Sunday, March 9, 2008
More perilous road conditions
Either I do know how to drive outside of Toronto, or I have been considerably more sensitive to terrible driving conditions elsewhere. Brooklyn, New York: diverse, cosmopolitan, and dangerous. I have never despised driving more than I have in Brooklyn, NY. Whether driving my Mini or my horse-drawn pumpkin (above), I constantly felt like a slalom Olympian. Potholes (more like crevasses), children, their parents, the homeless, were the majority of obstacles I succeeded in avoiding. Deep, smooth curves and dips in the actual asphalt reminded me of the roller coasters of Coney Island, not too great a distance from where I was staying. Mind-numbingly frustrating were the traffic lights, which were completely asynchronous. I would stop at red lights, seemingly never-changing, while the next light barely 100 meters ahead would be green. Having reached the next, it would turn red, the following green, the following red - you get the picture. It likely required 10 minutes to drive less than a mile. Not only does this contribute significantly to the flow of traffic, but invariably increases fuel consumption and therefore pollution. With nearly 250 million passenger vehicles in the US, I think it's high time that things like synchronizing traffic lights should be considered. Apparently, they are indeed synchronized in Manhattan.
After the Mini Cooper, the smallest vehicle in New York City. Gross.