In the early 1980s, owning a motorcycle was equivalent in status terms to having an expensive imported car today. During the reform and opening‐up period in the 1980s, motorcycles gradually began to enter millions of households. Faced with very rapid increases in the motorcycle vehicle fleet, the city perceived a number of problems associated with motorcycles. Due to this, the city graudually began introducing progressively stricter bans on motorcycle use in the city.
This article reviews the history of growth of motorcycle use in Guangzhou, the issues caused, which led to measures restricting their use, and the results of the ban, and the lessons thatcan be learned from Guangzhou’s experience.