According to a recent article published by Agence France-Presse (AFP), increasing affluence in China has caused the rate of bicycle ridership in Beijing to drop from a high of 80% in the 1980s to less than 20% today. Though 20% is still very high by U.S. standards, the drop is nothing short of stunning. The results of this dramatic increase in driving are predictable, with massive traffic jams and intense smog now the norm. In an effort to reverse the trend, the city recently launched a bike-sharing program that it plans to grow to 50,000 bikes by 2015. The burning question is whether anyone will use the bikes now that the automobile genie has been let out of the bottle.
Uploaded to Flickr by crypt K (CC)