A nine-day traffic jam in China is now more than 100 kilometres long and could last for weeks, state media reported Monday.
Thousands of trucks en route to Beijing from Huai’an in the southeast have been backed up since Aug. 14, making the National Expressway 100 impassable, Xinhua News reported.
A spokesman for the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau reportedly told China’s Global Times newspaper that the backup was due to “insufficient traffic capacity … caused by maintenance construction.”
The construction is scheduled to last until Sept. 13.
Stranded drivers appear to have few options when it comes to dealing with the jam.
At least some drivers have complained that roadside vendors have increased their prices to take advantage of the traffic jam. One truck driver said he bought instant noodles from one vendor for four times the original price.
Years ago, CBC Radio ran a stand-alone drama that described a weeks-long traffic jam that took place outside Paris, France. People were stuck in their cars, and the government declared a state of emergency and helicoptered in supplies.
The big thing about this story is what the drivers did next. Freed from the responsibility of having to look forward, they started looking to the left and the right of them, and started interacting with the people in the cars next to them. People formed small communities based on who they were beside. Some people even fell in love and developed relationships.
Then, when the jam finally cleared, and the traffic started to move forward, the communities were shattered, because the different lanes started moving at different speeds. Lovers were separated and never saw each other again.
An interesting idea that some people didn’t buy because how could traffic jams possibly last that long?
Meanwhile, in China…
P.S. The photo is not of the traffic jam itself, which is primarily composed of heavy trucks, rather than cars. It’s also Photoshopped.