There’s nothing fun about traffic jams. Maybe it’s the boredom of waiting to move just a few feet, or it's the stress of navigating from lane to lane. Maybe it's the fumes. But what about a traffic jam that's so bad, drivers must merge from 50 lanes into fewer than 20?
CityLab’s Linda Poon reports on just such a nightmare — a mammoth tangle of cars and trucks on the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway, one of China’s busiest roads. The motor vehicle morass coincided with the end of Golden Week, a national holiday, which ended as drivers poured onto highways.
This isn’t the worst traffic jam in China’s history — far from it. In 2010, thousands of cars and trucks were stuck in bumper-to-bumper congestion for 10 days. The gridlock was so intense, it spawned a microeconomy and its own Wikipedia page.
Despite a proclivity for epic traffic jams, though, Chinese cities aren't even close to the world's worst for drivers. According to a BBC report, that dishonor belongs to Manila, Jakarta, and Rio de Janeiro.