I want a website for the universal traffic jam, something that shows in real time how many people are caught in how many traffic jams, in how many cities, at what cost.
The issue is a lively one for me, as Moscow is one big traffic jam for most trips. It’s not as bad as Mumbai or New Delhi but that doesn’t mean it’s not a nightmare (as pictured, stock photo).
Is the universal traffic jam visible from outer space? Probably. It is certainly visible to Google Maps and we could use this technology to figure out at any given moment how many humans are the captives of how many jams. We could calculate how much time is wasted, how much fuel consumed, how much environmental damage incurred, how much health risk created.
The trick is to give this graphical representation so compelling that this becomes a problem we can no longer ignore. On the whole, I am not a fan of intervention, but clearly we are now looking at a blight upon the planet, a predation on every city that endures it, and a tax upon the species.
Every family in China and India would love to own a car. When they do so (not if), we will have added something like 1.8 billion vehicles to the international traffic jam. This would almost certaintly be visible from outer space, were it not obscured by great clouds of pollution.
Maybe the guys at Google Sightseeing will step up on this one. See their website here.