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Beijing to Ban Parking at Olympic Games Venues
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Privately-owned motor vehicles will be banned from the vicinities of Beijing's 2008 Olympic Games venues in order to avoid traffic congestion, a local official said.

And no parking areas will be provided for private cars near venues, said Li Xiaopeng, deputy head of the Beijing Municipal Communication Committee.

Free buses will be arranged for spectators and staff and volunteers working at the venues, according to local traffic control authorities.

More than 7 million spectator tickets will be available for the different events and venues throughout the games period, and the number of staff and volunteers will total 180,000.

Highway lanes totaling 210 kilometers would be closed to public traffic and dedicated to buses shuttling between games venues, so as to guarantee that government officials, athletes and referees arrive at their destinations on time, said Yu Chunquan, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Traffic Management Bureau.

Free buses would also be arranged for journalists covering Olympic Games events, Yu said.

Beijing has 2.7 million motor vehicles and the number is expected to reach three million by 2008. The city had 1.54 million privately-owned cars by the end of last year.

Traffic flow has been considered a major factor in ensuring the Olympic Games run smoothly in 2008.

Local traffic authorities are considering urging more people to ride bicycles or walk to cut traffic jams during the games period.

Some people have suggested raising parking fees to discourage car use.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2006)

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