closing Qianmen

September 28th, 2008

How odd. They’re closing Qianmen subway station for the holiday, and the Tiananmen East and West stations may also close temporarily. No reason for the closure is given in that article, but I assume they’re concerned about safety, given the large crowds likely to descend on the Square over the National Day holiday.

地铁前门站明起封闭五天

Qianmen subway station closed for five days from tomorrow

9月29日至10月3日,东北、东南口作过街通道使用

From September 29 to October 3 the northeast and southeast exits will be used as a pedestrian underpass

明天起到10月3日期间,地铁前门站封闭。

From tomorrow to October 3, Qianmen subway station will be closed.

北京市地铁运营公司昨日消息,根据上级指示,9月29日至10月3日,地铁前门站封闭、列车在该站通过不停车。该站东北口、东南口通道开放,作为过街通道使用。另外,天安门东站、天安门西站也随时准备根据通知,采取临时封站措施,地铁公司请各位乘客给予谅解。

Yesterday Beijing Subway Company announced that, in accordance with instructions from higher levels, from September 29 to October 3 Qianmen subway station would be closed and trains will not stop there. The passage between the station’s northeast and southeast exits will be open and used as a pedestrian underpass. Also, Tiananmen East station and Tiananmen west station will be prepared to close temporarily when notified at any time. The subway company asks passengers for their understanding.

Like I said, no reason is given, but if you’ve ever seen the size of the crowds on the Square during national holidays, you can imagine the pressure and consequent safety concerns those subway stations are likely to suffer if they remain open. Well, that’s my best guess as to the likely reason for this…..

Instant update: Should’ve read the whole paper. Here’s a rather general article mentioning the extension of Olympic period security checks at parks and scenic spots through the National Day Golden Week. Funnily enough, Tiananmen Square is on the list…. And this one is specifically about Dashilan’r. Not just Olympic period security checks, but if the number of people on the Dashilan’r pedestrian street exceeds 10,000, the western entrance may be temporarily closed. It also briefly mentions the existence of those same security checks at the north end of Qianmen Dajie.

So I’m guessing all this is about security in the sense of keeping dangerous people and objects away from large crowds and attractive targets, and public safety in the sense of keeping crowds to manageable levels to avoid the kind of risks oversized crowds entail. But this is just me guessing.

One Response to “closing Qianmen”

  1. China Journal : Olympic Spirit Lives on in Beijing Rules and Regulations Says:

    […] the Olympic efforts. Beijing media reports that subway stations near Tiananmen Square will be closed from Sept. 29 to Oct. 3 and trains will skip those stops during this period. Olympic-style security […]