Rio de Janeiro: In order to prevent traffic chaos during the Olympic torch relay, Rio’s Mayor Eduardo Paes has announced that Thursday will be a holiday. The Olympic torch is already in Rio state and the relay is expected to get to the city on Thursday. Given the traffic chaos taking place in Rio this week, the mayor thought it better to declare a holiday to alleviate the situation by reducing the number of commuters, reports Xinhua news agency.
Traffic in Rio has already been deeply changed by the Olympics: the city’s main expressways got special lanes exclusive to vehicles related to the Olympics, such as buses transporting athletes, and several accesses were closed to the general public. Those changes caused more chaos in Rio’s already chaotic traffic: over 100 km of traffic jams were registered on Monday and Tuesday.
With the perspective of even more problems on Thursday, Paes decided that another holiday would be a better choice. Other three holidays had already been announced: August 5, the day of the opening ceremony; the 18th, the day of the marathon; and the 22th, the day after the closing ceremony.