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Car restrictions not ruled out for Shanghai World Expo

Traffic researchers in Shanghai, China, say that the possibility of vehicle restrictions based on license plate numbers during the city’s 2010 World Expo period has not been ruled out.

Beijing banned vehicles with even- and odd-numbered license plates on alternate days during the 2008 Olympic Games in an effort to ease traffic congestion and reduce air pollution. “The Beijing ban was a success, as it decreased the number of private cars on the street,” confirms Lu Ximing, director of the Shanghai Urban Comprehensive Traffic Planning Research Institute. Lu says that vehicle restrictions may be an option during the Expo, but no decision had yet been made as various traffic schemes were still being studied.

The city will be divided into three areas for traffic control during the six-month Expo period. The first will be the Expo site, accessed only by Expo vehicles. Looser controls will be implemented inside the Middle Ring Road area, which includes the downtown region, while the third zone will be the area outside the Middle Ring Road, within which Expo shuttle buses will operate.

Three ITS systems will be set up in Pudong New Area to improve traffic flow during the Expo period. One system that will see major improvements is the traffic lights, which will turn red or green according to real-time traffic flow, based on the use of sensors installed on the roads. The service has already been tested in Pudong’s Zhangjiang area, where trams have been fitted with a sensor system that gives traffic light priority to them as they approach intersections.
 

May 26, 2009

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