Beijing Officials Order Cars Off City Streets

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Here's another example of how China is trying to clean up its image even after the Olympics. It seems tackling the country's pollution problem is at the top of their list. But not everyone is happy about the new road rules.

Beijing's notoriously slow traffic has been speeding up. Officials have issued a new policy that keeps about 20 percent of the city's cars off the roads each day.

Many citizens favor the new system and say it has helped control traffic and reduce pollution.

"More vehicles means more traffic jams," said one lady. "Less vehicles means less air pollution. So people will be happier and healthier. The traffic has definitely improved a lot after the new regulations."

Some Say More Needed to Improve Beijing's Image

This restriction is to bring people a better life, so the regulation is necessary. But others say more measures are needed to improve the city's image.

"This new regulation is not enough," said one male pedestrian. "It hasn't improved the traffic so far. I didn't feel it has improved the environment and the air quality."

Beijingers had a taste of faster traffic and cleaner air during the summer's Olympics. Traffic was cut in half, factories closed, and officials spared no expense to present a stunning event to the world.

Once the games ended, citizens didn't want to return to their hazy skies and heavy traffic. So officials hope these new measures will produce the same positive results. Others are less optimistic.

"Restrictions can improve the traffic situation to a degree, but not they're not the best," said one driver. "The ultimate way to resolve the traffic problem depends on infrastructure, not car restrictions.

With over a 1,000 new cars flooding the roads each day, this new policy will only be a temporary fix. But as Beijing improves public transportation and infrastructure, traffic could soon speed up.

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