What happens when over a billion people come home from holiday at the same time? The world’s largest traffic jam of course, a traffic jam that stretches for 100 kilometres and takes 10 days to clear. Technically not really the result of the countries massive population alone but instead combination of a massive population far exceeding the roads capacity. One of the greatest examples of the Three Stooges effect in the world. In the Stooges case when all three try to enter a doorway simultaneously they create their own door jam.
In the case of China’s national highway 110 the chronic congestion is caused by annual traffic growth of 40% each year along with some poorly timed roadworks (began 5 days before the traffic jam) that made this year’s traffic jam particularly severe. Demand has overtaken capacity to such an extent that the traffic jam has now become an annual event at the close of China’s Golden Week, the week the whole of China takes off. Some citizens have even given up on the holiday and simply drive up the highway turn around and drive home, slowly. Camping when the congestion gets bad, driving when possible. Ok that last part doesn’t really happen but tell me it doesn’t sound possible.
Presented for you viewing pleasure is the drone footage of the world’s worst traffic jam, a highway that appears to have been turned into a parking lot by the laws of physics (two solid objects cannot occupy the same space at the same time). Sit back relax and be sure to get comfortable, this could take a while.