Monday, August 13, 2007

Olympics 2007 or 2008?

As we (who live in China) know - August brought us to a speedy countdown - less than a year to Beijing Olympics, 2007 thus officially becomes a grand rehearsal.

Beijing yesterday announced a drill to test the effectiveness of the Olympic host city's efforts to improve air quality and ease traffic congestion.

From August 17 to 20, about 1.3 million vehicles - nearly half of the total 3 million in the city - will be ordered off the roads as part of pre-Olympic tests, according to the capital city's environmental and traffic authorities. Deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Traffic Management Bureau said the drill will test the city's public transport.

Rush hour services of the bus and metro systems will be extended to three hours, 6:30 am to 9:30 am, from the usual two hours, 7 am to 9 am.

Civic servants are supposed to arrive in office half an hour earlier at 8 am, and shopping malls will open doors one hour later at 10 am.

Currently, the public transit system carries 31 percent of the traveling public and is the most popular means of transport after walking.

Below - a view of how Olympic mascots relate to Beijing 2007 reality. FYI today's pollution level is devilish 66, skies are clear - only sign of last night's storm and hale are trees that gave up to the strong winds and decided to rest in peace.

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