A photograph shows a traffic jam in China as a 50-lane highway merges into just four lanes.
Starting in 2015 and repeating yearly, social media and mainstream media have taken note of heavy traffic in China, showing photos and videos of fifty lanes backed up on a superhighway as an example of the daily grind of living in a country with four times the population of the US. Others have specifically highlighted the fact that this fifty lane complex merges into four lanes as an example of oft-cited shoddy Chinese infrastructure.
Misbar’s investigation into this claim reveals it to be false. If you go to the location in the videos and photos on google maps, you can see that in fact the highway in question has four lanes before and after the toll booths in the video, and that there are just 50 toll booths on this highway.
Furthermore, the level of traffic depicted is not a daily phenomenon, but rather a twice-yearly phenomenon that happens on Chinese “Golden Weeks,” two seven-day federal holidays on Chinese New Year and China’s equivalent of the Fourth of July (their patriotic holiday) which prompt nearly the entire nation to travel to their extended family and celebrate for a week. As such, traffic in a nation with 1.4 billion people is definitely intense, but not nearly intense on a daily basis as these posts would suggest.