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December 4, 2019

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City gears up for traffic jams over dongzhi

Local roads will be crowded between December 14 and 22 when people visit cemeteries for dongzhi, the winter solstice, authorities said yesterday.

Winter solstice, like Qingming Festival, is a time for people to pay respects to their ancestors.

An estimated 2.08 million people will visit the city’s 45 cemeteries and nine columbariums during the nine-day period, bringing an extra 292,000 vehicles onto roads, the Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau said.

The number of estimated tomb sweepers and vehicles poses a rise of 3.7 percent and 12.4 percent over last year. More than 20,000 urns are expected to be interred, up 0.4 percent.

Jiading, Qingpu, Baoshan and Fengxian districts and the Pudong New Area are expected to be the most crowded, and each will receive more than 260,000 tomb sweepers.

Peak days for tomb visiting will be December 14, 15, 21 and 22 and some 1.31 million people are expected at ancestral resting places on these days, an increase of 12.2 percent from last year. They will bring an extra 181,000 vehicles onto the streets, a rise of 16.8 percent, according to the bureau.

The busiest time will be between 8:30am and 10:30am on dongzhi, December 22, when 900,000 people will visit cemeteries and put an extra 126,000 vehicles on the road, posing severe pressure to traffic.

More than 12,000 urns will be interred on the day alone.

Shuttle buses will carry people between Metro stations and cemeteries to relieve traffic pressure, and cemeteries will host group burials and other commemorative and eco-friendly burial events on non-peak days to ease pressure.


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