The Shanghai police has found a new way to reduce traffic jams: just close the exits where they occur. They already used to close entrances (among others the Nanjing Road entrance to the North-South elevated road), which causes a lot of extra jams on the normal roads. Of course people will use the elevated roads less, but it will only move the traffic jams to other locations.
According to a police spokesman in today’s Shanghai Daily the major reason for the problems is the increasing number of vehicles. That is certainly true an important reason, but the biggest reason is in my opinion the fact that most people just cannot drive. The Shanghai Daily mentions today that 5115 accidents took place in Shanghai on the elevated roads. And that is not the figure for one year, but the figure just for November. That is almost 200 accidents per day, just on the highways in Shanghai!
I have said it here before, but driving schools in China are causing this. They do not teach the people how to drive in real conditions (students learn to drive in a “driving park”), and even teach them the wrong things. A friend told me that her teacher taught her to drive in the left lane on an expressway because that is safest… That’s probably the reason why the right and middle lanes on Chinese highways normally move much faster. If people would just learn to drive before hitting the road, learn the correct traffic rules, and if the police would enforce them, there would be a lot less traffic jams. Wishful thinking on a Friday afternoon before hitting the weekend rush hour.