Sunday, June 12, 2011

NYC Traffic -- Just Par For The Course!

I read this amusing Yahoo news article earlier regarding the do-or-die nature of crossing the streets here in New York City. Amusing because, to a real New Yorker, nothing in the provided video is out of the ordinary for us. In fact, the traffic craziness you see on display in the video is actually quite tame to what I've seen living here all my life.

The college student who created the video for his thesis provides helpful graphical touches to clarify the action going on at the intersection at 28th and Park one busy afternoon. If you would like to read the original Yahoo article that explains the project in more detail, click here.

And below, check out the video for yourself. I would imagine to anyone not from around here, crossing the street in these conditions might seem like a death wish. But I assure you, we New Yorkers barely blink an eye at this -- neither as pedestrians or drivers in this great big city we call home.

3-Way Street from ronconcocacola on Vimeo.

This reminds me of when Lisa and I went to Rome last Summer. Everyone kept warning us about Rome driving, and to hold on for dear life when riding the taxis of that ancient metropolis. But I scoffed at this. As a New Yorker, I assured them, we were more than accustomed to crazy urban driving. And sure enough, when we took a cab from the airport to our hotel in midday Saturday traffic in Rome, I could barely tell the difference between the two cities. It felt like home to me!

Oh, and if you would like to read my account of our Rome trip, check out the blog entry I wrote on it last year. Some of you new to this blog might be reading this for the first time, but a lot of my old time regulars may wish to skip it. The post links to the trip reports of other cities we also visited during our almost 2-week long cruise around the Mediterranean last year. Each report contains pics and vids galore! :)

I love pedestrian cities. It so much more fun to explore a new place on foot than it is by car. Especially if you're the one doing all the driving. This is why I love the old European cities. And, also, why I love New York.


Yvonne said...

When I went to London, I tripped and fell in the middle of the street, just as the light changed! I was laughing too hard to get up and my friends who had made it across, kept yelling at me to get up because the traffic was not going to stop. And it didn't! It went AROUND me! Talk about scared!

getyourselfconnected said...

In Boston things are pretty calm, cops really enforce driving rules. In my youth growing up in the city of Lowell, traffic lights, crosswalks, and pedestrian areas were more "guidelines" than rules for drivers! Had to move fast! Cool video.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I miss living in a place where I can walk everywhere if I have to. I hate being dependent on a car!

So looking forward to my NYC trip in 3 weeks!

David Batista said...

Yvonne -- Weeeee! Sounds like a fun time to me. :) London's probably our next international destination, whenever we finally get around to it.

GYSC -- You know, I've never been to Boston. But my wife attended a medical conference there a while back. Someday I'll make my way there and see the traffic for myself.

Jen -- Welcome back to blog land! That's right, you ARE going to be here in the Big Apple soon, yes? YIPPEE!!!

Botanist said...

Ouch! More traffic mayhem that makes me glad I don't live there. I suspect I'd be roadkill in about twenty paces in that environment. Glad you're able to take it in your stride, David.

Watchtower said...

I envy your trip to Europe David, my wife and I are hoping to make it over there after my daughter gets a little older, I would love to see the Louvre in person.

David Batista said...

Ian -- I suspect it's having to do with being born and raised here. It's all I know. But if I came to this town from somewhere else . . . I'd want to get the hell out ASAP! :)

WT -- Oh, you would love it! We've been there twice now, and still haven't even seen half of what's on display. It's a very tourist friendly museum, too. Just very easy to get lost in -- or to lose track of time in.

And, btw, I see you've officially created a profile on Blogger. Nice Pip-Boy avatar! :) And hey, we both love Sergio Leone movies and the Darktower series. Awesome sauce!

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