The bicycle has dominated Chinese urban transportation for 20 years. Travel by bicycle has contributed greatly to the shaping of the cultural and economic landscape. For example, in Tianjin (population 4.5 m) 55% of all trips of more than a half-kilometer were by bicycle in 2000. While draconian policies to reduce bicycle use have had major effect in certain cities, mostly in the Pearl River Delta, elsewhere attempts are being made to accommodate both rising motorization and public affection for the bicycle. On the other hand, local leaders generally regard the bicycle as a symbol of the lean socialist years, problematic for traffic management and a visual pollutant. The widespread use of the car as a reward to valued employees is a major contributor to the growth in automobiles and is also shaping popular perceptions of status and the value of technology. A window of opportunity of just 10-15 years remains for the inclusion of the bicycle in long-term plans for Chinese cities. The recent explosion in the number of pedestrian malls offers a hopeful sign for the bicycle. The demand for better environmental conditions, supplied in the form of pedestrianized districts, is resulting in a quickening demand for environmental improvements elsewhere. A global motor culture must be accommodated along with a redesigned non-motorized transportation system. This presentation covers the major factors in the present, evolving traffic situation with examples drawn from several cities in China.