To Illustrate New Yellow-Light Regulation, TV Show Airs Traffic Accident Greatest Hits

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China recently increased the penalty for running yellow lights: offenders stand to lose fully half of their 12 “points” (if a driver loses all 12, he/she has to go through training and retake a driver’s exam) and must pay up to a 200 yuan fine. Some have interpreted the new regulation, which into effect yesterday,... Read more »

Here Are Clips Of Traffic Jams Set To Appropriately Foreboding Music

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This is the music they play in movies when a hero is about to die. It's dramatic, it builds upon its own tension, it tells a story of sorrow, sacrifice, and honor, or fulfillment, or redemption. (In fact, I'm pretty sure it comes from a movie, but I couldn't tell you which one.) And it's incredibly overwrought, never quite right for our world but fine for an alternate reality made in a studio.

Why Is Traffic So Miserable In Beijing? A Five-Minute Tutorial

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Did you know there are 14,694 people per square kilometer in Beijing, and five million people own cars as of January? Furthermore, did you know that the area inside Second Ring Road, just 62.5 square kilometers, makes up 6 percent of Beijing's total area yet accounts for 30 percent of all traffic? Or that within Second Ring Road, government compounds take up an incredible 58 percent of space, with the implication that the government's transportation needs -- think private cars, probably Audis -- does more to cripple the traffic grid than anything else?

Traffic Paralysis: A Soul-Crushing Jam In Shenyang

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A storm just passed Beijing — the skies are now clearing up, I see a wisp of blue — and on that note, we’d like to show you what happens sometimes when it thunderstorms in this country. Attention: above. Yesterday in Shenyang, Liaoning province, a traffic jam stretching more than a kilometer was said to... Read more »

The Mother Of All Traffic Jams (Warning: It’s Horrifying)

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A confluence of factors led to what appears to be at least a two-mile traffic jam in northwest Beijing on Saturday night. (Prepare to gape in horror around the 30-second mark as the camera pans out.) It was raining. It was a long block. It was in Zhongguancun, an incredibly busy part of town known for its electronics stores and colleges. And, most crucially, a traffic light had broken. This is my every nightmare about the city, frightening precisely because I -- and any Beijinger, really -- could easily find myself stuck in that paralyzing morass of postmodernity, equipped with no salve for a spiking blood pressure except heinous imaginings of unspeakable acts to perform on sentient, suffering beings. The abyss gazes back indeed.