Expert warns of Olympic overconstruction
A Chinese senior expert warned Wednesday that Beijing should be aware of possible transport overconstruction during its preparatory work for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Zhou Ganzhi, former minister of China's Ministry of Construction, suggested at the China (Beijing) Olympic Transportation Forum that Beijing should not only rely on infrastructure construction to solve road congestion, which is widely recognized as a key obstacle for the 2008 Games.
Zhou said that the Olympic Games is a special "rush hour", in which heavy traffic is compacted within a particular period and certain area.
"That doesn't last long and is not likely to re-appear in the following years. That's why we can't develop the city transport construction simply according to the Olympic standard,
"Otherwise we're squandering money and labor to find many facilities are useless after the Olympics," he said.
Zhou said that Beijing authorities and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Olympic Games (BOCOG) should pay attention to transport management in addition to construction.
"Considering Beijing's current situation, there's still much to be done in the transport management and especially on details.
"People often complain, for example, about the lack of road signs or they still don't know where to drive even seeing the signs. That shows we still have to study such things as the design and placement of road signs.
"These seemingly minor problems are important to ensure smooth traffic," he said.
The academician, both of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engeering described transport construction as time- and money-consuming and call for a thorough planning.
"If the construction is done, it's very hard to change it. So we must have a cautious and all-around plan in accordance with the development of the city's general transport system," he said.
Dozens of Chinese experts convened at the two-day forum, which started on Tuesday, to shared views in tackling Beijing's transportation problems for the 2008 Games.
It's the second edition of such forum after the first in May. The forum discussed a wide range of issues from transportation system development to digital intelligent vehicle system and simulation.
The Beijing Municipal Transportation Committee presented a report on the strategic transportation planning of the Beijing Olympics. Government officials, who worked with Athens organizers during the 2004 Games, also briefed the forum on the situation there.
Liu Jingmin, BOCOG's executive vice president, was present at the forum. He admitted Beijing faced the traffic challenge but was optimistic about the prospects.
"It's also an opportunity and I believe this city's traffic conditions will be largely improved after the 2008 Games," he said.
"We need listen to experts' views carefully, and it should be a huge team work to be done with specialists from various fields working together."