Two bus drivers got caught up on the wrong block in Brooklyn this week, both claiming they had the right of way when they came nose-to-nose in an intersection. Both refused to back up, sparking a good half hour’s worth of gridlock.
The jam went down at 13th Avenue and 39th Street, and the moment I realized that I knew where this was, my ears perked right up. This is over at the top end of Borough Park, and there is no neighborhood with more haggard bus traffic than Borough Park. I have seen 15th Avenue at a standstill for blocks because school buses have found themselves both weaving into oncoming traffic around some double-parked delivery drivers.
In any case here’s the video, which is about as stereotypically New York as it gets:
A little bit of Yiddish education here: There is a good term for this type of guy behind the camera. A gansa macher, as I would hear it growing up. It’s not that he’s a know-it-all, but more like an “oh we’ve got a real mover and a shaker around here!” He’s coming in, talking about how this is his street that the drivers are blocking, talking about how they could back these things up no problem. I would love — love! — to see this guy back up an articulated NYC bus. That’s not something that I would want to try, no matter how much you paid me.
You can get a sense of the aggravation from the drivers, trying to explain how fubar’d the whole intersection was, and getting absolutely nothing in the way of sympathy.
I really feel for both bus drivers, having not only to deal with each other, but an increasingly large crowd of unmasked Orthodox guys rolling up offering to “help” back these buses up, all while calling the drivers children in English and Yiddish alike.