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.


Qianmen subway station closed for five days from tomorrow


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


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


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 […]