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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

World's worst traffic jams?

January 12th, 2010
03:07 PM ET

It's something that we've all probably been stuck in at one point or another and it is something that we most likely want to forget - the all hated traffic jam.

To make things worse, there are even traffic jams with no discernable cause!

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/01/12/1201_traffic_art.jpg caption ="An example of the traffic chaos in Lahore, Pakistan."]

Many drivers may be surprised to hear that the phenomenon has a name - a jamiton - and researchers say they're becoming more common.

Photos: World's worst traffic jams

Benjamin Seibold is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has been studying “jamitons” to find out why these types of traffic jams happen out of the blue.

According to Seibold, “jamitons” only happen when traffic density reaches a certain level on roads and a small instability, such as one person tapping the brakes, causes an echo effect.

This in turn causes a back up of traffic and a nightmare for motorists.

We want to know what you think.

Have you ever been part of a "phantom traffic jam" or a "jamiton"?

What are some of the worst experiences you have had when it comes to traffic? Do you think any one city tops as the world's worst for traffic jams? London, New York, Paris, Tokyo, São Paulo?

Please leave your comment below.

Filed under:  General
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Robert

    London has the worst traffic jams! If you ever try to drive down Oxford street on a weekday night don't even think about it! It's a joke!

    January 14, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  2. sherri-PA

    Many times I noticed that a cop was sitting in the grass-thus causing a "jamitron". and yet other times when you finally get passed the jam you noticed that the was NO REASON what so ever for it! but yes my guess would be because someone tap there brakes!

    January 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  3. Johannes

    Nothing new. Read about it in a physics journal more than 25 years ago. The phenomenon was compared to instabilities in fluid flows. Happens here in Holland rather often. Sometimes there is a simple cause, like yellow plastic on a field next to the road or orange cows, as happend during the last soccer European championship.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  4. Bob

    On weekends, the family would return from our house in the mountains, and for years hit this type of no-cause jams. We would crawl, then speed up, then quickly hit another crawl zone. The worst of this was not knowing the reason for the jams; if it had been an accident up front al least one could have symapthised with the victims and thought "there but for the grace of god". But never was there a clear cause and this sent me CRAZY!

    January 14, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Reply
  5. Johnnie

    Come to Bangkok, and ask a Thai why he's late somewhere. "The traffic!" he will say, to excuse himself. Clearly the weight of the traffic has come as a complete surprise to him.

    It matters nought that one man's 'jamitron' is ... a seven days a week, 365 days a year occurrence in Bangkok. Most of the roads jam each and every day.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Reply
  6. Tom

    Happens in Germany on the Autobahns all the time. Spend 15 to 20 minutes barly moving and there was never an accident or anything for that matter.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  7. Bill

    It's because people are so stupid.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:42 pm | Reply
  8. Angelica

    Jakarta's traffic gave enough reason for me to leave the house at 6am, get to the office an hour early AND go home at 9+pm. All in hopes of a less jammed commute.

    And when it's raining (rainy season), it is just incomprehensible.

    So it's either go crazy.... or learn to deal?

    January 14, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • Thethinker

      Your right it Sometimes takes me an hour to go 2 blocks

      January 14, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  9. Stephen

    This happens every week when I go to work and for a number of reasons.

    Sometimes traffic will be backed up for a mile or two and when I get to the point where I thought an accident had occurred... nothing! People are just slowing down for no reason at all. It's probably the "echo effect" leaving me to wonder, "What in the world was going on here?" Occasionally if there's a cop car on the side of the road, people will just slow down to see what's happening. It's not like they care what's going on; they just want a piece of the action. Drive on people! You're slowing the rest of us down.

    Of course, at times one has to give "credit" to the many ladies for whom the vanity mirror was invented. I'm neither leaving out the men; I've seen plenty of them with their electric razors in one hand and coffee cup in the other.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  10. Anderson

    The article forgot to mention the "slow motion" drivers that think they are "at home"...and the ones that have a driver's license but never learned that slow traffic must use the right side lanes.

    Atlanta with single lanes streets, same Peachtree name streets and bad sinalization is the worst!

    January 14, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  11. SN

    This is called Queuing theory, and it is quite old:


    When traffic approaches capacity of the highway, a small delay (like someone hitting the breaks) results in 100% utilization and long waits. This is a standard topic in Operations Research http://www.informs.org/ and is well-studied.

    January 14, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  12. Jay

    It used to drive me crazy until I heard a flow-dynamics engineer explain it. When traffic reaches a certain density, if one person slows for whatever reason, the car behind will slow a little more. This causes a chain reaction with cars at some point coming to a complete stop. It is still frustrating as all get out, but at least it is no longer a complete mystery.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  13. ann

    I have been in jamitrons and have been able to change the entire flow of traffic behind me, simply by never breaking and going at a speed that causes me to never brake! As a result, all traffic behind me will start to go smoothly and I begin to enjoy the jam more since I'm preoccupied with this! Everyone should try it!

    January 14, 2010 at 2:08 pm | Reply
  14. jasperchc

    that is why some highway have traffic camera with traffic offices monitoring the traffic and sometime directing motorist to increase/decrease speed to avoid jamitron.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  15. Daniel

    Jamitrons happen, because world governments, industries, and scientists are not doing what they should be doing to establish an alternate means of transportation from fossil fuel burning ground roving vehicles. Solar powered aerial transportation or teleportation must be established. Of course that means a severely drastic profit cut for governments and industries, so they don't care to work on the topic.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  16. Lily

    JAKARTA! It jams for absolutely no reason. Add rush hour and a sprinkle... pray that you have bottled water and snacks to tide you thru the jams. Oh yes, and a fully charged blackberry... *sigh*

    January 14, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Reply
  17. Frank

    I agree with Angelica- Jakarta's traffic was the worst! I couldn't deal with it so I left.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  18. Craig

    It's no mystery. Just look at the way a snake moves. The head moves forward at a constant speed but the coils continuously start and stop.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  19. LimeyBiker

    We call these "Spiral Arms (of the Galaxy)" because when on motorways (Freeways/autobahns) with an apparently clear road ahead, we run into a mobile block of traffic going slower than us.

    This exactly parallels the formation and rotation of stellar spiral arms.

    No mystery here!

    January 14, 2010 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  20. kingsley

    Happens every other day in Lagos....there are always complains about it but it's often wave away as one of those mystries bothering on the unseen forces of nature. Thanks for giving it a name and thanks Ann for a solution that we can all try.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  21. Louise

    Nairobi is rapidly becoming a city of continuous jamitrons. Last week we were stuck in the city for 45 minutes during which every driver just turned off their engines and sat in their car not knowing when the y would move. It took 3 hours to cover 5 miles. We finally learnt that the president was coming from vacation! What a waste!

    January 14, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  22. John R.

    For BEST results might I recommend Manila along EDSA ,Beirut USED to be bad too and once in a while someone would blow their cool and get out with an AK-47 to"accentuate the positive" as it were,Traffic in Tehran in the"Good old days"of Shahinshah Mohammed Reza could get VERY frustrating too,So much so that we were NOT allowed to drive ourselves by company regs.
    Bangkok and Jakarta ARE pretty bad but Tokyo is right up there too.
    Now ask me WHY I prefer driving up in North Central Britsh Columbia sometime..

    January 14, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  23. Alfred

    It's no news at traffic jam occurs everyday in Lagos, Nigeria

    January 14, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Reply
  24. Tom

    When I moved from Wisconsin to St Charles, Mo in 1990, I began seeing my first "jamitrons" on I-70 West. My son and I were working in St. Louis and experienced them 5 days per week during rush hour.
    I used to joke to my son that there must be a stoplight on I-70 West of St. Charles that caused traffic to come to a complete stop routinely.
    Sure enough, on a trip to Colorado one winter, we encountered a stoplight on I-70 where it passes through a mountain tunnel on the way to Aspen.We figured that this stoplight was causing "jamitrons" for over 850 miles all the way back to Missouri.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  25. ella jay

    we get that out here in the SF bay area all the time (someone tapping their breaks and suddenly there's a traffic jam for 'nothing): in this particular case, if people wouldn't follow too closely, then someone tapping their brakes wouldn't make them slam on theirs. you just come to expect it.

    yeah, cops sitting at the roadside will cause it – and deservedly, since people usually are cruising 80 in a 65 (unless it's a traffic jam LOL) – but also it is not uncommon for a wreck or other slowdown to block up traffic to the extent that by the time you get there, it may be gone and appear to be a mystery, but isn't.

    it's kinda like the 'if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there, will it make a sound?" .... if there's a wreck on the freeway that causes a 5 mile/1 hr/whatever backup, and if the wreck is gone by the time you got there, was it a 'mystery'? no, it was just a mystery to YOU. 🙂

    January 14, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  26. Nah

    Beijing for sure

    January 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  27. Alfred

    It's no news as traffic jam occurs everyday and everytime in Lagos, Nigeria due to lack of good road network; among others.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  28. Scott

    I had read that Carnegie Mellon did some research on traffic density and speed limits. As the speed limit is raised, traffic density decreases. Perhaps we should examine that curve...

    January 14, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  29. John

    Most trafic jams have no cause but are due to vehicle overdensity.

    Most people know this. Apart from this editor apparently.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  30. Phil

    You don't need going to a big metropolis to see this. In my city (a 1 million people city) I got used to be stuck in traffic jams like these.
    Actually, the number of car increased so fast in Brazil that we cannot avoid to be in this situation. I think many people like to go out and behold the landscape in their cars, like they were in a park or walking on the beach. Car should be seen more as a transport vehicle, not a playground.
    To solve this problem I recommend more roads and a better education for drivers.

    January 14, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  31. John

    I tell people I've been in two active war zones in my life – three if you count Washington, D.C. traffic! We see these things all the time.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  32. ken

    Old stuff. Even the Incas used baffles to slow down the water whenever they had a grade (of course they also used vacuum to handle up-grades). For traffic try Mexico City and Sao Paolo.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  33. Alex Bucell

    Every day on 128.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  34. Zen

    During one of these (because I have the time) I wonder if this is caused by the person in the front of one of these simply has no cues to respond to so slows down for some random reason that would not usually cause him/her to slow down and thus start the event, similar to what happens to runners who are leading a race.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  35. Deb

    In Atlanta it happens at least once a day no matter which route you drive.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  36. David Gunn

    MANILA, Philippines has the worsts Jamitrons during the rainy season. It takes forever to get from A to B duing which you have to negotiate people, pot holes and traffic enforcers!

    January 14, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  37. Diego Grados

    Happened to me a few times driving between Los Angeles and San Diego...traffic for no reason at all....

    January 14, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  38. Peter

    If the traffic is flowing close to capacity, then a small instability
    can make it try to flow above capacity, but instead a jam will develop.
    After this, if small instabilities continue to occur at short enough intervals, the situation will be maintained and the jam will become longer. To clear the jam requires a sufficient lengh of time without the small instabilities.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  39. John

    Bangkok traffic is crazy, what could take an hour in a taxi, a motorcycle will get you there in 10 mins. Dubai also has terrible traffic.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  40. RENTER

    In Gimli, MB we just had a traffic light installed. Wow talk about something to get used to. We sat in the coffee shop and talked about it for hours, "how this thing would change our life style" Simple, we drive down the back road to avoid it. Having to wait at the intersection for 1 min while i could be sucking back a warm cup of coffee, waste of time I say. I work 25kms one way, takes me 23mins. Life is good! [and I am not speeding]

    how could one drive?!! and be stuck in traffic!!! for hours trying to get to a place you do not want to go,[work]. We hear of people "driving" to work for 1-2 hours, then back again! think of the wasted "man" hours everyday, thousands of them. Here's something, move closer to work? Ya, that won't go over to well with most people.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Reply
  41. Ron in San Bruno

    In the silicon valley, mystery traffic jams are caused by 'road boulders' – people going under the speed limit either in the fast lane, or in tandem with others, blocking all lanes. Sometimes I wish I had ground to ground missiles to move them out of the way.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  42. May

    This 'jamitrons' happen every day in JAKARTA, Indonesia. Reach its peak during off-work hours, and even worse when it starts to rain that may take drivers 1-2 hours to reach the usual 10-15 minutes destination. Ridiculously, it can even take 4-5 hours some times!

    January 14, 2010 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  43. Rob

    Houston in the 1970's was the worst traffic experience I have ever had. Trying to get anywhere between 3 and 7 p.m. was impossible.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  44. stef

    The worst jamitrons are on the streets of Metro Manila. It has gotten progressively worse as the years have gone by. Too many buses, jeepneys on the road stopping anywhere they feel like.

    January 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  45. Laker LA

    Try driving the DC Beltway (I-495) any time in rush hour, especially by where it hits I-95 near College Park

    January 14, 2010 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  46. Kevin

    I am going thru this every single day of my life. The problem we have here is a long straight road where one driver taps the brake to keep the distance from the car in front will definitely cause the echo effect at the back of the line...

    January 14, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  47. mongle junkey

    how about we require iq test & refllexology test prior to obtaining a drivers license. if that was in place, there would be 80% less motorist, hahaha

    January 14, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  48. ella jay

    @ann, i love to do that. i drive a stick, so it is a bit trickier, but it's amazing how much more relaxing it is to just find that speed where it can continue to flow.

    also, tailgaters who do that in order to get me to speed up to the car in front of me? there is a reason i'm not following that closely, and if you continue to tailgate me, i will back off that other car, further? why? because i will need all that extra room in front of me when you inevitable start to rear-end me.

    pay attention, people. it's not a videogame.

    January 14, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  49. Surender Sharma

    I think if you come to India and specially to Delhi which is a home of over 6.5 million vehicles, you will find no other place on earth like Delhi. It is a home of such jamitrons and we face massive jamitrons each and every day. I can say with 110% confidence that you have not seen anything like Delhi traffic. It is mother or father of all jamitrons

    January 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  50. Surender Sharma

    If you really want to experience of how traffic moves on Indian road, just try finding "Indian Driving" on google and there you will find a link to youtube which has a 2-3 minute video clip which was shot from rooftop. It is such a funny but a true picture of traffic scenario of any town in India. Just see and enjoy...

    January 14, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  51. Kyle

    Jakarta has the worse and scariest traffic I have ever experienced in my life.

    January 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  52. Nik

    In NJ USA, we call those responsible for such traffic jams "LEFT LANE D$%K" for Driving in the left most lane UNDER speed limit and never moving to right lane!! Most of the times, its either a Lady driving a SUV/Pickup or a Senior Citizen driving 80's Clunker or worse, a new driver (Foreigner with H1 business or tourist)

    January 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  53. Can

    It happens all the time here in Istanbul as well. Someone talking on the cellphone or just watching the accident on the other side of the road and bang you wait half an hour. I just blow my horn and try to wake people up. IQ test must be required before taking the license test.

    January 14, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  54. Ben"jamitron2000"

    I think Jakarta, Indonesia takes the prize for worst traffic ever. Macet macet.

    January 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  55. mongle junkey

    shouldnt we just be allowed to push them off the side of the road?

    January 14, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  56. JW

    Beijing has awful traffic during rush hour (which covers a wide range of times), anywhere. There are just too many cars. The only respite is on Sundays.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  57. Dr.Zhivago

    Think you have it bad? I live in Germany. Ever tried a "jamitron" on the Autobahn? Ever endured a four or five hour "stau"?

    January 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  58. Forbes Burkowski

    "Jamitrons" occur when the rate of cars entering the back of the queue is greater than the rate of cars accelerating out of the front of the queue. The primary cause is aggressive tailgating which is related to the linear density of cars.

    In other words, if everyone drove sensibly and left enough space these things would not happen. Back in the 50's, police would pull you over for tailgating but now, in the interest of higher throughput, this is not done...

    January 14, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  59. Jenn

    Traffic doesn't get any worse than MEXICO CITY. Combine old colonial roads, insuffcient signage, a complete disregard for safety and rules, no licensing requirements, poorly constructed and maintained roads and highways, and 25 million people in a volcanic basin, and you are guaranteed to have traffic chaos. I commute 40KM total, not during rush hour, and I am in the car for an average of 90 minutes per day- and that's a short commute, since I go against the flow of traffic. Jamitrons are a fact of life.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  60. Clifton

    You forgot to add Moscow. The worst of the worst.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  61. Jack Singleton

    Malibu CA is tops in traffic jams because of our summer beach traffic
    on the Pacific Coast Highwar. It log jams the city.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  62. Sally

    The M25 motorway around London is the world capital of phantom traffic jams. They've been observed to rattle back right around the famous 'orbital', a distance of 125 miles over the course of about an hour! The situation isn't so bad now variable speed limits have been introduced in response to varying traffic conditions.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  63. Fred

    I live in the Boston Exerbs and it happens all the time. It's caused on the highways because of the idiot drivers refuse to allow enough distance
    between the them and the car ahead to smooth out any change in speeds to mitigate a cascading effect when one car slows down for some reason. If they would leave enough space average speeds would remain more constant. The biggest problem is the idiot traffic engineers who insist on replacing rotaries with lights. Rotaries merge sort traffic and lights batch sort. Batch sorts introduce time delays and are far less efficient. They create bottleneck EVERY time they screw up a junction
    by installing a light. Lights also require Pavlovian response rather than
    real time thinking on the part of the drivers. Bad Dog, Bad Dog...

    January 14, 2010 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  64. Mirka Pereira

    In Malta, nearly each time that there is a road accident, however major or minor, there are noticeable delays on the road. This is not because of obstruction caused by the cars that have crashed, but because each person who drives by the site of the accident stops for some seconds to see what happened.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Reply
  65. Frank

    I work from home and don't drive. Didn't realize there was traffic at all out there, much less 'jamitrons'. Probably guys sitting in traffic jams that had lots of time to think up of cool words for this phenomenon.

    January 14, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  66. Jay

    I live in São Paulo, Brazil, a city that is renowned for traffic jams. What city wouldn't be famous for it that has 22 million people, 6 million cars and a million busses? Let's see if anyone can beat this – On a GOOD day, it takes me close to 2 hours to drive home from work, a distance of just 13km. And if you want to cross town it can easily take five hours!

    January 14, 2010 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  67. Steve pope

    Try Paris on a GOOD DAY !! to exit Paris heading Lyon there will be traffic Jam next to Orly airport for sure and this will continue for at least 20 kilometres . This highway joins the A6 direct and therefore an open road for 400 plus kilometres.. I can only think that those going to shop at Ikea cross the road slowing down the traffic. Hence 20 kilometres times a 5 meter car times 25 seconds to get going ???? And you got it.

    January 14, 2010 at 6:05 pm | Reply
  68. John Miles

    In the Midwestern USA, we call this the "rubber-neck" phenomenon. The slightest distraction causes a major ripple. The solution is attentive, competent driving. Not likely to happen.

    January 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  69. Kathy in Cleveland

    I commute from an eastern suburb of Cleveland to downtown Cleveland via OH St Rt 2/90 west. There is VERY little traffic in Cleveland comparative to cities such as New York, Boston, and Chicago. Somehow, there are days that a 25 minute ride turns into 1.5 hours! This has happened frequently without bad weather, an accident, or major construction. It's very puzzling- but at least now there is a word for it- Jamitron.

    January 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  70. jlg


    January 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  71. Amina

    LAGOS,for sure. Was in one 5 mins from my home,it lasted 4 hrs. Unbelievable

    January 14, 2010 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  72. Anthony

    Cairo has the answer to traffic jams.

    Picture this...my honeymoon 1996 – Taxi from the airport.
    4 lanes for traffic in either direction... but 10 lanes of traffic are moving.
    Night time darkness...drivers only use lights to get other drivers attention.
    Drivers who won't move out of the way...bump them with your car.
    I notice all the cars have dents...I ask myself, "Hmm I wonder why ?"

    ...but then, at least I could say there were no traffic jams.

    January 14, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Reply
  73. john wong

    No one knows a traffic jam like here ...... I commute in Qatar and this is commonplace. The nationals here hop onto the sidewalks, drive wherever they can to avoid being delayed. It is a national joke to sit in your car and see how many Qatari can hop over obstacles (with 4 x 4's) to get wherever they want to be sooner. The accidents are commonplace and the police do nothing to stop Qatari from driving all over the road, sidewalks, the desert or wherever they can get a shortcut.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  74. SparkyMaddy

    Calgary Canada – it usually happens because someone slows down to look at an accident, or even if there is just a stalled car parked at the side of the road. I don't know why they have to slow down excessively to look but some weak minded people have to do that, even if it's 3 lanes over. What I really hate is the people who finally get to the reason and practically stop so they can take a look rather than just getting out of the way. Often times you'll speed up and look in your rear view mirror only to find that nobody is behind you (they're all looking at the stalled car).

    January 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  75. Chris

    Northern Virginia between D.C and Fredericksburg has these types of jams DAILY........... It is beyond frustrating. And the HOV lanes only compound the problem because eventually, everyone in them must merge over to the regular lane. Whoever created the HOV lane is a complete logistical idiot. Driving in northern Virginia has become a nightmare. Please God bring us high speed rail.

    January 14, 2010 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  76. Anna

    My vote goes to İstanbul hands down. I live in a suburb, and whenever I do happen to go home from a downtown area without a traffic jam (usually at night, after dinner and a movie or so), I am surprised anew about how little time it takes: Turns out I live only 15 minutes from downtown if traffic is not an obstacle. "Normally", I have to calculate at least 30-45 minutes...

    January 14, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  77. Makizee

    In Lasgidi (Lagos)..it is a way of Life, There is a saying that if U can survive lagos traffic, U can survive anywhere in The World, here People wake up so early just to beat the early Morning Traffic.

    January 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  78. Klaus

    Luanda – Angola takes the cake. Hands down.

    January 14, 2010 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  79. Charles

    Happened on my way back to the Eastern part of Nigeria from Lagos during the xmas period. Just before u get to Benin bypass, there was traffic on the dual lane. We stayed there for like an hour before we got to know the cause of the traffic. Apparently, a policeman shattered the windscreen of a truck at a checkpoint.The truck driver parked his truck in the middle of the road and refused to move it until the policeman paid him for the damage. We were there for another hour before the issue was finally resolved. We also spent 2 hours on our way back after the xmas holiday on the same road.

    January 15, 2010 at 7:05 am | Reply
  80. sadish

    Normally this happens when the people want to avoid the traffic, they try to move faster resulting in impatience and anxiety following in a disorientation.

    Moreover the Traffic system needs to be dynamic rather than being consant. During the peak hours the system needs to be modified accordin to the different incomings and outgoings

    January 15, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  81. De Marchi

    Sao Paulo – Brazil has these everywhere, everyday. Its a known phenomenon and very annoying. Public transportation helps but only on the short term. Too many people in urban areas have to be avoided at all costs. In fact, birth control is the only way out of this puzzle! Took the earth 40 million years to gather 3 billion people (till 1970). and only 40 years to gather another 3 billion (We are now more than 6 billion). Without birth control comfort as we knew will deteriorate faster and faster and we will see overpopulation consequences in every area. Look at global warmth, pollution, less drinkable water, etc. Traffic is just our best nightmare.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  82. Charles

    LAGOS , NIGERIA shall win gold medal as the worst traffic jam city in the world. The roads are filled with what we the locals call "pot holes" . The roads are filled with rickety cars and the streets are as dark as hell. In most occasions people abandon their cars and run when gun shorts are fired my hoodlums especially in the hours of 6.30-9pm.
    We call it "hold ups" in Lagos. I was once in a hold up from 4pm to 3am and have to dash out from my 4 x4 to dodge bullets from armed robbers. That was my worst nightmare in 2006.

    January 15, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  83. Benz

    The traffic in Dhaka, Bangladesh. omg. The rickety cars, the rickshaws, the baby taxis and motorcycles and add the sounds of cars and rickshaws honking and ringing. Yikes. One time, I was stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours trying to head back to my home.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  84. JofeRo

    I noticed that these"jamitons" happened when traffic volume is high and roads are windy, traffic tends to accumulate in these "winds" or turns perhaps traffic can not go too fast through these turns

    January 15, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  85. Gazellelion

    Look up the meaning of Lagos, Nigeria in the dictionary and you will find the definition as total chaos, statitc traffic,worse in the world. It is as if people get out in the morning just to get stuck in traffic all day and then get back home without having gone to where they intended going. This has been the state of affairs for decades and there's no solution in sight!

    January 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  86. Lorna

    In most cases, someone blocked the intersection adn traffic cannot move. Inconsiderate drivers is another prime example of why there is traffice jams or jamiton.

    January 15, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  87. Northern Virginia Commuter

    One Cause: CELL PHONE users slowing down. I have seen cars in lane 1 and lane 2 side by side and both drivers talking on their cell phone slowing everyone else down. Cell phones must be outlawed.

    Also, rolling road blocks caused by truckers. I know they do it on purpose becuase I monitor the CB and listen to them coordinating the road block.

    I95 sucks

    January 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  88. Maggie

    In 2001, or 2002, I was in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on the way to the airport when we got stuck going uphill in an ill-equipped, little pickup. There was no apparent reason for the jam, but we sat there for well over 3 hours in the scorching son. I was there doing health work, was the only white person for miles, and was piled with Haitian friends and suitcases in the back of the truck – in Haiti this form of transportation is widely used, is called a "tap-tap", and is the equivalent of a taxi. Thinking that we would only be in the truck for the hour or two that it would take to get to the airport, and having left before sun-up from the village where I had been working, I had neglected to put on sunscreen. By the time I got back to the U.S., I went to stay with a host family for the night before leaving to return to my home the next day. I was beyond ready to take a shower when I got there, having been covered in dust, sweat & particulate from the Port-au-Prince air. But, because of my sunburn, I could barely even touch my skin to wash it. I had seen my fare share of sunburn up to that point, but this was like something I'd never known. For weeks I was called the Red Lobster back home. Since then I can assure you that I've never taken a ride in Haiti without a bottle of sunscreen in hand!

    January 17, 2010 at 3:14 am | Reply
  89. Kevin


    January 17, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  90. Joshua


    January 17, 2010 at 7:33 pm | Reply
  91. Dodie

    China was the worst traffic Jam I had ever experienced and I drive the L.A. freeways which are notorious for being bad. A chemical tanker-truck turned over and spilled toxic chemicals all over the road. We sat there for 14 hours waiting for them to clean it up as it was on a bridge with nowhere to go!

    January 17, 2010 at 11:04 pm | Reply
  92. Chimmy

    This is an everyday problem in Manila, Philippines and we just have no choice but to live with it. Aside from someone tapping on the brakes, the reasons for the heavy traffic in Metro Manila are (1) LACK OF DISCIPLINE AND RESPECT FOR OTHER MOTORISTS, (2) traffic officials' seemingly SELECTIVE APPREHENSION OF TRAFFIC VIOLATORS, and (3) the Land Transportation Office's failure to identify & deny the registration of vehicles which obviously FAILED THE ROAD WORTHINESS TEST. Bumper to bumper traffic along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) begins as early as 6:30 am and may last until 11 pm. During the rainy season and long weekend-holidays, heavy traffic may go on for almost 20 hours a day. EDSA is a main thoroughfare which spans the entire length of Metro Manila. The SLEX, which is ironically called an "expressway", even charges motorists exhorbitant fees for short distances. Even the highway on top of SLEX called the "Skyway", which promises faster travel for a much higher fee of 85 pesos (a little less than US$2) for a distance of about 4 kilometers – is not spared from this heavy traffic problem.

    January 19, 2010 at 5:18 am | Reply
  93. Ibu Tricia

    Jakarta and the Jamitons – good name for a rock band

    January 22, 2010 at 5:50 am | Reply
  94. Keira

    Have you ever tried to go from one side of Manhattan to the other on a weekday? It's murder and it takes forever! Also on I-95 crossing into New Jersey. There's always traffic.

    Traffic jams in Puerto Rico are also EPIC – and over a flat tire on the side of the road! Annoying and infuriating. Moments like these I'm so grateful for public transportation!


    August 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Reply
  95. HT

    If u haven't seen Jakarta traffic, you will never know how it feels to be trapped in a gridlock. A normal 5 minutes travel can take 1 hour during Saturday night.

    October 23, 2010 at 1:33 pm | Reply

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