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China's Nine-Day Traffic Jam Tops 62 Miles

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the living-on-the-road dept.

Transportation 198

A traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet expressway has now entered its ninth day and has grown to over 62 miles in length. This mother-of-all delays has even spawned its own micro-economy of local merchants selling water and food at inflated prices to stranded drivers. Can you imagine how infuriating it must be to see someone leave their blinker on for 9 days?

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i thought they all rode bikes in China (1, Funny)

alen (225700) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342746)

being how they are the first in the world in being green

Re:i thought they all rode bikes in China (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33342766)

That's yellow, not green.

Re:i thought they all rode bikes in China (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343144)

I could've sworn China was red.

Re:i thought they all rode bikes in China (4, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343716)

You're being sarcastic, but this used to be true. Rapid changes in China's internal economic policy have created a growing "middle class" whose buying habits are much like those of American consumers. That includes a new interest in automobiles, as status symbols and otherwise, resulting in China becoming the largest car market in the world. That's right: China now buys more cars than anybody, and that wasn't true just a few years ago. 33 years ago there were only about a million cars in all of China. There are now four million cars on the streets of Beijing alone, and the Chinese bought 13.6 million cars in 2009. Americans only bought 10.4 million.

Re:i thought they all rode bikes in China (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344188)

There are also places where once ubiquitous bicycles are banned because they "impede traffic flow". Too bad for the giant traffic jams created through stupid planning (ie. thinking bikes were causing congestion, idea of one car per person) and 1950s mentality (car is a status symbol). Now instead of China avoiding the shit that US and must of western has w.r.t. oil dependence, carbon footprint and overall sustainability of their economy, they are repeating it! But there will be nothing like subsidized gasoline - what could possibly go wrong??

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/27/gas-inflation-china-oped-cx_dhs_0528oilchina.html
      2008 - "Gasoline in the U.S. now sells for around $4 per gallon, but it sells for $2.49 per gallon in China."

Now if India would only buy as many cars....

Re:i thought they all rode bikes in China (1)

curunir (98273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344868)

That includes a new interest in automobiles, as status symbols and otherwise, resulting in China becoming the largest car market in the world.

One of the ironies of this is that it's probably going to be what saves the American auto industry. The historic dislike of many of the neighboring Asian countries means that a number of the brands that are popular in America have very little of the Chinese market. And American cars are seen very popular and often seen as the luxury alternative to cheap Chinese cars. IIRC, Buicks are quite popular there since that's what the emperor drove back before even rich people could think of owning an automobile there.

The American auto industry has lost the US market to the Japanese/Koreans at the low end and the Germans at the high end, but with the Chinese market expanding the way it is, that may not matter much.

Just walk! (1)

strayant (789108) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344262)

So this jam is about 100km (62 miles) long. At an average human walking pace of 80m/min, that's about 21 hours. I'd rather walk... even with a load on my back.

Holy crap! (2, Funny)

Anarki2004 (1652007) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342762)

Nine days?? I think I would walk home. Even if its 50 miles, that could be covered in nine days.I mean holy shit, wtf is the problem over there?

Re:Holy crap! (1)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342836)

Walk home and lose your car?

Not in China.

Re:Holy crap! (5, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342838)

It's not that every vehicle has been stuck in there for nine days: it's that the traffic has been crawling for nine days. Usually a traffic jam clears out at a later hour, but volume is too high even at night.

Re:Holy crap! (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343230)

BINGO!

In my county, "rush hour" lasts 5 hours each direction, but few individual cars are in the mire for more than 90 minutes,

Re:Holy crap! (2, Interesting)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344464)

Reminds me of the party in Hitchhiker's Guide that lasted for generations.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

aquila.solo (1231830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342840)

Maybe that's why the jam is lasting so long: people just abandoning their vehicles. (No, I haven't RTFA yet)

Re:Holy crap! (1)

BStroms (1875462) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342846)

Nine days?? I think I would walk home. Even if its 50 miles, that could be covered in nine days.I mean holy shit, wtf is the problem over there?

From the article it doesn't look as if traffic is blocked or anything. It's just continuously highly congested for nine days straight. So it's not like you're stuck their for nine days. It's more like you're stuck there for nine hours every time you need to make the trip. Some actual numbers for how long it does take to get from one end to the other would be nice though.

Re:Holy crap! (4, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342946)

The whole journey is 3620km long, and takes about 3 days to drive in normal traffic. Traffic is getting through, it is just running slowly because of road works to widen the road. The delays have been going on for 9 days, but that doesn't mean it is the same cars as 9 days ago.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343458)

"The whole journey is 3620km long, and takes about 3 days to drive in normal traffic. Traffic is getting through, it is just running slowly because of road works to widen the road. The delays have been going on for 9 days, but that doesn't mean it is the same cars as 9 days ago."

Huh? Article says: "Thousands of vehicles were bogged down Monday in a more than 100-kilometre (62-mile) traffic jam leading to Beijing that has lasted nine days"

Now maybe my reading comprehension sucks, but it sounds to me like there's 60+ miles of traffic and that traffic has been there for 9 days. I understand that a few cars join and other's leave, but it does sound like it's taking days to get through it.

I think it's a trap so we stop fearing them. [huffingtonpost.com] "We are very simple people with very small (highway). We cannot achieve so much with such small (highway), but you American wow, (highway) so big, so big (highway)!" [youtube.com]

Re:Holy crap! (1)

rainmouse (1784278) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343620)

Huh? Article says: "Thousands of vehicles were bogged down Monday in a more than 100-kilometre (62-mile) traffic jam leading to Beijing that has lasted nine days" Now maybe my reading comprehension sucks, but it sounds to me like there's 60+ miles of traffic and that traffic has been there for 9 days. I understand that a few cars join and other's leave, but it does sound like it's taking days to get through it.

Are you for real? You actually believe its the same cars stuck in there for 9 days and not just a traffic bottleneck being over reported? So later in the article when it says that "The congestion was expected to last into mid-September as the road project will not be finished until then" you actually think the same cars will be stuck in traffic until mid-september?

Re:Holy crap! (2, Funny)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343806)

So later in the article when it says that "The congestion was expected to last into mid-September as the road project will not be finished until then" you actually think the same cars will be stuck in traffic until mid-september?

Those poor people...

Re:Holy crap! (1)

Again (1351325) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344276)

So later in the article when it says that "The congestion was expected to last into mid-September as the road project will not be finished until then" you actually think the same cars will be stuck in traffic until mid-september?

Those poor people...

I see what you referenced there.

Re:Holy crap! (2, Insightful)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344090)

Are you for real? You actually believe its the same cars stuck in there for 9 days and not just a traffic bottleneck being over reported?

I doubt cars have been stuck in there for all 9 days, but keep in mind that there are food and water vendors, which implies that cars are in fact stationary in the same place for an extended period.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343326)

I remember the evacuation traffic from Houston during hurricane Ike. Many people got stuck in traffic so bad that after traveling only 10-20 miles in 12 hours many people turned around and just rode the hurricane out.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343764)

That's the only time in my life that I have been embarassed by Texas (and particularly for some of my extended family who were part of the problem).

Re:Holy crap! (1, Flamebait)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343910)

That's the only time in my life that I have been embarassed by Texas (and particularly for some of my extended family who were part of the problem).

What about the time we provided a two-term President?

Re:Holy crap! (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344488)

Hey, I like that guy. Of course, I was only talking about what I was embarased by, but the "miss me yet" billboards are showing up in more places in Texas, so I doubt I'm the only one who's OK with him.

Re:Holy crap! (1)

macwhizkid (864124) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343460)

Nine days?? I think I would walk home.

There's a difference between a standstill traffic jam and a "still moving, just really slowly" traffic jam. Even though the summary implies the first, it seems clear from the article and picture that cars are moving, just slowly. Otherwise, you'd see people out of their vehicles, rioting in the streets, etc. Still it calls into question at what point should the road just be closed (or more likely, heavily restricted) until the construction is done. At the very least, it's indicative of some poor urban planning on somebody's part.

It's so interesting to watch China struggle with these issues. The whole country really just resembles, IMO, the annoying 13-year old kid at the family reunion who desperately wants to sit at the adult table instead of with the younger kids, yet really hasn't learned the proper manners or social skills to be able to succeed. So he tries to get what he wants by slapping, hitting, or kicking the other people at the table. And completely offends everyone else in the process.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying western culture is the epitome of goodness, but I can't remember the last time my government ignored a 100km traffic jam whilst busying itself issuing news blackouts to CNN.

Re:Holy crap! (4, Informative)

cyfer2000 (548592) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344316)

The picture used in the AP news are traffic jam from an unrelated area. I call this good journalism. Following are some news from the real traffic jam, so you can get the real picture. A [qq.com] , B, [163.com] C [sohu.com] , D [sina.com.cn] , E [163.com] , F, G [google.com]

That gives me an idea (2, Funny)

Cetme (1884904) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342784)

Cue the Chinese remake of "Falling Down"... [wikipedia.org]

Re:That gives me an idea (1)

Bardez (915334) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342832)

Thank you, sir. I lol'd

Re:That gives me an idea (1)

sharkey (16670) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344160)

This is a Chinese remake. I think you mean "ror'd".

Re:That gives me an idea (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342874)

With the epidemic of Chinese guys knifing students, that seems frighteningly possible. Hope there aren't any school buses caught in this jam.

Re:That gives me an idea (2, Funny)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342910)

So then the guy walking would be Chinese and the guy with the convenience store in the beginning would be American?

Re:That gives me an idea (3, Funny)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343712)

Nah, he could still be Korean and it'd work.

I say nay nay! (2, Informative)

RevWaldo (1186281) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342990)

The Great American Traffic Jam [imdb.com] More to the point and much funnier, with a stellar b-list cast! The epitome of the 70s car comedies. (Not on DVD? WTF!)

.

Re:That gives me an idea (0, Flamebait)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343240)

You forgot your briefcase!!!!

Re:That gives me an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343358)

Actually, I would of gone with the opening scene of "Office Space".

It's hard to improve upon the original though. Only thing I can think of is to either make it an elderly couple or a grandmother carrying a baby on her back.

WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33342810)

There are no alternate routes in China? No cell phones? No GPS? No traffic reports on radio stations? No police coordination?

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343000)

For the 3620km inter-province highway, probably not. Cell phones tend not to work outside cities, and Tibet is a very rural area.

Shut Down Access? (0, Troll)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342814)

At what point do you declare the road closed and stop new traffic from adding to the problem? I have to imagine that gridlock starts forming at all the on-ramps as cars are simply unable to move once on the ramp causing people to do u-turns, etc, which causes its own hazards...

There must be alternate routes, no matter how rural for those that _need_ to travel to do so. Letting people onto a highway that is backed up for 62+ miles is just irresponsible. Then again, this is China. Not that the government is entirely evil, but they don't have a track record of always looking out for their citizens best interests.

Re:Shut Down Access? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343266)

Letting people onto a highway that is backed up for 62+ miles is just irresponsible.

Well, in their defense (not that I'm thrilled to defend the Chinese government), the first time a problem of this magnitude occurs is almost always a Chinese fire drill (heh) as politicians and bureaucrats try to solve the problem and cover their asses.

It's the second (and later) time the problem occurs when they should have a policy in place that it becomes truly irresponsible.

Re:Shut Down Access? (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343370)

RTFA. This is the second time.

Traffic slowed to a snail's pace in June and July for nearly a month, according to earlier press reports.

Re:Shut Down Access? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344594)

You really expect government to have worked out a solution to a traffic problem in just 2 months?

Re:Shut Down Access? (1)

RAMMS+EIN (578166) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344696)

``Letting people onto a highway that is backed up for 62+ miles is just irresponsible. Then again, this is China. Not that the government is entirely evil, but they don't have a track record of always looking out for their citizens best interests.''

Maybe the government have decided to go libertarian and let people fend for themselves.

Idle (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33342822)

This must be the first time the Idle category is really apt.

Call the Doctor! (5, Funny)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342854)

I think I saw this on an episode of Doctor Who.

Not Doctor Who - Omni Magazine, 1979 (5, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343196)

I really miss Omni Magazine from the late '70s and early '80s, with its bold predictions of the Brave New World coming in the then-distant New Millenium. One of my favorite stories was The Great Moveway Jam [krewedukat.com] , a dystopian story of a traffic jam started by a little old lady who put on her left blinker, but turned right.

The story was based in California, 1998-9 -- but China in 2010 makes a lot more sense. Especially since the solution to the jam, which extended "from San Diego to Santa Barbara, and... seventy-nine miles inland", involved building a wall to prevent "jamees" from abandoning their immobile vehicles, and a Final Solution that involved a lot of helicopters, a *whole* lot of cement, and airdropped suicide pills.

Re:Not Doctor Who - Omni Magazine, 1979 (0)

Nethead (1563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343396)

Thanks! I was trying to remember the name of that story.

Re:Not Doctor Who - Omni Magazine, 1979 (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344172)

Scary thing is that most every traffic jam currently is caused by that kind of cluelessness. Some asshole cutting someone else off, or turning without adequate warning, and generally not giving two shits about everyone else on the road, and it starts magnifying it's way back until you're stopped: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071219103102.htm [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Call the Doctor! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343312)

I think I saw this on an episode of Doctor Who.

Gridlock [wikipedia.org]
Beware the Bliss...

Re:Call the Doctor! (1)

MiniMike (234881) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343454)

You're thinking of Gridlock [about.com]

You did (2, Interesting)

idji (984038) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344268)

It was the 2007 Doctor Who episode Grid Lock [wikipedia.org] where in the year 5 billion and 53 the traffic in New New York was so bad it took 6 years to travel 10 miles in the high occupancy lane.

False precision (3, Informative)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342880)

Why convert from km to miles? TFA says it's over 100km, decidedly imprecise (it's probably not over 110km, but could easily be 104km). The poster converts for us to English measurements with an increased precision, with the implication that, while it's over 62 miles, it's not over 63.

Re:False precision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343320)

Why convert from km to miles? TFA says it's over 100km, decidedly imprecise (it's probably not over 110km, but could easily be 104km). The poster converts for us to English measurements with an increased precision, with the implication that, while it's over 62 miles, it's not over 63.

YES!!! Thank you. I know I learned the concept of "significant digits" in high school for a reason.

Precisely false precision (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343538)

And anyway, they should have said "over 62.13712 miles (approximately)" for even more impressive false precision.

Re:Precisely false precision (1)

ihatejobs (1765190) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343774)

Or you know, they could have left it in KM and not be idiots. Oh wait, American site. I almost forgot.

Re:Precisely false precision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344142)

I prefer 62 miles, 241 yards, 11.872512 inches.

Re:Precisely false precision (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344668)

I prefer 62 miles, 241 yards, 11.872512 inches.

I think you meant 62 miles, 1 furlong, 3 rods, 4 yards, 2 feet, 5 inches, 2 barleycorns, 2 lines, 8 mickeys.

Re:False precision (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343694)

Re your sig:

Yes, I live in California. We spend 578 MILLION on high schools in districts with dropout rates approaching 50%, so we can drive fast. You do the math.

Re:False precision (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344108)

Parent is serious [yahoo.com] .

I'm so glad the LAUSD has solved all its financial woes, so that it can spend this kind of money on schools.

Re:False precision (1)

atrain728 (1835698) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343722)

Actually, TFA cites the 62 mile figure as well.

Re:False precision (1)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344910)

I should have said "TFAH". You are correct. I should not have blamed the poster.

Re:False precision (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344942)

I object to your sig.

Travelling at speed on the highway is not about getting to your destination marginally faster. It's about keeping the flow of traffic up to prevent marginally more deaths and injuries.

I know it doesn't directly say it, but your sig implies that it's perfectly reasonable to merge onto the highway at 60 when everyone else is doing 80. No, that's not ok, it's not safe, people won't slow down, they'll go around you and it'll cause an avoidably dangerous situation. AND everyone gets to their destination 2 minutes faster.

Slower != safer. Every country that's studied it has figured this out except the US. :-/

Re:False precision (1)

DudeTheMath (522264) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344982)

And I must note that NPR's article has a more correct "60-mile stretch."

Gridlock (1)

Baseclass (785652) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342882)

Wouldn't there be cars running out of gas all over the place?
Sounds like the makings for permanent gridlock.

Significant figures (2, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342914)

When the article headline says "over 100km", the conversion -- if one is really required -- should be "over 60 miles".

"The congestion was expected to last into mid-September as the road project will not be finished until then, the newspaper said."

Sounds like they need to build some more railway.

Re:Significant figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343476)

Reading past the headline you will find the first sentence which says

"Thousands of vehicles were bogged down Monday in a more than 100-kilometre (62-mile) traffic jam leading to Beijing that has lasted nine days and highlights China's growing road congestion woes."

Re:Significant figures (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343738)

The point still applies to the article.

Tibet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343516)

Silly question where's the "Tibet" in the "Beijing-Tibet expressway"?

Isn't Tibet over 3000 miles from Beijing?

How about over 100 miles? (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343720)

The French have them beat...

According to a number of sites, the longest traffic jame ever was from Lyon to Paris on February 16, 1980. The congestion was 176 kilometers long (109 miles). It was caused by many people return from the skiing holidays and bad weather.

Re:Significant figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343924)

Can you convert time from until mid-September into Imperial units for me?

some people stay there for a long time... (5, Informative)

jarkus4 (1627895) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342920)

from another article (http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2010/08/23/china-traffic-jam.html?ref=rss): "Another driver, Wang, told Xinhua he'd been stuck in the traffic jam for three days and two nights."

Re:some people stay there for a long time... (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343136)

"The traffic is no excuse to be late on the job!"
I wonder how many of these guys in the traffic jam lost their jobs this month... given the fact the Chinese have an even stricter work-culture and an abundance of other people willing to take the job.

For length, not so special (4, Informative)

Gramie2 (411713) | more than 3 years ago | (#33342942)

If you look at traffic jams in Japan at the beginning and end of major holidays (New Year's, Golden Week, O-bon), the expressways around Tokyo usually have jams this long or longer. In the August 5-18 O-Bon holiday, they reported jams of more than 10 km occurring 596 times.

That's what you get when you give most of the people in the country holidays at the same time.

Come to Sao Paulo Brazil!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343108)

Where the record is over 266km of congestion. Admittedly not for nine days though.:-)

blinkers ... (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343152)

Can you imagine how infuriating it must be to see someone leave their blinker on for 9 days?

You've never driven I-95 the length from NYC to Miami, have you?

Re:blinkers ... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343626)

NYC to Miami is only 19-20 hours.. not that bad of a drive - moves quick really.. just sucks when you get to Florida .. feel like its over but you still have 6 hours to go.. i always had it alittle worse.. didn't stop at Miami but rather went to the Keys/..// damn its a long way down there...

I haven't tried this myself... (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343168)

... but how many cars can even idle for 9 days straight? I would think most cars in the jam would have run out of gas before day 9 came and went.

Re:I haven't tried this myself... (1)

Krau Ming (1620473) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343344)

maybe everyone turns off their engines until the next couple meters opens up. even if someone runs out of gas, it probably would't be hard to keep up by pushing it in neutral.

Re:I haven't tried this myself... (1)

Arlet (29997) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343596)

The traffic jam is 9 days old. That doesn't mean the cars are stuck in there for 9 days. It could be that each car travels through the entire traffic jam in a few hours, but as soon as it's through, another car gets in line at the end.

Re:I haven't tried this myself... (1)

MicktheMech (697533) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343798)

If traffic was that slow I would turn of the engine, put her in neutral and push.

Re:I haven't tried this myself... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344120)

They should have plenty of fuel for that, while idling in traffic does burn up more fuel than driving straight through, I doubt very much that it takes that much more fuel. I think in this day and age it's fairly typical for a vehicle to have enough fuel for several times that distance. Although, if you didn't start in on a full tank of gas, you might be in trouble.

Re:I haven't tried this myself... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344578)

Toyota Prius with a full tank. That's about it.

Doctor Who (2, Insightful)

Beardydog (716221) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343348)

Wasn't this an episode of Doctor Who a couple of years ago? It turned out some kind of monster had organized the whole thing so it could eat people in the underground tunnels, I think.China should check for monsters.

Re:Doctor Who (1)

online-shopper (159186) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343406)

The face of Bo(Captain Jack) organized it to save them from a plague that wiped out the rest of the planet.

Re:Doctor Who (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343580)

And the giant crabs actually had grown up from the toxic fumes accumulatng in the lowest levels of the tunnels. The BELIEF, until they ran into the Face of Bo, was that the entire jam had actually been planned as a way to provide an alien species of crab with food (that was only for like 15 minutes of the episode though if I remember correctly). It's also the episode where Bo dies, with the Doctor conventiently leaving that fact out to him when they meet him later (End of the Ep, or next episode, I can't remember which.)

Re:Doctor Who (1)

losfromla (1294594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343746)

uh, no. It was the face of Boe, who was doing it to keep the population from going above-ground where things had really gone bad. The monsters were there to catch speeders, sort of by coincidence or something, but they definitely did not lock in the traffic.

Translated to English (4, Funny)

IceDogg (729245) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343438)

Here in the United States, we call this phenomenon "Atlanta".

Re:Translated to English (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344162)

Here in Los Angeles, we call it "The 405"

Science Fiction Novel Idea (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343608)

This jam sounds like something out of a William Gibson novel. Kwan Xiahacker is 19 years old, and makes a living providing computer security to the residents of the Beijing-Tibet expressway trafficjam, where he was born.

The next super power! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33343638)

Mmm yeah.
China's list of problems is endless.
The ones that will end the "miracle" are a hyper aging population and a NIGHTMARE Communist Dictatorship Gov.

The Rolling Traffic Jam (1)

quatin (1589389) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343670)

The rolling traffic jam can be thought of as a queue. Cars are can enter the queue at any rate. However, cars can only leave the queue every 2 seconds. The reason is that if you were stopped behind another car, you wouldn't jam your gas pedal at the exact second the car in front of you does. You would wait until that car moves 20-30 feet before moving your own car. This delay adds up for every car in the queue (let's approximate 2 seconds). So if there were 100 cars in the queue you would need 200 seconds before the last car in the queue moves and essentially eliminating the traffic jam. However, if cars are entering the queue at a rate faster than every 2 seconds, then the queue is growing in size and the traffic jam will never end.

Further details and illustrations:
http://www.smartmotorist.com/traffic-and-safety-guideline/traffic-jams.html [smartmotorist.com]

Re:The Rolling Traffic Jam (1)

canajin56 (660655) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344010)

This delay is also why the talk of smart cars eliminating traffic jams are (technically) possible. If all the cars on the roads are forming an ad hoc network and talking to each other about traffic, they can "see" a traffic jam forming ahead. Then, they can slow down the incoming traffic so, though there would still be cars arriving at the same point faster than every 2 seconds, you can hopefully delay most of them by enough that they arrive after the jam has been cleared. This, of course, relies on either digital speed limit signs that can be updated on the fly (with the majority of motorists obeying speed limits), or, it requires the majority of motorists to listen to their car when it requests they go under the speed limit. Logically, they would be inclined to slow down, because going 10 slower for a while beats being in a traffic jam. However, it ends up being a prisoner's dilemma sort of thing. If everybody else slows down, they all arrive a bit slower. If nobody slows down they arrive a lot slower. If everybody but you slows down, 1 car won't make a difference, and everybody arrives a bit slower, but you arrive just as fast as if there was never a jam at all (assuming you were far enough away when it started forming). So, everybody will want to be "that guy" and it won't work ;)

Move the cargo traffic to rail! (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343700)

Move the cargo traffic to rail!

Re:Move the cargo traffic to rail! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343980)

Thank God for another logical soul. I've been lobbying to get commercial trucks off of I-35 for 10 years now. It doesn't even have to be rail..why not make a new highway system just for commercial cargo? It wouldn't even have to be that great, because truck drivers are already used to being stuck in traffic (since they are generally causing the jams). And, it frees up Interstate travel for smaller, more manageable vehicles. It would probably improve safety as well.

Re:Move the cargo traffic to rail! (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344486)

Well, your lobbying must be working, because they're currently loading the entire trailer up onto train cars for the long-haul. Trucks pick them back up at the railhead and take them the last mile.

Re:Move the cargo traffic to rail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344512)

Have you checked out the CargoRail system?

http://www.megarail.com/CargoRail_Heavy_Cargo/

Re:Move the cargo traffic to rail! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344582)

Sounds like Austin. Texas put a very large and well engineered roadway system just for the NAFTA trucks so they can travel through central Texas without having to deal with city traffic on I-35.

Guess what? The dopes driving the 18 wheelers don't want to pay the couple dollars so they can go full speed around one of the nastier bottlenecked cities on their route. No. They rather just sit and clog up the road for hours just to save the cost of 1-2 Bud Lights or Coronas.

What is needed are laws to force the guys with the big rigs to use the roads, or else they just won't bother because it saves them a couple dollars on a haul.

Re:Move the cargo traffic to rail! (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33344842)

I've been lobbying to get commercial trucks off of I-35 for 10 years now.

The irony being that the interstate highway system was designed for commercial traffic and for civil defense (moving military supplies easier across the country in the event of an invasion).

Just like a Phish festival. (1)

tiedyejeremy (559815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33343952)

No big deal. Park. Walk. Return.

double decker trucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344220)

Why not load up cars onto trailers. have two trailers for the cars and a third one for passengers with snack service and TVs. It would be civilized like train travel, but using existing highways and reduce congestion.

in soviet china (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33344884)

traffic drives Yu! :) sorry couldn't resist

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