Friday, April 5, 2013

Human vs Car

Crossing the street is dangerous. In a densely populated city like New York it's especially dangerous. Everyone's in a hurry and nobody has patience. Pedestrians jay walk, bikers "salmon", cars turn right without looking. Hazards at every corner!
As a recent New York Times article points out, even obeying the traffic laws don't really make you much safer. It's more a matter of luck. I once saw a police car, recklessly speeding, swerve out of control and crash right into the sidewalk corner, destroying some signs and someone's parked bicycle. Luckily no one was standing on that corner at the time, otherwise...

Every day I cross Eighth Avenue at 34th Street. This crossing is a particular mess. The left turn on green from 34th St is dutifully ignored by pedestrians as they risk their lives crossing into oncoming traffic. Even the traffic guard can't stop the mayhem. I've created a series of diagrams below to explain the ritual of dance between man and machine that occurs on this block every day. It's almost beautiful.


I hope I've captured hilarity properly. I had an earlier post about the terrifying electric bike delivery men. I guess I'm on a road safety kick.