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  1. #21 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    I looked through that bit of research too, and must say I could feel its bias from the outset. The report talks ONLY about the huge increases in numbers of motorcycles as Deng's reforms generated rapid rises in income, but does not mention the rise in numbers of cars, especially in the mid-1990s as China under JZM made car-making a "pillar industry" of the economy. Surely the number of cars in Guangzhou is now in the millions, and, like all other cities, GZ is spending billions and billions to pave ever more roads to accommodate them -- often at the expense of pedestrians and bicyclists, who (I hope) are not subject any bans.

    I've not spent much time in GZ in recent years, but over my 20 years in China I've spent lots of time in Beijing and Shanghai. Beijing has taken a path of almost zero resistance to cars, and the result is really awful (chinabiker may disagree!). In the past five years, Beijing's laughably low car registration fees (a few thousand RMB, unless something has changed) have encouraged rapid growth of the car population into the low millions, triggering an orgy of roadbuilding. My flat in Beijing once was in a quiet part of town, between the east 3rd and 4th rings just off Chang'an Jie. Now my compound has become an island surrounded on four sides by greatly expanded roads -- all of which become saturated with slow-moving traffic as soon as they are finished. At rush hour, Beijing's major arteries are little more than parking lots, with the exception that every engine is idling (polluting and wasting petrol and creating an incessant drone of noise pollution). Yes, government bureaucrats, who are highly concentrated in Beijing, very much enjoy their (Chinese-made) Audis and Buicks, and because they have drivers I guess they don't mind the glory of sitting in traffic snarls. If they are senior enough the police come out and clear a path for their motorcades.

    Shanghai has handled the situation very differently, and, in my opinion, far, far more intelligently. Here, plates for all vehicles are restricted in number, and thus ALL private vehicles are subject to highly burdensome fees. This approach has been used in Hong Kong and Singapore to very good effect, though of course it makes cars and motorcycles cost FAR more than they would elsewhere. In other words, private motoring is an expensive privilege rather than a right, and you have to pay to play. The result for quality of life is impressive. With some exceptions for major arteries, rather than bulldozing and widening all of its streets as Beijing does, Shanghai has tried to retain a human scale of its neighborhoods. In most older parts of town, roads remain two laners, with nice wide lanes for bicycles and amazingly low numbers of cars in circulation. Traffic does stall at rush hour up on the elevated roads, but it generally flows nicely in neighborhood streets.

    Vastly improved subways in both cities have helped a lot. In Beijing people are desperate to escape the wonderful cars they've bought; in Shanghai, cars are out of reach so few had cars to begin with. In both cities, the new subways are a valued option.

    Footnote: This is not to say that Shanghai is a paradise. Far from it. The roads teem with millions of ebikes and small-bore motorbikes, often modified to achieve great horsepower, most with no license plates or other registration. And the effect is a bit sobering to the uninitiated. Clearly there is a huge task at hand to step up regulation of existing vehicles, and enforcing the regulations. I've asked lots of people for the rules on small-bore bikes, ebikes and the like, and have not gotten consistent answers. Surely an electric bicycle or electric moped capable of running at 40kph should be licensed, and its driver too. But most seem to run with impunity. No helmets. Slippers or flipflops. No mirrors. Etc.
    jkp
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    2010 JH600 "Merkin Muffley" (in Shanghai)
    2000 KLR650 "Feezer Ablanalp" (in California)
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  2. #22 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    grumpy old sod jape's Avatar
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    - and then just foreigners and the uncaring, 'face' conscious' rich will have them, while a decent bloke working to raise a family and save up so gets a 'bike rather than a car, can't? Call me a commie, I believe in 'fair play' not regulation by wealth. All or none.

    The so-called enshrined 'rights' of the individual have had a looong run in this world and have caused and increased only greed and bloodshed. What about the rights of the innocent (they do exist), the poor (by misfortune or chance), the injured and disabled? What about the rights of society and community?
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  3. #23 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru euphonius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jape View Post
    What about the rights of society and community?
    At risk of turning this thread overtly political, which I suppose I've already done with my long comment above: Hear, hear, Jape! Hopefully yours is the wisdom of this new century!
    jkp
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  4. #24 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Life Is Good! ChinaV's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphonius View Post
    At risk of turning this thread overtly political, which I suppose I've already done with my long comment above: Hear, hear, Jape! Hopefully yours is the wisdom of this new century!
    I think we should split this part of your thread into a different topic as there is probably plenty to discuss from the document link I posted. Sorry about that. I agree with your statement Jape, but I think what the document points out is that the Chinese could not handle a situation where everyone was given access to cheap transportation. The simple answer to this is not expensive bikes and expensive registrations, it's a thing called laws. If they fined every idiot 1000-2000 Yuan per traffic offense, you would see a big change in the traffic habits of Chinese people.

    The scariest part of that, somewhat biased, document is how much it is being sighted and cross linked throughout the internet. A lot of people see motorcycles as a bad thing.[/highjack]

    Cheers!
    ChinaV
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  5. #25 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Senior C-Moto Guru ZMC888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jape
    - and then just foreigners and the uncaring, 'face' conscious' rich will have them, while a decent bloke working to raise a family and save up so gets a 'bike rather than a car, can't? Call me a commie, I believe in 'fair play' not regulation by wealth. All or none.
    In Australia I absolutely agree, but China has its own conditions, most small displacement riders in China don't play fair. No license, no insurance, no registration or helmet are the norm in many places, then there are the journeys of a few hundred meters being common. If the police could enforce the rules properly and fine those whose bikes are illegal more often, and charge a higher registration fee so as to encourage frivolous motorcycle/scooter users towards ebikes. There would then be few enough motorcycles on the road for any need to ban them in any city unnecessary, meaning that everyone in the end has more freedom.

    China needs a having motorcycle to be a privilege, most 'decent blokes working to raise a family' are perfectly happy on ebikes, they just don't switch over due to the cost and want to run their machine into the ground before moving over to an ebike, and their sometimes careless and inconsiderate attitudes damage motorcycling for the genuine enthusiast, for whom not having a motorcycle damages their quality of life.
    Without consciousness, space and time are nothing; in reality you can take any time -- whether past or future -− as your new frame of reference. Death is a reboot that leads to all potentialities.
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  6. #26 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    jpk,
    a really good "how to" you've written down here

    Procedure is time consuming and nasty but at least it seems to be re-produceable.

    Good job
    Last edited by chinabiker; 06-21-2010 at 06:06 AM.
    Andy
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  7. #27 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Motorcycle Addict chinabiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZMC888 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bikerdoc View Post
    perhaps a plate that has a higher cost and can only be used on motorcycle above a certain displacement or horsepower that then can use expressways etc
    +1, hopefully...............one day..............!
    That kind of plate would create another source of doubtful income for some officials
    Otherwise a good idea
    Andy
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  8. #28 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    Moto Scholar moilami's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jape View Post
    - and then just foreigners and the uncaring, 'face' conscious' rich will have them,
    Rofl what a word, "face conscious", a very good one. Will have to remember that. Have to admit I have become more and more face conscious as I have grown older. Have to say it haven't made my life better at all.

    I think I understand the pros of Shanghai way. The registration process there was like going to lisence plate stock exchange. Private motorcycling and car driving can a be a serious problem in China, and one way to deal with it is to apply enormous taxes and limit the number of plates. However fair play is important too. Whose money is used to build and maintain roads? Is it 100 rich persons who pay them or 1 000 000 poor who never can get a vehicle?

    My solution for the problem could be to make a lisence plate lottery. The solution is based on a principle that there is no privileges in getting a vehicle. So if you want to get a vehicle you have to be lucky or you have to really pay of it.

    The vehicle lisence plate lottery would happen annually and everyone could participate on it. If you win you could sell the rights to register a vehicle or you could register a new vehicle by yourself. This is how you do it if you do it in a fair waỵ. If there must be limits, then better put everyone on the same ground.

    In my way both rich and poor could get lisence plates, as it should be. In practise many poor might sell the rights to buy lisence plates to rich, which would benefit both rich and poor as opposite to current situation where the poor people gets nothing except negative concequences.
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  9. #29 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    C-Moto Guru milton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by euphonius View Post
    ChinaV,

    As for the cost, I'm looking at that fee as something like a certificate of deposit. Regardless of what happens to the bike, as long as the rules don't change it's like, er, money in the bank. Yes, that's a big "as long as"...
    I paid 8K RMB for my yello A plate 8 years ago, which is now worth over 40K. Best investment I've made in China. You might just make some money on this thin piece of metal.
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  10. #30 Re: Getting legal: Registering my JH600 in Shanghai 
    C-Moto Guru milton's Avatar
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    A while ago I came across a white paper, released 10 years ago by Shanghai city planners, titled “Shanghai traffic development, a white paper”. I believe this paper officially started the “motorcycle discrimination” in Shanghai.

    It has 4 pages divided in 2 chapters, with the first one describing the background of the paper and the second “Traffic development strategy”. Most thoughts in the paper are visionary and sensible, aiming to offer to its subjects “fast, safe, comfortable and clean” traffic services. Then it singles out motorcycles in the last part of second chapter as follows:

    ykCs1LHwq3414..jpg


    Translation:
    “Motorcycle as a means of transportation is flexible, convenient and speedy. Due to these characteristics it grows fast in numbers. However, a large number of motorcycles on the road would disturb the normal traffic flow and in turn become a threat to the safety of city traffic. It would lower the operational efficiency of the traffic and produce a relatively larger share of harms to the city environment as a whole. “

    This is rather bizarre. Even when motorcycles are accurately described as the preferred means of transportation of the people, they are not treated as part of the normal traffic, to be managed and protected equally as all others on the road. Instead they are considered menaces to the general traffic. In short, they are singled out and discriminated against. It was unscientific. It did not invite feedbacks from the “people” which it is supposed to serve. This short paragraph in the white paper created the most expensive motorcycle license plate in the world as a direct result.
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