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Beijingers Endorse Traffic Controls
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Most Beijing residents support traffic control measures to guarantee better air quality and traffic flows during the Olympics next summer, according to the results of a new survey.

The results, released yesterday, found that 89 percent of participants agreed that it is necessary to control the number of vehicles on the road before and during the Games to improve air quality.

Ninety-two percent of the respondents agreed that enhanced traffic management measures are needed to ease congestion before the Games.

Beijing Social Facts and Public Opinion Survey Center conducted the survey.

More than 1,000 Beijing residents aged 15 to 70 and of various professions were questioned in telephone interviews.

Beijing conducted traffic trials from Friday through Monday to test the Olympic host city's ability to improve air quality and ease traffic congestion.

Only vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers were allowed access to key roads on selected days, and those with even numbers were allowed on the roads on other days.

About 1.3 million vehicles - nearly half of the 3 million in the city - were ordered off the roads during each of the four testing days, police said.

Traffic conditions "greatly improved" during the four-day trial as millions of car owners took cabs, buses and subways or rode bikes, Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing Transportation Committee, said.

Buses and bicycles became a top alternative for those who usually drive.

"The road had less traffic jams, but the buses were more crowded," Huang Xiaodi, an IT company employee in Haidian District, said.

"Offices should set different working timetables during the traffic control period to avoid rush-hour congestion," Huang said.

That idea was echoed by more than 74 percent of the survey respondents.

Roughly 77 percent of the respondents said they believed the air quality improved during the trial.

(China Daily August 24, 2007)

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