Traffic spikes on freeways as Tomb Sweeping Festival begins
Heavy holiday traffic on the nation’s freeways was seen Friday, the first day of the four-day Tomb Sweeping Festival, with the country’s two north-south arteries the most affected.
As many as 190,000 vehicles traveled on Taiwan’s freeways between midnight and 5 a. m. when tolls were suspended, representing 2.1 times the regular traffic volume each day, according to the National Freeway Bureau.
The traffic snarls caused by the long weekend intensified around noon on southbound lanes of Freeway No. 1 and Freeway No. 3, the National Freeway Bureau said.
Several southbound sections of the two highways, including those between Yangmei and Hukou on Freeway No. 1 and Yingge and Daxi on Freeway No. 3, saw cars creeping along at 20 kilometers per hour.
Traffic is expected to be very heavy Friday evening on southbound lanes on Freeway No. 1 near Taichung in central Taiwan and on northbound lanes on Freeway No. 3 near Taipei, bureau officials said.
In addition, those traveling south between Pinglin and Toucheng on Freeway No. 5, which connects the Taipei metropolitan area and Yilan County in eastern Taiwan, should also be prepared for heavy traffic.
(Left) Heavy traffic is seen on a highway stretch leading out of Taipei yesterday morning at the beginning of the long weekend. (Right) The Taipei Railway Station is crowded with passengers waiting to catch a train back home for Tomb Sweeping Day.