ring roads

ring roads
A ring road is a circulation axis permitting high-speed traffic around a city to avoid interfering with inner-city traffic. A number of Chinese cities have adopted a road network comprising several high-speed ring roads and radial roads. Networks of ring roads in China exhibit similar characteristics. The first ring road is the main traffic artery around the urban centre area. It passes through a series of commercial belts and is marked by high traffic volume. The second ring road stretches along the site of the city proper or the former city walls, as in Beijing. The third ring road links the emerging secondary centres with large-scale retail and service businesses.
The fourth ring road is designed for freight transport linking the new industrial regions with rail, port and airport terminals. Beyond, ring roads are linking satellite towns across the countryside. In order to maintain high traffic flow, many of these ring roads are fly-overs at busy road junctions. Ring roads are connected together by trunk roads radiating outwards to ensure smooth traffic dispersion. The system of ring roads and radial roads is copied from the Soviet model of transport planning. Ring roads permit the adaptation of old cities to the traffic demands of an expanding and modernizing economy. They reduce bottlenecks off main trunk roads and funnel traffic away from the city centre. With increasing levels of motorization, Chinese ring road networks will serve as the backbone for urban expansion in concentric circles.

Encyclopedia of contemporary Chinese culture. . 2011.

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