125-Mile Traffic Jam Builds Up in Russia
Drivers in Los Angeles and New York City may think they have the worst traffic jams in the world, but they may be wrong.
A recent 125-mile back up along the main highway between Moscow and St. Petersburg left cars moving at a snail's pace on Sunday. Russia's two most populated cities have faced similar situations over the last year, but nobody expected the delays to get this bad. Officials said harsh weather was to blame for the insane jam.
Efforts to clear roads had some impact by early evening, by which time tie-ups were down to 34 miles along the M-10 highway, reported the State Automobile Inspectorate, a division of Russia's Interior Ministry. The length of the traffic jam was shrinking about three-fourths of a mile every hour, a spokesman for that agency told the state news outlet.
In comments on social networking and news websites, as related by RIA Novosti, stuck drivers and passengers reported cafes along the clogged roadway took advantage of them by ratcheting up prices. Others said some gas stations had run out of fuel, or grumbled that authorities weren't much help.
Video showed an inflatable tent popped up on the side of highway, with tables inside full of people filling up on food and drinks. In addition to hot food and warming stations, the RIA Novosti report noted the Emergencies Ministry was making psychological support available to those having trouble coping with the days-long traffic nightmare.