China Needs the Straddling Bus More Than We Do

Jonathan just blogged about the very cool concept of the straddling bus, designed to go over automobiles and reportedly being built in China starting next month.  His blog coincides with lots of attention focused on the mother of all traffic jams occuring right now outside of Bejing:  a 60 mile long, multi-day jam comprised mostly of coal-carrying freight trucks from Inner Mongolia to Tainjin, near Beijing.  One trucker said it took him five days to go 350 miles.

Though the traffic jam is newsworthy and provides for great photo ops, buried within the L.A. Times story was this startling fact about every day Beijing traffic:

At this point, the average speed of a car during morning commuting hours in the capital is 14.5 mph and is expected to drop to 9 mph by 2015, according to figures released Tuesday by the Beijing Transportation Research Center to the state news media. In contrast, regional planners in Los Angeles say sensors buried under the pavement show an average rush-hour speed of about 20 mph.

No wonder Bejing is contemplating the straddling bus, whether or not it actually works or is safe.

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