Morning rush hour looks like this in one of the Central Business Districts in Beijing, at least from the comfort of my 24th floor hotel room. There are more cars and fewer bicycles on the road today then there were five years ago — so much so that you can only drive your car on alternate days — part of the government efforts to reduce congestion.
There are many bike lanes available for those still riding and you don’t have to ride much to discern the hierarchy: trucks/buses –> cars –> motorbikes –> bicycles –> pedestrians. Any attempt to deviate from the established order can have grave consequences.
What is rare here is a cyclist wearing a helmet. Over about 10 trips to the city I might have seen one or two and they’re usually foreigners.
There are many wonderful things about the city but the traffic and the air (the grey stuff in the picture) aren’t among them.