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September 17, 2012

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Roads in Pudong's World Expo area restricted for Car-Free Day

SOME roads in Pudong New Area will be off-limits to vehicles on Saturday for World Car-Free Day, an event that has grown more symbolic and less restrictive for the city since it was introduced in 2007.

A 3-square-kilometer area around the former World Expo 2010 site in Pudong will be closed to private cars on Saturday, while buses and taxis will be allowed, traffic officials said.

"It is suggested residents and companies in the area take bicycles within the area, while the traffic authorities will also arrange free shuttle buses," said Huang Rong, director of the Shanghai Construction and Transport Commission.

The city's environmental protection authorities will publicize the condition of the air more heavily this year to showcase the one-day campaign.

Shanghai first took part in 2007, when a 12-hour ban was enacted in several downtown areas.

The event in 2010, during the World Expo, ran smoothly as the authorities put the car-free area where all the vehicles already used electricity or other green energies.

Last year's World Car-Free Day was held in part of downtown Xuhui District, where traffic was closed to private cars for seven hours, paralyzing some nearby roads with traffic jams.

This year, the car-free event came back to where only a few major World Expo pavilion buildings are still open to the public, with few visitors as well as little traffic. City officials have said busy road conditions "make requirements relatively hard to comply with."

According to the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, each city should allocate at least 12 hours for the campaign. So this Saturday, the time has been extended to a whole day but the car-free zone moved away from busy downtown areas.


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