Some off-ramp speed limits hiked to 50 km/h

13:32, January 29, 2010      

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Drivers will be able to exit the Fifth Ring Road at faster speeds in future after the Beijing traffic management bureau announced it was hiking off-ramp speed limits to 50 km/h.

The previous speed limit on the ring road's off-ramps had been 30 km/h.

"We have already set out to relax the speed limits and the changes will be made gradually," said an unnamed officer with the bureau in an interview with the Mirror Evening News.

Not all exits will be bumped up to 50 km/h because it would be unsafe to do so in some instances. He said some will be raised to 40 km/h.

The Wukesong exit was among the first to get upgraded. It was changed to 50 km/h yesterday morning. In the past, cars backed up onto the highway as drivers tried to exit.

The Fifth Ring Road, which opened in 2003, was designed to have tollgates at exits and 30 km/h and even 20 km/h speed limits were brought in to deal with that, explained a representative of the Traffic Management Bureau.

However, the tollgates were removed in 2004 and the 30 km/h speed limits were not adjusted, causing traffic jams ever since.

Drivers on the Fifth Ring Road have complained about the congestion caused by the exit speed limits, especially on the eastern portion of the road where traffic is the heaviest.

The east part of the Fifth Ring Road links with six highways, including the Airport Express and the Second Airport Express and the rapidly expanding housing estates in that area.

The relaxation was partly due to questions raised recently by Beijing people's congress deputies.


Source: China Daily
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