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Beijing to rope off special lanes to ease Olympic traffic burden
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17:55, March 12, 2008

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· Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
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Beijing will rope off more than 280 kilometers of roads for special Olympic use to ease traffic burden during the Games in August, said a senior official of the Games' organizing committee on Wednesday.

To separate the Olympic traffic from others will be an effective way to ease traffic burden, as has been proved in the Games in Sydney and Athens, said Beijing Vice Mayor Liu Jingmin, executive vice president of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad (BOCOG).

Liu, a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the top political advisory body's annual full session.

He voiced confidence in the city's capability in tackling traffic challenges expected to confront the Olympic host when the Games brings into a flood of tourists and spectators this summer.

Beijing sees two or three tourist booms each year, nearly two million for each golden week holidays, which is larger than the estimated surge during the August Games, Liu said.

In addition to the special lanes, however, Beijing will borrow other international successful experiences to impose traffic bans during the Olympics, said Liu.

Beijing tested a traffic ban from August 17 to 20 last year, removing 1.3 million or one third of automobiles from its grid locked streets in accordance with the even and odd numbers on their license plates. The test, according to an earlier report, reduced traffic in main roads and exhaust emissions by 30 and 40 percent respectively.

Liu also disclosed that vehicles passing by the city are to be diverted on the precondition that food supply for Beijing citizens is sufficient.

When asked to comment on the measure of Athens encouraging its citizens to take a holiday elsewhere so as to divert the host city's population, Liu said Beijing had no such a plan.

Source: Xinhua

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