Traffic restricted during Lantern Festival

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Tue, Feb 19, 2013 - Page 3

The Hsinchu County Police Bureau is scheduled to impose traffic restrictions on roads surrounding the Hsinchu high-speed rail station in Jhubei City (竹北) starting on Saturday, as huge crowds are expected to flood the area where a 15-day festival will be held to celebrate the annual Lantern Festival on Sunday.

According to the bureau’s traffic police brigade, traffic controls are to be imposed on areas near the festival from 2pm on Saturday.

It added that the scale of the restrictions may be expanded if crowds are larger than expected.

A three-layer road control system is to be put in place on streets in the vicinity of the lantern extravaganza from 10am on Sunday to 12am on Mar. 10, police said.

The first layer of traffic controls will be enforced on roads near the main area of the festival, including Gaotie 8th Road and Jiafong 5th Road, from 2pm to 12am during weekdays and 10am to 12am at weekends, with parts being closed off around-the-clock, according to the event’s official Web site.

All vehicles will be denied access to the restricted areas, except for specific vehicles and those operated by local residents, the police brigade said, adding that the county government had also established several parking zones in the neighborhood for residents who are affected by the festivities.

Meanwhile, both Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp and Taiwan Railways Administration will offer additional train services to cope with the increased demand for transportation during the festival, police said, urging people who require further traffic information to call (03) 657-0531 or (03) 657-0532.

The lantern festival will feature five lantern zones where visitors can enjoy a variety of lanterns lit to usher in the Year of the Snake, as well as a number of parades that are to take place on Sunday, Feb. 28, Mar. 1, Mar. 2, Mar. 3, Mar. 9 and Mar. 10.

The highlight of the event will be a 26m high snake-shaped lantern, which symbolizes the nation’s success and prosperity in the year ahead.