And You Thought YOUR Commute Was Bad
- Here are some of the worst traffic tie ups in US history, according to Forbes.com
- Bethel, New York: August 1969. This three-day tie-up over August 15-18, 1969 is historic for more than just traffic. With more than 500,000 attendees descending on Max Yasgur’s famous farm for the Woodstock Music & Arts Festival, the New York Thruway became a stranglehold for more than 20 miles, with many motorists eventually abandoning their cars and hoofing it to enjoy “three days of peace and music” (and rain and mud and more than 10 times the anticipated crowd). Performers had to be flown to and from the site in helicopters to avoid the crippling congestion.
- Chicago, Illinois: February 2011. A near-record 20.2 inches of snow fell on the Windy City on February 1, 2011 in a late-winter blizzard that hit the hardest during the evening rush hour. The most unfortunate commuters were those on the otherwise idyllic Lake Shore Drive headed northbound from downtown Chicago. A series of weather-related accidents slowed, and then halted traffic and buried motorists for more than 12 hours in drifting snow that reached almost as high as the cars’ windshields.
- Interstate 45, Texas: September 2005. With Hurricane Rita approaching Houston residents were told to evacuate on September 21, 2005, with as many as 2.5 million of them packing evacuation routes, creating a massive 100-mile queue on Interstate 45. The congestion reportedly lasted for as much as 48 hours, leaving motorists stranded for as long as 24 hours along the 300-mile route from Galveston to Dallas. Though crippling, the mass evacuation is said to have probably saved many lives.
- New York City, New York: September 2001. In the days following the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, New York City was virtually locked down, with bridges and tunnels closed to all but emergency vehicles, public transportation shut down and traffic at a halt across the city. What’s more, the nation’s air traffic was grounded, leaving thousands of travelers stranded across the U.S.