Guangzhou con­sid­ers plan to ease traf­fic jams

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou zheng­caix­iong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Traf­fic po­lice Guangzhou, Guang­dong prov­ince, are so­lic­it­ing pub­lic com­ment on a pro­posed rule de­signed to ease road con­ges­tion by re­strict­ing the num­ber of ve­hi­cles from out­side the city.

Under the long-awaited Rules on the Man­age­ment of Non-Guangzhou Reg­is­tered Ve­hi­cles, ve­hi­cles from out­side the city would be banned for four days af­ter they have op­er­ated in the city for four days.

The ve­hi­cles from out­side could run for an­other four days af­ter leav­ing the city or spend­ing four days parked in a city garage, the pro­posal says. It was pub­lished on the web­site of the city’s traf­fic po­lice depart­ment on Mon­day.

Those who vi­o­late the new rule would be fined 200 yuan ($32) and have three points de­ducted from their driv­ing record. Under China’s traf­fic rules, a per­son’s driver’s li­cense will be re­voked once 12 points are de­ducted.

The new mea­sures will help re­duce the num­ber of op­er­at­ing ve­hi­cles by about 100,000 cars per day, and play a sig­nif­i­cant role in help­ing ease the city’s traf­fic jams, the traf­fic po­lice said.

Mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles, po­lice cars, am­bu­lances, fire trucks, en­gi­neer­ing res­cue ve­hi­cles and ve­hi­cles from Hong Kong and Ma­cao would be ex­empt from the rules, the au­thor­i­ties said.

Lo­cal res­i­dents and ex­perts have been asked to ex­press their opin­ions and give sug­ges­tions about the draft rules be­tween April 17 and 26.

Lin Jiang, a pro­fes­sor at Guangzhou’s Sun Yat-sen Univer­sity, said the city’s mea­sures are more peo­ple-ori­ented com­pared with rules in­tro­duced by other main­land cities re­strict­ing ve­hi­cles from out­side.

“The new mea­sures, which will help ease the city’s traf­fic jams, min­i­mize the im­pact on the peo­ple from out­side. The peo­ple from out­side the city can drive to Guangzhou and use pub­lic trans­porta­tion af­ter hav­ing driven in Guangzhou for four days,” Lin said.

He urged gov­ern­ments to in­vest more to in­crease in­ter­city trans­port via light rail, sub­ways and buses be­tween Guangzhou and other Pearl River Delta cities to help re­duce the num­ber of ve­hi­cles ex­pected from out­side in com­ing years.

Peng Peng, vice-chair­man of the ex­perts’ com­mit­tee of the Guang­dong-based South Non­govern­men­tal Think­Tank, said the new mea­sures would help Guangzhou curb its traf­fic prob­lem, though they would ad­versely af­fect res­i­dents who need to visit fre­quently from out­side the city.

“The Guangzhou city gov­ern­ment should have sought the valu­able ad­vice of lo­cal ex­perts and schol­ars be­fore draft­ing the new mea­sures,” Peng said. “Rel­e­vant depart­ments should pub­li­cize the new mea­sures to en­sure that they are im­ple­mented.”

Res­i­dents have called for stricter moves to solve the traf­fic jams in Guangzhou, a trad­ing hub in south­ern China

that at­tracts many peo­ple, par­tic­u­larly busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tives, from nearby cities in the Pearl River Delta.

Cen Guangchao, a white col­lar worker in the city who drives a car to work, said the new mea­sures are not strict enough. Guangzhou has faced very heavy traf­fic jams, es­pe­cially dur­ing rush hours, he said.

“Traf­fic po­lice should in­tro­duce an odd-even re­stric­tion on cars from out­side, as Guangzhou has al­ready had a large num­ber of cars from out­side,” he said.

But some from out­side of the city think oth­er­wise.

Fang Zhuo­long, a driver from Foshan, 20 kilo­me­ters from Guangzhou, said the new mea­sure would af­fect peo­ple like him who are from out­side the city.

An ex­ec­u­tive from an elec­tron­ics com­pany said he might pur­chase an­other car or, al­ter­na­tively, bor­row one from rel­a­tives or friends to visit Guangzhou af­ter the new mea­sures take ef­fect.

In Shen­zhen, ve­hi­cles from out­side the city are banned from op­er­at­ing dur­ing rush hours — from 7 am to 9 am and 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm on work­days.

Ac­cord­ing to data from its traf­fic po­lice, Guangzhou, which has a pop­u­la­tion of more than 15 mil­lion, now has about 2.8 mil­lion reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles.

Guangzhou started lim­it­ing car reg­is­tra­tions in July 2012. Cur­rently it grants no more than 10,000 new car li­censes a month via lot­tery and auc­tion.

Luo Yong­shi con­trib­uted to this story.

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