Bangkok's traffic problem has been getting worse since the government introduced a policy to refund tax for first-time car buyers. Coupled with the Thai aspiration to own a car and get some status, this policy has resulted in five million vehicles in a city which can only cope with less than two million cars. Once I got into a jam in downtown Bangkok, when I spent almost two hours moving less than a kilometre. Sometimes, my colleagues have arrived at work up to four hours late. I think the city should be more serious about public transport. People have better things to do than sit on the roads for hours every day. Two or three weeks ago, travelling from Pathum Thani to central Bangkok, it took four and a half hours for a journey which usually takes less than an hour. Sirithep Vadrakchit, Thailand
Indonesians living in Jakarta have their own word for traffic jam - the inevitable "macet". Your life is planned around the traffic jams which often continue through the day. Travelling even short distances can take hours and some parts of the city are in a constant state of jam. Unfortunately there is little alternative. Public transport is poor and even recent initiatives such as a trans-Jakarta bus lane are inefficient and even contribute to the problem by clogging intersections and reducing road space while moving comparatively small numbers of people. Last week I went out to visit our new house. My driver got lost and ended up in Ciputat, a suburb notorious for traffic, and it took us about 30 minutes to cover 2km. Two hours to work in Sao Paolo? it's the stuff of dreams. Allan Bell, Jakarta
Definition of traffic jam
Traffic jam or traffic congestion is a condition on road networks that occurs as use increases, and is characterized by slower speeds, longer trip times, and increased vehicular queueing. The most common example is the physical use of roads by vehicles. When traffic demand is great enough that the interaction between vehicles slows the...