Beijing Launches Pollution Crackdown for Olympics

Officials scramble to clean the air for athletes
By Green Point,  Newser User
Posted Jul 20, 2008 5:34 AM CDT
Beijing Launches Pollution Crackdown for Olympics
People crowd in a subway station in Beijing Friday, July 18, 2008. The plan will allow vehicles on the road every other day depending on even or odd registration numbers.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Beijing has launched tough new anti-pollution measures this week in a bid to clean the air for Olympic athletes in time for the games. Officials expect to force nearly half of the city's 3.3 million cars off the road, which will drive commuters onto already-crowded public transport, Reuters reports. "It will bring some real difficulties in transportation for ordinary people," warned a driver.

Taxi drivers, whose business has been hurt by heavily congested roads, are pleased with the new rules. "The traffic is already so much better, it's much easier to drive today," said one. Over 150 cement work sites have been shut down and hundreds of factories will be closed in areas in and around Beijing as part of the crackdown. (More 2008 Beijing Olympics stories.)

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