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April 16, 2010

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Home » Metro » Public Services

Toll gate checks make the going slow

AT the Zhuqiao toll gate of the G15 Expressway in the city's Jiading District, the line of vehicles waiting to get through security and enter the city at 9:50am yesterday was 5 kilometers long.

The lines moved so slowly that some people got out of their cars to walk in the emergency lane, which was also packed with vehicles and their perplexed and anxious drivers.

"I didn't expect the line would be so long," said a driver surnamed Wu, who kept smoking cigarettes while waiting in his sedan.

"You know, waiting from here to the toll gate could consume a whole packet of my cigarettes."

It was the first morning of new security restrictions and people weren't quite sure what was what.

New traffic signs were posted above the highway at 1.5 kilometers, 500 meters and 200 meters from the toll gate, pointing out the fast lane for those who had thought ahead to get fast-track passes.

But traffic was crawling, as most of the drivers were not familiar with the new arrangement of lanes. Vehicles with passes or without were all mixed together.

The fast lane did a better job of living up to its name 200 meters from the toll gate. There the traffic flow split, pass holders going directly to the toll gate and the other two lanes of cars, without passes, heading to the check point.

The whole area was monitored by dozens of traffic policemen and armed police officers.

The check point was in a new steel shed covering with three lanes. Although it took only two to five minutes for each car to pass the check, the narrowing of the traffic flow still caused a mighty backup.

"The maximum length of the line was about 10 kilometers," said a traffic police officer.

The officer said the huge line yesterday morning was due not only to the security check but to an accident before the check started.

A coach bus from Jiangsu Province to Shanghai was being checked while Shanghai Daily was at the scene.

Passengers were asked to get off the bus with their carry-on baggage and go to a small building in the shed. Scanning machines were there, similar to those in airports.

Each passenger also was required to have his or her ID card checked.

"I understand this. It's all for the security of the World Expo," said a passenger who spent three minutes to finish the check.

"It's faster than expected."


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