Traffic Jams- We Just Can’t Solve It, Can We?

Okay, yesterday I just blogged that I hate geometry. I hope you won’t mind another hate post too much.

If you’ve ever been to Bangkok, you’ll notice that whenever you’re on a street, chances are that you’ll meet…a traffic jam. And by the


way, before we go any further, why do they call traffic jams ‘jam’? Jam isn’t tat sticky. Honey is stickier. Liquid glue is worse. Traffic honey or traffic glue, anyone? 😉

Anyway, the reason that Bangkok has such nightmarish traffic jams is because of the underdeveloped public transport system in the city.  Bangkok is a sprawling metropolis with a population of 10 million (although officially it’s probably 6 million something) and if the Tokyo administration was here they would be putting sky trains and underground railways all over the place. Sadly, it’s not the Japanese government we have here, it’s the Thai government and so of course that isn’t going to happen. There happens to be a small network of sky trains and subways but it’s pretty small (especially when compared to other world cities). It isn’t enough for the giant city. This inevitably forces everyone to own a car.  (And that is why people who keep talking about using public transportation or walking to help save the Earth is making an irrelevant point here in Thailand. Most of the time there isn’t any public transportation nearby to use and if you’re going to walk or bike you’d melt away in the sun).

When everyone is forced to drive, this clogs the streets with cars and everywhere you go there is a traffic jam. And the problem is added when you realize that Bangkok isn’t a small place and so it can take you more than half an hour before you reach your destination. You can take the expressway, but that is often not very ‘express’, since when an accident happens, everything slows down and the traffic jams up there are even worse than the ones on the street.

Say, if I spend about an hour every day on the car, that’d be 360 hours each year. Divide that by 24 and that means that I spent about 15 days each year simply sitting in the car doing nothing. That is…unproductive to say the least. Now, it isn’t good to read or do any work in the car, since that would make me even shorter-sighted than what I am right now.

This is a problem that needs solving in Thailand. Traffic jams not only cause more air pollution, it’s a waste of time and it’s why time flows so quickly in the capital- so much time is used up sitting in the car. The only real way to solve this is to put in more public transportation. And here ends my rant for today.

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