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April 3, 2012

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Cherry flowers bring out the crowds

SERIOUS congestion plagued roads around Gucun Park in Shanghai yesterday as huge numbers of people headed there for the cherry flower festival.

More than 100,000 people visited the suburban park in Baoshan District, police said. District officials had predicted a daily peak traffic of between 100,000 and 150,000 during the festival with the biggest crowds expected in the middle of the month when the cherry flowers will be at their prettiest. When the festival ends on April 28, around 1 million visitors are expected to have visited the park.

Yesterday's fine weather also helped make the start of the three-day Qingming Festival a busy day on the roads and on the Metro as people made their way to the park for a family picnic or a walk under the cherry trees.

Hutai Road, a main route to the park, was especially congested during the morning with some motorists saying it took them about 30 minutes to drive just 2 kilometers to the park entrance.

The park added more than 1,000 temporary parking spaces to cater for the traffic in addition to its usual 3,000. However, that still proved insufficient and traffic police had to advise motorists to leave their cars some distance away and complete their journeys on public transport.

Police said the congestion was a combination of tomb-sweeping motorists, visitors heading for the park and families on other springtime outings.

The Cherry Blossom Festival was the second held at the park. Last year's debut drew complaints about overcrowding, but organizers seemed to have been better prepared for this year's event.

The park opened temporary ticketing windows to help ease the queues and provided free guides.

The Metro operator was also better prepared with extra staff at Line 7's Gucun Park station, using ticketing handsets to help passengers using transport cards pass quickly through instead of queuing up for the turnstiles.


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