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Odd/Even Days

January 1, 2016

China has used the Odd/even day/carplate formula to ration cars allowed on the road to reduce pollution.  And this proved to be quite successful when implemented during

  • Olympic Opening
  • Big Meetings like the National People’s Congress (lasting 10 to 14 days)

But for Chinese, by odd, it means either Monday, Wednesday or Friday and by even, it means Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday because that is how they name the days of the week.  Sunday is neither even nor odd because that is 星期日.  It was so successful, the sky turned so blue in Beijing, they call that Epic Blue.

Indian New Delhi is trying the same thing, on Jan 1 (see Delhi controversy ) is also showing success, except Odd days refer to the calendar day of the date (dd/mm/yyyy) and so odd cars has more days on the road in a year than even cars.

On Jan. 1, only vehicles with license numbers ending with an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, and 9) are allowed on Delhi roads.

Offenders will be fined two thousand Rupees (about thirty US dollars).  some twenty five categories of cars will be exempted and like most rules, it will be very hard to police everyday in a year.  So at least in the beginning, it sounds like a New Year’s gift and it should work but either it will evolve to something more practical to police, or it too shall pass and most people will ignore it.

In the US in places where usually snow is common, they have “No parking odd days” or “No Parking Even Days” to facilitate snow sweeping.  That is itself very confusing because while it is based on the calendar day (not days of the week, for they would have no idea which are odd and which are even), it is tricky by itself.  Sometimes they last from 8AM to 5PM, while some cities will only give tickets a few minutes after midnight (like NYC), that way, if today is odd (of course it’s Jan 01) and you park on the other side, tonight when you are fast asleep, you’ll still get a ticket.


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