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Surprised? Beijing Crowned Most Congested City In China

Posted: 12/29/2014 11:00 am

Based on the most recent quarterly traffic report, Beijing has officially surpassed Shanghai as the most congested city in China. The average daily congestion time has increased 25 minutes since 2012, to one hour 55 minutes.

AutoNavi, a leading navigation service provider, reported that Beijing’s delay index was 1.74 during regular hours, and 2.12 during peak periods. An index reading of 2.0 means that you spend twice as much time in transit than you would otherwise. The index is based on data collected from 300 million devices installed in Chinese taxis and vehicles that record a vehicle’s speed, location and driving direction.

Frequent rain and smog were also cited as contributing to the city’s traffic problem, especially during the September school season.

The capital’s traffic gridlock has become so bad that many residents have dubbed it “Shoudu” (首堵), or primary congestion in English, which sounds like capital in Chinese. According to China Daily, the implications are more than simply an inconvenience: congestion costs Beijing approximately RMB 70 billion ($11.24 billion) per year, of which 80% is attributed to lost productivity, 10% to gas expenses, and 10% to environmental degradation.

According to Shenzhen News, the other cities on the top 10 list are Hangzhou, Shanghai, Fuzhou, Dalian, Jinan, Shenyang, Wenzhou, Guangzhou and Zhengzhou. Shenzhen ranked 12th on the list, with a congestion delay index of 1.97 during peak periods.

As for Beijing, officials are weighing different options to curb the city’s traffic problem, including imposing traffic congestion fees on private cars to encourage more drivers to use public transportation.

Photos: China Travel



Guangzhou tackles traffic congestion, will restrict non-Guangzhou registered vehicles

Posted: 03/22/2013 10:39 am

Guangzhou aims to tackle the city’s worsening traffic problem by introducing a new measure restricting certain vehicles from the road. (Shenzhen, are you listening?)

Under the new rules, vehicles registered outside of Guangzhou proper will be restricted from certain roads, and the downtown core, during certain times of the day. The speculation is rush hour traffic will be limited, for example. But as Guangzhou Daily reports, the times and locations for the restrictions haven’t been decided yet.

The new restrictions will throw a wrench into many people’s morning commute. As everybody knows, the PRD is a vast urbanized area, and not everybody who works in Guangzhou lives in Guangzhou. There are thousands of people who live in nearby Foshan, for instance, and make the daily commute.  One person the paper talked to, Mr. Guo, said he may have to buy a car in Guangzhou and register it there if he wants to continue driving to work. Otherwise he’ll have to take the bus and transfer to the metro, meaning waking up quite a bit earlier each morning.

On the bright side, though, the moves show the government is trying to unclog the city’s main arteries.  We’ll see if this is effective.


Shenzhen has, apparently, the worst traffic congestion in all of China

Posted: 03/14/2013 12:54 pm

If you’re reading this article stuck in a traffic jam in Shenzhen, then we have some unfortunate news for you: you’d better get used to it.

In fact, traffic congestion will get significantly worse as more than 2.25 million cars are registered to drive on Shenzhen’s highways and byways – the densest concentration of vehicles per square kilometre of any major city in China.

Despite this, city officials seem happy with the status quo and see no reason to introduce restrictions on car purchases.

Other cities, like Guangzhou, have followed Beijing and Shanghai in introducing a lottery for license plates, which restricts the number of cars legally allowed to be on the road.

The number of automobiles on the road in Shenzhen has been growing by leaps and bounds, from 1 million cars in 2007 to 1.5 million in 2010 and 2 million by February last year. Considering private cars remain the ultimate status symbol in China, analysts don’t expect demand to subside anytime soon.

Source: Shenzhen Evening News via SCMP

Photo: Connie/Flickr


Guangzhou plans to narrow motor vehicle lanes to increase capacity

Posted: 05/10/2012 7:00 am

Guangzhou City Construction Committee is mulling narrowing the width of vehicle lanes and increasing their number to decrease traffic congestion, South Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.

It is said that in the early days of Guangzhou’s road construction, lanes on main roads were 3.75m wide, but on roads built more recently the lanes are 3.5m.

“The plan can work if lanes on main roads are narrowed from 3.75m to 3.25m and the width of greenbelts, isolation strips and sidewalks are adjusted” said Zeng ying, an engineer who was part of the investigation.

He said Guangzhou traffic police suggested narrowing the width of lanes from 3.75 to 3.25 in 2009, but the proposal was not accepted because the national standard for the width of a lane on a main road was 3.5m at that time.



Shenzhen beats Beijing to place second on traffic misery index

Posted: 09/19/2011 4:07 pm

Shenzhen is generally considered to be one of the more well-planned, modern cities in China, but you wouldn’t know it from the increasing traffic gridlock that is affecting our city. But is it really worse than Beijing’s notorious traffic snarls? Nanfang Reporter Katei Wang recently translated a story that appeared in the Southern Metropolis Daily that says Shenzhen’s traffic isn’t only worse than the capital’s, it’s among the worst in the world:

IBM Corporation recently published the Global Traffic Misery Index, which measures traffic in different cities all over the world. Beijing and Shenzhen are both on the list. However, people are surprised that Shenzhen outstrips Beijing and other cities, ranking number two on the list behind Mexico City.

Needless to say, the fact Shenzhen’s traffic ranks poorly hasn’t surprised local residents. But the fact it’s rated even worse than Beijing? That has raised a few eyebrows:

“Impossible. Beijing is more congested than Shenzhen.”

“I don’t think this is credible. Based on the data, Shenzhen actually has the highest density of motor vehicles in China, when in fact Beijing is more crowded than Shenzhen.”

“Shenzhen’s traffic is not worse than Beijing’s. People who live in Beijing face half an hour or an hour’s traffic jam which rarely happens in Shenzhen.”

The story says Shenzhen traffic police bureau secretary Liu Fengjun pointed out that Beijing needs two to three hours to ease it’s traffic pressure during the peak in the evening, but Shenzhen just needs less than an hour. Liu said traffic in Shenzhen is “crowded, but controlled”.

So what are the top 5 worst cities in the world for traffic? Without further adieu…

  1. Mexico City

  2. Shenzhen

  3. Beijing

  4. Nairobi

  5. Johannesburg


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