Nightmarish Nine-Day Traffic Jam: In China, Cars Crawl Along 60-Mile Stretch
On a road trip once, two friends and I spent several hours in a traffic jam, baking under the summer sun. It was miserable.
We inched along the interstate, craning our necks out the windows, trying to figure out what caused the back-up. We watched the car's fuel gauge tick perilously close to "empty."
That was a bad bottleneck, but it's nothing compared to logjam in China.
According to China's state-run Global Times, "traffic authorities were still trying to cope with days-long congestion on a major national expressway, nine days after traffic slowed to a snail's pace."
That's right, the tie-up -- which is 60 miles long! -- has gone on for nine days.
Such circumstances call for creativity. To curb boredom, drivers and passengers are playing cards. Locals are hawking food -- at a premium, Reuters reports.
Jamil Anderlini, deputy Beijing bureau chief for the Financial Times, says the traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway is "a sign of things to come."
"The other side-effects of China's scorching economic growth, from poisonous air to worsening income inequality, are already well-known to all who visit the country," he writes. "But traffic jams like this could become much more common as consumers -- in what is now the world's largest car market -- snap up more than 10 million vehicles a year."