Chinese FM Spokesperson’s Shares Video of Beijing Using Reversible Lanes to Decongest Traffic

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying released a video on Twitter on Wednesday where she showed how Beijing handles its traffic jams. Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and many other Chinese cities often face long traffic jams and authorities have come up with innovative ways to tackle the issue.

“How does Beijing relieve traffic jams? By changing the direction of traffic. Here’s how they do it. The traffic authority selects a lane to go one direction in the morning and the opposite direction in the evening to release peak pressure,” Hua Chunying said in a tweet.

Soon after the tweet was made, many pro-China Twitter accounts started retweeting the tweet.

In the video, two vehicles are seen folding a reversible lane or a zipper lane which was set up to ease traffic congestion. It is unclear if it is a dated video. Also no cars were seen using the temporary reversible lane that the two vehicles were seen folding.

However, this is not a new technology for Beijing as videos on YouTube show reversible lanes being set up in a South China city to help ease the traffic during rush hour from five years ago.

Chunying also used the hashtag #ChineseInfrastructure but the same technology or infrastructure innovation was first introduced by the United States in 1963 to reduce the traffic congestion on the Golden Gate Bridge roadway.

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On YouTube, several videos from three to four years ago showed states like California and Florida boasted reversible lanes introduced to reduce traffic congestion on their important highways.

However, traffic jams in Chinese cities are a persistent issue that continues to bother the authorities of those cities.

China has a major traffic problem. The traffic jam which lasted for 10 days in 2010 in the China National Highway 110 in Hebei and Inner Mongolia is an example of how woeful traffic jams can get in China. The traffic problem is partly due to the government failing to keep up with the pace of Chinese people buying cars and partly due to its failure in developing roads and infrastructure which could accommodate the growing number of car owners.

Corruption is also to blame since many car drivers are not trained by professionals and therefore the country has a large number of accidents. The traffic fatality rate per 100,000 cars is 36 in China, which is double than what it is in the United States.

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