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Two characteristics of traffic flows make the vehicle departure headways in Beijing, China different from that in Atlanta, USA. Urban traffic flows in China are often hindered by pedestrians at intersections and queuing vehicles often cannot be totally discharged during the green time, so most signalized intersections are over-saturated in the day time. The first characteristic makes the departure headways of the first and second vehicles in Beijing depend heavily on the start-up situations (with or without interference). The departure headways of the 3rd to 5th vehicles in Beijing have similar characteristics to those in Atlanta. The second characteristic makes the departure headways after the 5th vehicle significantly different from those in Atlanta. These comparisons show that the conventional delay estimate methods and signal control algorithms may not fit Chinese scenarios, which makes imported intelligent traffic control systems not work well in China without calibrations.