The ban is an idea to reduce the city's pollution, which, despite the city efforts in renewing power plants and taking the industries to the outskirts of the city, has reached alarming levels due to the increased traffic. Estimates are about 3.3 million motor vehicles on the road by August 2008, when the Olympic Games will be held. The measure will cut 1 million vehicles from Beijing's roads and although it was planned for two weeks, the local authorities have decided to try it in a smaller scale. Should this test be satisfactory, the measure will be applied during the Games.
A few days ago, Jacques Rogge, president of the International Olympic Committee, announced that some endurance competitions could be seriously affected by the high levels of pollution of the city and they could even have to be canceled to protect the athletes' health if the situation is severe enough.