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February 25, 2020

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Monday traffic jams back as city cops work to ease parking woes

Vehicular traffic during rush hour yesterday returned to 80 to 90 percent of normal levels, according to Shanghai traffic police.

Traffic congestion returned to commonly affected areas, such as the North-South Elevated Road from Guangzhong Road to Luochuan Road, the Inner Ring Road from Longhua Road W. to Wanping Road, and Yan’an Elevated Road from Jiangsu Road to the Yandong Overpass.

In the Pudong New Area, major congestion occurred on Nanpu Bridge and Xizang Road Tunnel yesterday morning due to traffic on the Inner Ring Road and traffic accidents, police said.

The number of Metro commuters is also on the rise.

By 9am, about 809,000 people took Metro trains, 320,000 people, or 65 percent, more than the same hour on Monday last week, the Metro operator said. Still, the number of passengers was only about 30 percent of normal yesterday morning volume, according to the company.

Businesses in Shanghai are advised to allow staff to arrive after morning rush hour.

But as many still choose to drive to work instead of taking the Metro or buses, parking problems have worsened in some parts of the city.

Parking had never been a problem at Huawei’s Shanghai Research Center, which is located in Jinqiao Town, Pudong, where more than 13,000 people are employed.

The company has 3,000 parking spots, and some of its staff took shuttle buses arranged by the company to work before the outbreak of the coronavirus. But now over 4,500 cars look for parking space every morning.

As the surge of cars began blocking streets at the company’s three entrances, Pudong traffic police stepped in and coordinated solutions.

Now, four smaller streets nearby have been opened for parking, and traffic police officers patrol major streets during rush hours to streamline the traffic flow.

The same problem occurred in the core business district of Lujiazui.

At Ping’an Finance Center, its 450 parking slots were soon filled up during morning rush hour, leaving cars lined up on streets to block traffic.

Traffic police addressed the problem by making the nearby Foxconn Building open up its surplus parking spots to people working at Ping’an Finance Center.

Marked by a blue sign

Similar efforts have seen results elsewhere in the city.

By the end of last week, a total of 37 temporary street parking areas with 1,142 parking spots had been opened for motorists, marked by a blue sign with the letter “P.” Police said they will continue to work on setting up such parking spots according to traffic flows and conditions on the streets. They will also look for available parking places within residential complexes.

By the end of last year, there were over 3,300 street parking areas around the city with about 100,000 parking slots, police said.

The BRICS Tower in Lujiazui isn’t short of parking spaces for people working there, but cars often lined up, blocking the streets, as they waited to check in to the building.

Pudong police say the problem was that all people who enter the building have to have their identity verified and their temperatures taken. This caused the cars to quickly back up.

Police have addressed the problem by advising the property management company handling the building to better sort out the names of people working there for more efficient identity verification and to let verified people enter the compound first and have their temperatures measured at the entrance to the garage.

The traffic pressure around the building has been relieved after this measure was taken, police claimed yesterday.


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