From the comments on a post about “critical mass” in Madrid:Where I live, they have a critical mass for cars. Every day at 4 pm, motorists congregate for hours at particular places on the road network, stopping traffic. They call it “traffic jam” and use it to pressure politicians to improve conditions for the hapless motorists. Ambulances and fire trucks have been known to get caught in the “traffic jam”, but the clever motorists claim this only underlines the need for more asphalt.
And they have been very successful. The newspapers buy into the message and write about expanding motorways for cars. They even have whole sections of the newspaper encouraging people to buy fast new cars.
The “traffic jams” are not entirely without conflict however. Some people write letters to the editor, saying that the motorists must have better things to do than to sit in stationary traffic every day. They point to the tram and subway networks which almost always keep moving, right through the “traffic jam”. Other, more libertarian types say that they use their bicycles and never encounter any serious congestion. But they are usually laughed off.