A Brooklyn Driving Nightmare

Let’s say you’re driving in Brooklyn and find yourself anywhere near Brooklyn College. Maybe you’re dropping off your son or daughter on campus.  Maybe you’re running late for a night class. Or maybe, you’re heading toward Drive Rite Academy for a mid-week driving lesson.

At all costs, avoid “The Triangle”. The local intersection where Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue meet up with Avenue H. It’s called the triangle for a reason. Busy streets meet at odd angles. Shoppers and pedestrians are always on the go. Prominent retailers like Target line the sidewalks. Maybe it should have been dubbed “Brooklyn’s Bermuda triangle”.

“Why?” you may ask. You only have to either stand on one of the sidewalks or sit in your car in the middle of a traffic snarl to know the reason. Drivers run red lights—a definite no-no. Busy shoppers ignore the traffic flow and traffic signals and walk where they will. Buses bulldoze their way through intersections, whether or not they happen to be in service at the time.

And, to add to all this confusion, drivers park wherever they want, fighting tooth and nail for the best parking spot (legal or not) as close to their store as they can get. And heaven help the hapless driver (or pedestrian) who gets too close to one of those parked cars when the driver exits from his seat onto the jam-packed street. It’s a miracle several car doors are not demolished, ripped out of drivers’ hands, every day.

Bus stops seem to be everywhere, restricting what little parking there may be and unloading and taking on harried commuters at all hours of the day and night. How those bus drivers make those hairpin turns, with almost no room for error on those corners, is a mystery. Especially with the hundreds of pedestrians trying the beat the light and make it to the other side of the street. No one seems to know why they’re all in such a hurry, but it seems to be a Brooklyn thing to not wait your turn to cross the street safely. Nothing is worth stepping off a curb in front of a speeding bus, trust me.

Watching the traffic patterns around The Triangle from a safe distance may make a nice hobby, but traversing it firsthand on a daily basis can be hazardous to your health.