Wow, has anybody been following the traffic jam mess that China is currently dealing with?
According to the Toronto Star (you’ll have to forgive me for not covering this event in person -the travel budget just wouldn’t allow for a trip halfway across the planet), motorists and truckers were caught in an 18-hour traffic jam recently.
Can you imagine?
At one point, approximately 10,000 trucks were at a standstill stretching close to 100 kilometres in length.
It wasn’t caused by a tragic accident, and nobody jumped off a bridge (thank God). The cause was a combination of a few things.
First, the road was in dire need of repair. I guess the powers that be scheduled a tad too many upgrades all at the same time.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, it’s also the main artery into Beijing for the Inner Mongolia coal producers and most all those 10,000 trucks were hauling coal.
If all this wasn’t enough, it happened on a Sunday.
I wonder how many people were caught off-guard thinking it would be enjoyable to go for a “nice” Sunday drive.
I can’t imagine leaving at 1 p.m. and getting back home at 7 a.m. the next day! (Okay, it may have happened to me a few times in my younger years but that was by choice). Some poor kid I’m sure was lunch meat for keeping his girlfriend out overnight.
Also, what did these people do about facilities?
No-one I know can hold back mother nature for 18 hours. Where did these people go? It’s not such an issue with men but the ladies? Ouch.
I will say this. I tip my hat to all of those caught in this mess.
Remaining cool must have been a difficult feat. Just after 9/11, I had to go south to see my in-laws in upstate New York.
The wait time at the border was close to three hours and that was bad enough.
I know Toronto has been recognized as having one of the longest commutes in North America.
Sure, it’s a pain in the neck, but a long commute isn’t the end of the world.
The next time it happens to you, do what I do: Close your eyes (make sure you aren’t moving) click your heels three times and whisper “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.”
It won’t do you an ounce of good but hey, it was a good movie.
-Rob Wilkins is the publisher of Truck News and can be reached at 416-510-5123.