The strange and hilarious ten-day, 60-mile Chinese traffic jam that was supposed to last another month has quickly disappeared. Reporters from both the AFP and NBC drove along the opposite side of the highway looking for the legendary jam, only to find standard, intermittent traffic. “The situation has gotten much better recently. I don’t know why,” a gas-station attendant told the AFP team. But NBC reporter Adrienne Mong credits the turnaround to an easily mobilized police state.
Everywhere we drove, police manned toll booths, weighing stations, and highway entrance ramps — all part of a massive and successful effort to get rid of the monster traffic jam.
This kind of shows you where China’s priorities are at: The traffic jam had stranded drivers for days — can you imagine moving one-third of a mile in an entire day? — but it wasn’t until the world media started gawking that they decided to really step up and do something about it.