Traffic Jams In Beijing Reach New Records Of Congestion

Severe traffic congestion in Beijing on September 17, 2010 setting a new record.
Severe traffic congestion in Beijing on 2010 September 17.
"At 3:30 in the afternoon, a Route 68 bus departed Changqiao and didn't arrive at Liuliqiao until 8:30, 13 kilometers taking 5 hours" described an internet post of a scene from the major traffic jams two days ago.

From NetEase:

On September 17th, the peak number of congested roads during Beijing’s evening rush hour exceeded 140, surpassing the record of 90 set earlier this year during heavy snows

Severe traffic jams in Beijing on 2010 September 17.
Many passengers "abandoned cars" to walk, dangerously crossing the roadways.

Severe traffic congestion in Beijing on September 17, 2010 setting a new record.

Severe traffic congestion in Beijing on September 17, 2010 setting a new record.
At present, Beijing's vehicle population exceeds 4.5 million.

Netizens discuss the reasons behind Beijing's growing traffic problem.

Chinese netizens discuss the reasons behind Beijing's growing traffic problem.

Chinese netizens discuss the reasons behind Beijing's growing traffic problem.

Comments from NetEase:


[Beijing] isn’t number one in the world for number of cars, but Beijing’s special characteristic is that it has too many too many danwei [work units, companies, organizations], too many too many cars from outside the city entering the city (to do business, have meetings, etc.), and too many high rises all causing paralysis [of the city’s traffic]. Therefore, the companies must relocate, their staff must relocate, and even the central body [government?] should relocate, otherwise traffic will be paralyzed.

There’s an urban planning problem, the roads having over 10 companies on them, none of them willing to move away, the old buildings torn down only to be rebuilt higher and higher, with more and more people. Just look at the congestion/traffic jams during rush hour, already seriously exceeding limits. Even if half of the companies were moved away, it wouldn’t be too much. If the companies don’t relocate, it isn’t possible for cars from outside of the city to lessen. If the hospital doesn’t relocate, the number of cars going to the hospital will be congested. All construction inside the fifth ring should be stopped, and half of the companies relocated out within ten years.

At this point, developing/increasing transportation or rail transportation is not going to solve the problem. Just look at how crowded the subway is. At this point, what needs to be done is relocating the companies outwards, relocating the population outwards.


Aren’t Tokyo and New York also congested?


Awaiting the country to once again allocate funds, to once again increase infrastructure development!


Kill off 70% of the population and [the problem] will be solved. Everyone draw lots, those that draw life get to live on, and those who draw death will be killed off.


This is exactly the kind of “scene/sight” I want to see, because this is what shows our “national strength”, this is the result of our automotive industrial policy, so continue boasting as loudly as you can, continue encouraging the so-called development of internal consumption, continue automotive consumption, pollute the environment we depend on to survive until it is a mess, congest our streets until even diarrhea cannot flow, and exhaust all of our children and grandchildren’s natural resources because this is the glory of our present government!


With the ground so dirty, the cars so lousy, and the people such trash, it would be weird if there wasn’t congestion! For northern people, whether there is congestion or not, they don’t care.


Ban private cars in Beijing, strictly forbid cars from outside the city from entering, and have everyone ride public transportation. Wouldn’t that solve it?


An urban planning problem. Beijing as a city is simply greedy, wanting everything. Political center, logistics center, financial center, etc. Just let go of some city roles/functions and it’ll be get better.


Beijing should most learn from Washington D.C., but those SBs still want to make Beijing like Tokyo and New York.


Whoever says each person should have a car again I am going to hit them.

After each person has a house, there will be even more problems similar to this.

I now feel that if women didn’t drive, if adults didn’t drive their kids, and companies don’t drive buses [for transporting their employees], then the traffic would definitely be alleviated a lot.

If they can then open up/develop special traffic lanes, then it would be even better.

And if the center divider on the roads could move, that too could solve many single-direction congestion problems!


The day you feel driving a private car is no longer an enjoyment but a kind of torment, who are you going to blame?


There are too many reasons for the congestion/traffic jams. So many people in Beijing have two or more cars, with some families nearly having a car for each family member. The even/odd license plate rule [where your license plate number determines what days you can drive that car] simply caused some people to have yet another excuse to buy cars. If you don’t solve the problem of traffic congestion at the root, it will only get more congested.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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