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A road map to ease traffic gridlock in China

By Zheng Jinran (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-12-15 14:12
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Drivers in two thirds of China's 667 cities have to endure rush hour traffic jams with the number of vehicles on the roads now standing at 200 million.

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Many cities have released plans to try to ease traffic gridlock, such as a limit on the number of license plates in Shanghai and a cap on government cars in Beijing.

A draft plan posted on the municipal commission of transport's website says the capital will speed up construction of traffic infrastructure, boost public transport and strengthen regulation concerning car use. What’s more, the city's 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-2015) suggests that residents should be encouraged to live close to where they work to ease congestion.

Shanghai has adopted measures to book and limit the granting of license plates for many years. But some car owners have applied for a license from other cities to escape this limit. Besides, Shanghai and Tianjin plan to expand suburb or economic zones near the downtown to ease traffic pressure.

Confronting increasingly severe traffic jams, Chongqing has decided to build the western municipality into an influential megapolis in five years and its downtown area with smooth traffic, and more rail transport will be built to connect large residential areas along the inner and outer ring roads. An official confirmed that the authorities will consider improving the municipal bus lines in 2011 and prohibit public buses running in the downtown area in three years.