The Mother Of All Traffic Jams, 9 Days And Counting

truck stopped china photo

Xinhua via Global Times

The Beijing-Tibet Highway has been having a bit of a traffic jam- for nine days so far. The Traffic Bureau says the cause is "insufficient traffic capacity", which Bike Portland thinks is "hilarious....too many cars maybe?" Other wags have noted that "it's quicker to wok."

But drivers aren't leaving. One trucker told Xinhua that he had spent three days and two nights in his vehicle.

"We are advised to take detours, but I would rather stay here since I will travel more distance and increase my costs"


Global Times

Much of the repair work that is the cause of the obstruction is from overloaded trucks carrying coal and fruit. Noodle vendors are gouging the drivers, charging four times the normal price.

The Financial Times calls it "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. 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 10m vehicles a year.

Looking on the bright side, perhaps the boon to the local economy from all those over-priced instant noodles will make a small contribution to closing the country's wealth gap.

More in Global Times and the CBC

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