Back to the “Old Normal”: Beijing Swamped with Traffic After Parade

Back to normal means back to gridlock

China Celebrates End of World War II Traffic Chaos

After weeks of closures of everything from roads, airports, tourist attractions and even radio frequencies, things are slowly getting back to normal in Beijing now that the September 3 military parade is over.

However, when it comes to Beijing traffic, back to “normal” generally means back to gridlock. And that’s precisely what the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport (BMCT) is warning residents to expect today following heavy congestion across the city yesterday.

Yesterday marked the first day back at work after the holiday, as well as the first day without vehicle restrictions. And as one might expect, traffic was insane.  The BMCT predicted that yesterday’s congestion reached a 9.2 on the index, which means that the average speed on many city roads didn’t exceed 20 kph.

With today marking the first day of school for Beijing elementary and middle school students, the congestion is only expected to get worse.

This past spring, among a list of 45 cities across China, Beijing ranked as the most congested. While in July, the Beijing Transportation Research Center found Beijing’s traffic index to have worsened 32 percent as compared with the same month last year.

On average, Beijing commuters spend 32 minutes every day sitting in rush hour traffic.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor