Since August 14, a 100km long traffic jam on the Beijing-Tibet Expressway has lasted nine days ( 京藏高速拥堵9天 ). Hundreds of vehicles, mostly lorries carrying coal were stuck, waiting anxiously to head for Beijing. Around 400 police officers were at the scene 24 hours a day.
Drivers have started to play chess and cards. It was also reported that some drivers were even robbed or forced to buy food during the traffic jam. While some people were glad that the nearby service zone and the local vendors were helping with the food, others were complaining about the overcharging of food and drink. Some said that the expressway had turned into an “expensive restaurant”.
Under a temperature of over 30 degrees Celsius, it cost 2 RMB to buy a glass of hot water and a box lunch cost 10 RMB. (1 U.S. dollar = 6.8 RMB) For instant noodles, the price was between 10 to 15 RMB. It even cost 2 RMB to buy an egg, while in the market one could buy 7 or 8 eggs for the same amount.
Three reasons were believed to contribute to this long traffic jam. First of all, since the beginning of this year, traffic flow around the capital has increased tremendously by 48%. Secondly, big scale roadworks and breakdowns have been going about on the “110 National Road” due to heavy loads and increasing vehicles. Moreover, self-drive traveling has been increasing since the beginning of this summer which escalated the pressure of traffic.
From Monday this week, the situation has slowly improved. According to a traffic scheme from the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau on August 23, the two-way 110 National Road will convert into a one-way road specially for the use of vehicles entering Beijing between 11:00pm and 4:00am every day. Leaflets about suggestions for drivers will be distributed in the toll booths and service zones.
Experts claim that the traffic jam around Beijing will become an extreme situation in year 2015 if the amount of vehicles keeps increasing in this speed. Therefore government officials are encouraged to take the city’s infrastructure, for instance buses, to work as examples to all Beijing citizens.
Source: Sina News Center