 19p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 93rd Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01515891
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 14-3406
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jan 27 2014 3:10PM