I’ve been in some pretty terrible traffic jams. It took me four hours to go just 60 miles during L.A.’s infamous rush hour, and back home in Connecticut, I-84 seems to be perpetually backed up, even on weekends. For all my bellyaching though, I usually just stick it out and try to relax while the traffic unwinds itself.
That isn’t an option for travelers southeast of China’s capital city, Beijing. For the past ten days, traffic has been piling up along the National Expressway 100 as road construction has slowed speeds to a crawl.
I don’t have to tell you that there are a lot of people in China. Last year, China bought more cars than the United States, and more and more people are purchasing cars. China’s road systems have always been able to keep up though, with China recently injecting billions of dollars into improving its infrastructure, which along with building high speed trains and public transit, includes widening highways. Alas, the construction is constricting traffic, and some drivers have been stick on National 100 for days. The jam stretches for sixty miles between Beijing and Huai’an in the Heibei Province
I can’t imagine being stuck in traffic for days on end. I think I’d just leave my car and walk home. The problem is, most drivers simply don’t have any other options of getting where they need to go. So they just keep piling on to the highway, even though construction is slated to last until September 13th. Vendors have set up shop along the road, charging as much as four times the price for a bowl of noodles. Many people have gotten out and play cards to pass the time. Sounds pretty horrendous, and it is only going to get worse as more cars hit the road.
Next time I’m about to complain about traffic, I think I might just keep my mouth shut.
Source: Global Times | Picture: Xinhua