Traffic was congested along the nation’s major freeways yesterday morning as people embarked on trips for the Lunar New Year holiday.
Vehicles began packing the southbound lanes of freeways at 8am, the National Freeway Bureau said.
Congestion was reported along Sun Yat-sen Freeway’s (Freeway No. 1) southbound sections between Hsinchu County’s Hukou Township (湖口) and Hsinchu, and between Yuanlin (員林) and Puyan (埔鹽) interchanges, it said.
Southbound lanes between Hemei (和美) and Mingjian (名間) on the Formosa Freeway (Freeway No. 3), as well as Freeway No. 10’s Yanchao (燕巢) interchange also reported heavy traffic, the bureau said.
Southbound lanes on the Chiang Wei-shui Memorial Freeway’s (Freeway No. 5) Shiding (石碇) and Pinglin (坪林) interchanges were also congested, it said.
The bureau urged the public to use its real-time traffic condition Web site or mobile application to check their route and destination, or tune in to the Police Broadcasting Service when on the road to avoid congested areas.
People should use public transportation when possible and, if not, ensure that their vehicles are in good condition before embarking on a trip, the bureau said.
People can report mechanical failures or accidents via the 1968 mobile application, which would tag the location of the incident so the nearest highway police station can dispatch officers, it said.
People should avoid highways when traveling short distances and utilize alternative routes, the bureau said, adding that drivers intending to drive long hours, either northbound or southbound, should use either National Freeway No. 3 or the West Coast Expressway.
In other news, as yesterday was the first day of the Lunar New Year, many people followed the custom of zouchun (“spring walk,” 走春), taking a walk to make courtesy calls to relatives and friends, or visit temples and scenic places.
Former Central Weather Bureau Weather Forecast Center director Daniel Wu (吳德榮) said there would be no rain in northern Taiwan on Monday and Tuesday, but the skies would remain overcast.
Meanwhile, central and southern areas would experience mostly overcast skies with partial sun, he added.
Wu is now an adjunct associate professor of atmospheric sciences at National Central University.
A new cold front is expected to hit Taiwan on Wednesday and last through Friday, bringing wet and chilly weather to northern Taiwan, although rain is not expected after Wednesday, he said.
The front could turn into a continental air mass, Wu said, urging the public to monitor weather reports.
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