BEIJING, Sept.2 (Xinhuanet) -- For four years in a row, Beijing has seen its worst traffic of the year during the September rush. And this year was no exception. On Monday morning, the capital’s main roads were packed with cars, especially around school zones.
The morning traffic peaked at 6:30 a.m., an hour earlier than usual. Extra traffic police were on duty to manage the congestion. But the traffic jams still did not ease until five hours later. And Beijing was not even the worst-affected city.
Central China’s Wuhan city is home to more than one million university students, more than any other city in the world. The new school year puts huge pressure on the city’s public transport system.
Wuhan subway authorities said it took passengers on average more than five minutes just to pass through the security checkpoint. Boarding a train required even longer wait times.
Meanwhile in Shanghai, mild yet persistent rainfall on Monday created extra problems for traffic police.
Like the millions of students in the city, Shanghai traffic policeman Ding Yi was up early on Monday morning.
For hours, he stood at this intersection near a primary school, keeping an eye on both the excited students and frustrated drivers.
"The traffic pressure is huge. Many parents drove their kids here, and parked their cars randomly on the street, which caused more congestion," Ding said.
On the first day back at school, the police worked with local volunteers on ways to keep the traffic flowing, while still ensuring student safety.
"We found many parents would stay for quite sometime after they drove their child to school. So we talked to the school and arranged to have volunteers escort students in, so that parents won’t stay as long," Ding said.
Police have also tried to streamline the drive for parents dropping off their children at school.
"We picked a quiet and less crowded street near the school and designated it only for parent cars. Many of my colleagues are on duty along this street today and are guiding the drivers," Ding said.
According to local authorities, more than 1,000 police officers and 1,000 traffic wardens were dispatched on Monday.