BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Traffic jams could seriously clog Beijing's roads ahead of the upcoming eight-day national holiday, the city's traffic authority warned Monday.
Heavy traffic is expected this week, and it could be further affected by possible rainfall, according to a statement from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. Traffic congestion is expected ahead of the holidays to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival on Sunday and the National Day on Oct. 1.
Congestion is expected during the evening rush hours from Wednesday to Saturday, according to the statement.
The commission also said it will pay special attention to the city's traffic on Wednesday and Friday nights, when heavy traffic jams are likely.
The statement said the commission based its expectations on traffic analyses and its experience in previous years.
The commission has urged residents to use public transportation ahead of the holiday.
In a separate statement, the commission said Beijing's highways, which will exempt small passenger cars from road tolls for the first time over the holiday, are expected to face a sharp increase in traffic flows.
During the holiday, an average of 1.55 million vehicles are expected to travel each day on the city's 17 highways that have toll gates, a 33.6 percent increase from ordinary days, according to the statement.
The figure marks 124-percent growth from the same period last year, it said.
Statistics show that highways linking Beijing with Hong Kong and Macau, Tibet, Chengde, Hebei Province, and Kaifeng, Henan Province, were all overstressed during last year's National Day holiday.
Traffic pressure is also expected to affect roads in the Beijing city proper.
Officials with the commission said peak traffic caused by the city's outbound vehicles will appear between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, while another peak brought by inbound vehicles is forecast for Oct. 6 and Oct. 7, the last two days of the holiday.