Beijing traffic is China's worst: report
2015-08-26 11:00:00

Extended ban on out-of-city vehicles eases gridlock in Shanghai

Beijing topped the list of 10 cities in China with the worst traffic for second time in the first half of the year, while Shanghai dropped out of top three in the second quarter, according to a traffic analysis report released by a digital map firm on Tuesday.

Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province was second followed by Guangzhou, Guangdong Province and Jinan, Shandong Province. Shanghai ranked eighth.

Beijing's West Second Ring Road was the most clogged road in the second quarter, with over 700 hours of heavy traffic, or eight hours a day. Gongti Beilu near the popular bar street in the Sanlitun district experienced the worst nighttime traffic of 162 hours, according to a report released by AutoNavi Holdings Ltd AMAP, news portal reported Tuesday.

Beijing commuters have to spend an additional 1,000 yuan ($156) each month from traffic congestion, the report said.

The report said traffic eased in Shanghai thanks to a new policy that extends the ban on vehicles from outside the city on the expressway.

The report found that rush hour traffic was reduced by 3 percent after the policy was implemented in April, and the congestion index on the expressway was reduced by 9.5 percent.

But Gu Dasong, an associate professor specializing in transport laws at Dongnan University, said he doubts the long-term effectiveness of Shanghai's new policy.

"The government cannot rely on restrictions to reduce traffic. It should instead focus on improving public transportation," Gu told the Global Times.

In 2008, Beijing implemented an odd-even policy which restricts the number of vehicles on the road based on the last digit on their license plates. But Gu said residents have resorted to buying a second vehicle, which has only worsened traffic.

If Beijing adopts Shanghai's model, vehicles from neighboring cities will be banned from entering Beijing's expressway, which would clash with the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei coordinated development program, Gu said.

Analysts from the map firm said that China's traffic conditions worsened in the second quarter of the year, with June the most congested month.

The report cited the rise of taxi-booking apps for the worsening traffic situation, with the traffic congestion index increasing by 13 percent this year.

Dalian in Liaoning Province is home to the earliest morning rush hours, beginning at 7 am, and they last for two hours.

Guangzhou's traffic is worst during the afternoon rush hours, said the report.

Source:Global Times Editor:Nicky