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Construction begins on bicycle path around Dianchi Lake

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Ground was broken yesterday on a new bicycle and pedestrian path that will encircle Dianchi Lake and will be off limits to motorized vehicles, according to Kunming media reports.

The so-called "Dianchi Landscape Path" (环滇池景观道) will be a total of 75.75 kilometers (47 miles) long. In addition to offering views of the heavily polluted, occasionally miasmatic but generally scenic Dianchi Lake, the path will also be accompanied by a landscaped green belt. It is scheduled for completion within two years.

The path's construction comes at a time when fewer Kunming residents are riding bicycles and more are driving their own cars or riding electric bicycles. Not so long ago, a two-day bicycle ride around the lake on the roads encircling Dianchi Lake was a popular weekend getaway for university students to get some exercise, or more often, for young lovers to escape from the lack of privacy of dorm life.

Today, local media often refers to Kunming as Ducheng (堵城), loosely meaning "Congestion City", as cars have taken over the city. Car ownership rates are climbing quickly and at last count more than 560 motorized vehicles were being registered in the city each day.

With most of the city's road resources being mobilized to deal with more and more cars, the Dianchi Landscape Path is a rare investment in Kunming's cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.

Not surprisingly, the path's construction is the lesser half of the 8.8 billion yuan (US$1.3 billion) "Two Rings" construction project that also includes renovation of Huanhu Lu (环湖路), the road that encircles Dianchi Lake, which will be constructed into an eight-lane highway.

Image: ncic.ac.cn

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sounds great! what a nice ride it will be...

. . . and with a greater awareness of the polution in the lake, we ought to see more effort in the clean up.

Does anyone have any information about this new cycle path? I heard mention it was now open and there was information on GoKunming (even a website about it). I cannot find any reference to it, other than this thread from 2008. Does anyone have more information?

i've looked into this a bit. while i'm prepared to be wrong, my conclusion is that there is no bicycle path per se. the only mentions of it i've found in Chinese are all sourced from the original announcement referenced in this post.

however, the road around Dianchi is complete, and is accessible to bikes all the way around. i'm thinking that this is what the original announcement was referring to, or maybe what the original plans were downgraded to.

including a bit of downtown distance, the lake lap clocks around 130km. there's talk of a round-lake race in July, but it's already postponed from June, so who knows if it will actually take place.

Many thanks Hedgepin. You have confirmed my suspicions!

Cycling route plans downgraded due to finacial shortfalls?? lack of funds due to someone's large pocket?

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