Starting July 20, car traffic was restricted in the city in order to to take 50 percent of Beijing’s 3,5 million vehicles off the road – in time to lessen air pollution for the Olympic games. From then until 20 September, private vehicles will only be allowed to drive on alternating days and cars with high emissions will be banned, according to this article from the European Space Agency (ESA).
“Poor air quality could pose problems for the Olympic athletes and hinder the performance of those competing outdoors in endurance sports, such as cycling and marathons,” the ESA said.
ESA, through a joint program with the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China, is monitoring air quality in Beijing using a newly installed High Resolution Air Quality Forecasting System. Three-day forecasts are posted daily and are accessible on the Beijing Air Quality website.