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Hell is a 50-Lane Traffic Jam in Beijing

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Traffic Jam in Beijing

“Traffic…jam…when you’re already late”
Photo: © The People’s Daily/Twitter

Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote that “hell is other people.” If Sartre had lived to see the year 2015 and the state of the G4 Beijing-Hong Kong-Macau Expressway last week, he may have been compelled to amend this famous quote to say that “hell is hundreds of other people in cars stuck in a 50-lane traffic jam for nearly half of a full day.”

This actually happened.


According to The People’s Daily, the 50(!!!)-lane highway was constricted down to 20 this past week to accommodate a new checkpoint. This resulted in a Bosch-like image of thousands of gridlocked cars lined up in near-complete disarray. For many, there would be no exit, at least not for several hours.

The massive traffic jam was caused in part by the lanes cut by the check point and by the preponderance of people traveling for China’s week-long celebration of National Day. It’s estimated that more than 750 million people were traveling for the holiday, which sounds exactly like what hell would be.

Just stop and think about this the next time you get mad during traffic: at least you aren’t deadlocked on a 50-lane highway with thousands of cars all around you and not a single crooning Michael Stipe in sight.

News Source: The People’s Daily