Grandmother of Traffic JamsWednesday, December 5, 2012
Sunday showed a super-massive traffic held up as far as 200km on a highway in Russia somewhere between St.Petersburg and Moscow. The M-10 highway is the major highway connecting these two big cities of Russia and days of heavy snows finally reached three feet high and halted traffic on many roads. The worst was at the M-10. Reports said motorists trapped on the highway for about 72 hours while creeping along at maximum speed of 10km/h. Walking is much faster than that I think. 200km in three days, what a way to travel. To make it worse, most vehicles ran out of petrol as more fuel were consumed to let the engines run in order for the heating system to work. Petrol station also ran out of fuel stock and most shop owners along the highway took advantage of the situation by jacking up prices.
That same 200km distance is equal to the distance from Malaysia's capital KL to Ipoh on PLUS expressway, the country's major north-south linkage. On normal days with normal traffic, it would take an obedient driver about 2 hours or less to go the entire stretch. On major festive seasons however, that duration will easily increase threefold with numbers of stop-and-go along the way. Those people who are going to East Coast would probably be experiencing a more challenging traffic but the worst I heard from a friend was 18 hours. And that covers about 450km in total distance between KL and Kota Bharu. Nothing thus far that can beat this mother to the mother of traffic congestions in Mother Russia.
Winter won't be happening in Malaysia because of its geographical location nearby the equator. All the woeful traffic we have now each day in the capital KL are caused by either road accidents, stalled vehicles, or bad road conditions due to rain or poor maintenance that force motorists to lower down their speed or even stopping. Currently, with 23 million registered vehicles in the country and maybe one-third of them are in Klang Valley, I'm feeling miserable, very unhappy on most days including weekends when driving is involved. What to expect in 5 years to come then?