Beijing Gagging for the Olympics

Adrian Imonti
by Adrian Imonti

According to the Washington Post, Beijing officials want to clear their city's infamous smog by using number plate-based driving restrictions. Currently, the city's atmos is so bad that International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has threatened to postpone long-distance races if the athletes can't get sufficient 02. Although Chinese officials reckon they can pull a third of the city's three million vehicles off the road, they may face The Law of Unintended Consequences. Since 1989, Mexico City has banned cars one day per week based upon their license plate digits. In her book " Air Quality in the Mexico Megacity," author Luisa Molina quotes researchers who say some 22 percent of Mexican drivers responded to “Hoy No Circula” (HNC) regs by buying a second car– increasing overall vehicular journeys and, thus, air pollution. Of course, officials in charge of HNC– which now focuses on a car's age– say ending the plan would put 600k more vehicles on the road each day. The Chinese test begins on Friday.

Adrian Imonti
Adrian Imonti

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4 of 5 comments
  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Aug 13, 2007

    Is that a real picture? Did a volcano just erupt nearby? That looks disgusting!

  • Robert Farago Robert Farago on Aug 14, 2007

    rpn453: It's real.

  • Confused1096 Confused1096 on Aug 14, 2007

    Ahh, just let 'em run. Should add a whole new level of complexity to the event.

  • Mirkothetruthaboutcars Mirkothetruthaboutcars on Aug 02, 2008

    This is an apples to oranges comparison. Beijing's intent is patently temporary, while Ciudad Mex's intent was to a "fully amortizing" solution. On 09/09/08, Beijing will be roll'n dirty...C-MEX at least was trying to comply with CARB, to which I, a Californian, say bienvenidos.