March 30, 2011

The view from Kunming

Kunming is the capital and largest city of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China. In many ways it is typical of other similarly sized cities in China. Car ownership has increased by more than 100% between 2005-2009. But still only 17% of residents own cars. According to the Kunming Urban Transportation Institute 30% of residents still use bicycles or motorbikes to get around the city. And walking and transit are still vital modes of transportation.

One of our staff sent back these photos from a recent site visit. They show some ways in which Kunming is providing infrastructure to support walking and biking, and a few places where conditions could be improved.

A “complete street” in Kunming provides spaces for cars, buses, and bikes. The pedestrian crossing could still be improved.
A “complete street” in Kunming provides spaces for cars, buses, and bikes. The pedestrian crossing could still be improved.

 

A pedestrian mall
A pedestrian mall

 

Indoor bicycle parking facility near the pedestrian mall
Indoor bicycle parking facility near the pedestrian mall

 

Inside the bicycle parking facility, which provides both hourly and monthly parking options
Inside the bicycle parking facility, which provides both hourly and monthly parking options

 

As car ownership rises Kunming and other cities in similar situations must provide safer accommodations for all road users
As car ownership rises Kunming and other cities in similar situations must provide safer accommodations for all road users

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