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Chengdu to Introduce Car Ban
Summary:Similar to the restrictions in Beijing, cars will be restricted from driving on one day of the week according to the final digit on their license plate.

March 30, 2012
Translated by Ma Zheng

According to an announcement by city officials, Chengdu will soon join cities such as Beijing, Hangzhou, Lanzhou, Guiyang and Changchun and restrict residents from driving on particular days of the week in certain areas of the city according to their licence plate.

In order to curb traffic congestion and to allow for repairs to the city's Second Ring Road to be carried out, Chengdu will implement driving restrictions on the Second Ring Road and seven other major thoroughfares starting from Apr 24 this year.

The driving restrictions will expire on July 31 2013, according to details announced at a press conference held by the Information Office of the Chengdu Municipal People's Government on Thursday.

The restrictions will only apply on weekdays from 7.30am to 9am and 5pm to 7.30pm.

Similar to the restrictions that were introduced in Beijing in 2008, cars will be restricted from driving on one day of the week according to the final digit on their license plate. So for instance, cars with plates that end in 1 or 6 will be prevented from driving on Mondays, cars with plates ending in 2 or 7 will be fined if they take to these sections of road on Tuesday and so on.

According to a report in today's China Youth Daily, the measures have encountered opposition from local residents. The report quotes the results of an online survey conducted by Tencent which showed that 76 percent of people who took part said that they were opposed to the traffic restrictions. The report did not say how many people took part in the survey.

The report also quoted Yang Fei (杨飞), the deputy director of the Traffic Engineering Department at Southwest Jiaotong University, as saying that car restrictions will have a favorable effect over the short term, but as more and more families consider buying a second car to avoid the restrictions, the new policy doesn't offer a permanent solution to the problem.

Mr. Yang went on to say that large foreign cities like New York and Chicago don't have car restrictions and their traffic is much better than that of Chinese cities, because most of the local residents prefer public transport instead of driving their own cars.  Mr. Yang argued said that "Chinese cities should rely on public transport instead of traffic restrictions.

According to a report in the West China Metropolis Daily in January this year, Chengdu currently has more than 2 million cars on its roads, placing it in third place behind Beijing, with over 5 million, and Chongqing.

China supplanted the U.S. as the world's largest auto market in 2009.

Links and Sources
Chengdu.gov.cn: 成都将实施二环路全面改造 提升道路通行能力
China Youth Daily: 成都:机动车限行是否治堵良策?
Tencent: Special Feature Devoted to the Planned Restrictions
West China Metropolis Daily: Image

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