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Post-Olympic Traffic Faces Challenges

Beijing traffic saw radical increase on Sunday, the first day after the city's two-month alternating odd-even license plate system for the Olympic Games ended.

The 3.4 million automobiles and five million drivers in Beijing could put Beijing in serious traffic conditions in the "post-Olympic times", even more serious than before, said Zhang Jingchun, spokesman of the Traffic Management Bureau.

The city would see more challenge after the end of the "odd-even" system which took effective on July 20 and aimed at cut air pollution and jammed traffic during the Games, Zhang said.

The reopen of the accesses to Beijing for vehicles from other provinces would also make the highways, national ways, Fifth and Sixth Ring Road to face traffic jams, he said.

The seven-day-holiday of the National Day might draw an influx of visitors to scenic spots and shopping centers, while the bad weather would also influence the traffic, he added.

Thirty-eight new measures will be taken by the municipal administrations, including an emergency plan for the first rush hours on Monday.

"High-tech measures, including TV monitoring and flexible time control of traffic lights, will continue to be adopted as they have been effective during the Olympics," Zhang said.

The cooperation between traffic administrations and other related offices such as observatory and environmental sanitation administrations would be continued in the post-Olympic times, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency September 22, 2008)

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