Gallery: Chinese Traffic Jam Extends 60 Miles and Nine Days


If ever there were a case for the importance of good urban planning that includes mass transit, this is it: a 62-mile traffic standstill on a road leading to Beijing is now in its ninth day, with individual drivers caught in it for as long as three days. The cause of the jam — beyond the skyrocketing number of drivers in China — is heavy use of the route, the Beijing-Tibet expressway, by trucks bringing construction supplies into Beijing. The trucks don’t just add to traffic; they also damage the road, necessitating repair crews.

The roadway is also a major artery for transporting produce, coal and other basic supplies into Beijing — meaning that the city’s ill-planned growth could choke off its economy. Drivers stuck in the traffic, according to international reports, are taking it in stride, but with roadside vendors quadrupling their prices for food and other goods, the prospect of civil unrest looms near.

Word to officials: growth could be better controlled, with supplies brought in on a variety of roadways. And incentives for private citizens to use rail instead of driving couldn’t hurt, either.

Via PhysOrg and CBC News


or your inhabitat account below


  1. COP16: Images of Climat... December 1, 2010 at 11:12 am

    […] climate change conference that it is hosting is way outside of town, causing, ironically, giant traffic jams. Central Cancun, with its narrow streets and crumbling sidewalks, is a stark contrast to the […]

  2. westernwoman September 16, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Individual drivers sitting in it for 3 days? Yikes!! Seeing this story on life in a nine-day traffic jam I have to salute Obama’s efforts to get high-speed rail funded. I’m aghast at all the people who think it’s wasting our money. China is our future!

  3. Sporting Sail: The Futu... September 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    […] love innovations that keep people out of their cars and using alternative methods of transportation, so we were intrigued to hear about the Sporting Sail. This $79 kite-like device purportedly lets […]

  4. cpyle August 29, 2010 at 12:23 am

    Unfortunately, the MKRIDE team got caught up in the tail end of this huge traffic jam on the way from Huitengxile to Hohhot. This is a brief glimpse of our footage from that experience. You can follow Ryan and Colin as they travel around China by motorcycle at

    HD Video:

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home