Christmas Eve likely to ignite traffic mayhem
Updated: 2010-12-20 17:23
Friday's rush hour in the capital is likely to begin a lot earlier than usual as people slip out of work because of Christmas Eve and join the regular end-of-the-week exodus.
The Beijing Traffic Management Bureau issued a warning to that effect, saying the rush is likely to begin about 4 pm.
The bureau said the city's busy leisure areas, such as Houhai, the Xidan shopping area and the Solana lifestyle shopping park, are likely to be among the busiest for traffic on Christmas Eve.
Evening shows slated for Happy Valley on Christmas Eve, and concerts and performances throughout the city will also mean the congestion could continue until late into the night.
The bureau has posted tips on its website and suggested ways for people to beat the gridlock that include alternative routes and encouraging travelers to take public transit.
The fact that the number of cars on city streets has been rising so quickly in recent months suggests the capital's traffic woes will only worsen.
Statistics show that an additional 2,700 cars joined the city's automobile population each day last week, bringing the total to 4.73 million. Traffic on the major ring roads in recent months is said to have increased by more than 30 percent.
The city took steps to ease traffic gridlock with the release of its draft traffic management plan on Dec 13.
There was widespread concern that it might mean limitations such as allowing only one car per family and limiting car sales to people with a Beijing hukou (permanent residency permit).
Another major concern among would-be car buyers was that current tax rebates and trade-in subsidies might be canceled.
"All of the concerns have created panic among potential car buyers," said the sales manager of a Chang'an Avenue Suzuki store.
The manager, named Cao, said it looks like his dealership will have sold 300 cars by the end of the year. It sold 200 last year.
Beijing buyers snapped up roughly 96,000 cars in November, a year-on-year rise of 33 percent. That figure is expected to hit 100,000 this month, according to official figures.
Li Shaohua, vice chairman of the Beijing Federation of Industry and Commerce, recently told local media that the fast increasing population of automobiles had heaped inconvenience on city residents.
Li said it is essential that the number be contained.
1. Why did authorities issue a traffic warning for Friday?
2. Why is traffic expected to get worse in Beijing?
3. What are some suggestions in the city’s draft traffic management plan released on Dec 13?
1. Rush hour in the capital is likely to begin a lot earlier than usual because of Christmas Eve.
2. The number of cars on city streets has been rising quickly in recent months, with an additional 2,700 cars being added each day last week, bringing the total to 4.73 million.
3. Allowing only one car per family and limiting car sales to people with a Beijing hukou (permanent residency permit). Current tax rebates and trade-in subsidies might be canceled.
（中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑）
About the broadcaster:
Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.
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