Great Wall Gridlock Gets Put Into "park"

created: 2010-04-26

After a new parking scheme hits the road, drivers will not be able to park private cars next to the Badaling area of the Great Wall in future.

Hu Yaogang, Yanqing county's executive vice-governor, said during a radio interview on Friday that in previous tourist seasons, pedestrians have had to battle their way past cars to get to the wall, creating safety concerns. Hu said drivers arriving later in the day have also had to walk vast distances to get to the entrance.

He said decision makers looked to the successful management of the Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan province for a solution for Badaling and decided to introduce a closed traffic management system.

When the scheme is introduced next year, visitors will park their cars in five lots located three to five km from the entrance. Shuttle buses will pick them up and transport them to the destinations.

He also said managers are increasing the number of electric shuttle buses to accommodate more tourists.

Pickup points will be set up along the two new routes to the parking lots at convenient locations for walking tourists, linking not only the five new car parks but also all the scenic spots, reported Beijing Daily.

Zhao Jianjun, director of the Badaling administration, was quoted by the newspaper as saying something had to be done.

"In the past, neither tourists going inward nor those coming outward found it an easy matter," said Zhao. "The renovation will definitely relieve the heavy traffic and give tourists more freedom when coming and leaving."

Zhang Min, deputy director of the Badaling administration, said a computerized management system, which includes an electronic platform to supervise tourist flows and hygiene conditions 24 hours a day, has already gradually been put into operation.


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