Beijing TrafficRead Now
Everyone always feels the traffic in their city is the worst. It doesn't matter if it is Atlanta, LA, DC or any other city. I agree, the traffic is awful. You move at a snails pace for hours on end. After visiting Beijing, I am setting the record straight for everyone. Your city is not the worst. Period. End of argument. And this is why....
In all these cities the issue is congestion. Too many cars headed in the same direction. Although I did not experience much highway driving in Beijing, I got hours of experience with the in-town city streets. The difference in Beijing is that, in addition to congestion, you have to deal with bikes, electric bikes, scooters and motorbikes. A significant number of the population use these as their primary mode of transportation. They are small and efficient. The problem is there are no rules or laws for them. This means you have scooters on the sidewalks that do not follow traffic signals. It is the pedestrian's responsibility to not get run over. You have to look in all directions at all times. No rules, no telling where they will come from.
And forget about safely using a crosswalk. The walk signals exist but they may as well say "good luck". Not only are you dodging bikes and scooters but cars seem to take a personal offense to you daring to use a crosswalk. If they see a gap of a meter between people they assume someone will move and shoot the gap quickly. It is actually pretty amazing how cars and scooters can anticipate where they will be able to sneak through. If the Bears running backs had vision like that we wouldn't be 1-6. For the first day or two I found myself feeling overwhelmed and nervous trying to navigate the streets. After that it became normal. I found harmony in the chaos. I began to understand the unwritten rules that make it work. It is certainly different from the US, but who am I to say which is better. The longer I am abroad the more I realize that nothing is weird or gross or dumb, it is just, simply, different.
12/14/2016 07:32:54 am
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Husband and wife travel the world for a year.