Cyclists ride bikes on the first bicycle-only road in Beijing on June 2, 2019. [Photo by E Xiaoying/ tuku.qianlong.com]
Cyclist Liu Jingming rode for 30 minutes along the first bicycle-only road in Beijing, which opened on Friday morning, and said that it was "safe and beautiful".
The 6.5-kilometer road is expected to ease traffic congestion in the area between Huilongguan, a densely populated community in the northern part of the city, and Shangdi, where a large number of high-tech companies are located.
"I live 13 kilometers away. Hearing that it will open today, I cycled specially from my home to experience riding on this road with other team members," said Liu, 61, who is a member of a local cycling group. "It felt good to cycle on it without cars and pedestrians. The view along the two sides of the road is enjoyable."
"Hopefully, Beijing will build more bike-only roads."
According to the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport, there are three lanes, including a reversible lane, on the 6-meter-wide road.
Conveyor belts for bikes and other power assisting devices are installed at the six entrances and exits of the road, which can help commuters save energy when going up and ensuring safety when going down.
"The road has a maximum speed of no more than 15 kilometers per hour, and entry is forbidden to pedestrians, electric bicycles and other vehicles," said Hou Xiaoming, chief engineer of the commission.
"The road has great significance for the capital's green travel," he said.
According to the commission, an average of 11,600 people commute to work daily in the area.
It takes around 30 minutes on average to cycle from Huilongguan residential area to the software park in Shangdi.
Due to heavy traffic, it takes more than 40 minutes and even one hour to commute by subway in rush hour because people cannot get into the crowded subway station.
"It's common to see a very long line at the entrance of the subway station at Huilongguan during rush hours in the morning and evening," said Li Li, a 33-year-old programmer who tried riding a bike on the road to work on Friday morning.
"It sometimes takes me 20 minutes just to get into the subway station," he said. "The bike-only road offered me a much better choice. It's also good exercise for me."
The parking facilities are installed at every entrance and exit.
Yan Jing, an official at the Beijing General Municipal Engineering Design and Research Institute, said there are 4,900 parking spaces for shared and individual's bikes, and there will be managers to help and guide the parking.
Beijing has many designated lanes for bicycles. However, cars are increasingly encroaching on them, and they are often crowded with parked cars.
Beijing has over 1.9 million shared bikes, and over 1,014 kilometers of lanes for cyclists and pedestrians. By 2020, the figure will reach 3,200 km, according to the commission.