Brace yourselves Beijingers, September traffic is on the way. If you don’t like gridlock, and are based in Beijing, start considering ways to avoid the endless traffic jams September brings: use your bike (with a pollution mask), steer clear of the fifth ring road (and its surroundings), and avoid buses and taxis, and even subways at rush hour. Don’t go out. Walk.
In a nutshell: be creative and consider any alternative solution to traffic, as the already notorious Beijing traffic is about to get even more tangled in September. The Beijing Municipal Government has reported that September will be the worst month of the year for traffic, according to the Wall Street Journal. And this week promises to be the worst week of the month, as horrendous lines are expected to pile up on the city limits.
The statement comes from a city that once experienced a 74 mile, 11 day-long traffic jam from the city limits right through to Hebei, and to make the picture even scarier, dark, poorly lit evenings are set for truck drivers and commuters.
The increase in cars hitting the city’s roads is due to a series of events all taking place in September: the start of the school year, mall promotions, as well as two of China’s most important national holidays–Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day. These will likely cause a two percent increase in both inbound and outbound vehicles around the nation’s capital.
The authorities have marked around a third of September’s days as likely to generate gridlock, including September 1, 4, 5, 15, 22, 26, and 28-30.
September got the wooden spoon for traffic in 2013, as well as in all of the recent past few years. But dear Beijingers, if it’s any consolation, there are Chinese people faring worse than you, as research shows that Shanghai and Hangzhou are even more congested than the capital.
Our thoughts run to those one the roads. It will be thirty long days, but hang in there, September traffic will be over soon enough, in October as it happens.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons