Beijing returning to some Olympic traffic measures

Beijing is preparing to reinstate certain traffic restrictions originally imposed for the Olympics in August, in what some analysts call an unusual Chinese governmental response to public opinion.

After city residents’ overwhelmingly positive reaction to the measures – as expressed on internet forums and in letters to the news media – the authorities have decided to keep milder versions of the restrictions on cars.

The less-strict rules include taking 30% of government vehicles off the streets at any one time and banning cars one day a week, based on their licence-plate numbers. The regulations will be tested until April and made permanent if found to be effective.

Imposed to satisfy the International Olympic Committee, the original restrictions required one million cars — one third of the total vehicles in Beijing — to be taken off the road to reduce the city’s notorious air pollution during the Games.

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