The second death of the bicycle?

From the technological innovation imported in the 1890s to the must-have-for-a-wedding during the 1960s and 1970s (together with a sewing machine and a wristwatch), bicycles are much more than a means of transportation: they offer a glimpse into the evolution of the Chinese society.

The bell was tolling for the bicycle when, in 2010, China took over from the US the ‘enviable’ position of largest car market of the world. By then, some bicycle-only streets in Chinese cities had been turned into car-only streets. A little flicker of hope was provided by the massive adoption of electric bicycles (according to the New York Times, there are around 120 million of them in China). Would the eco-conscious government and citizens refrain from turning into a car society? Alas, the artifact’s original sin (its ‘noiselessness’) might be the cause of its second death: Shenzhen banned electric bicycles from the downtown area to reduce the number of accidents.

I wonder if electric cars will be banned for the same reason…