Southern Brooklyn

Open Thread: Safe Streets Or Is It A Death Race?


In the past I have complained about the driving habits of our neighbors, but today it’s the pedestrian’s turn to suffer my wrath.

What the hell is wrong with the people walking the streets of Sheepshead Bay? A little jaunt from East 12th Street and Avenue Z to Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U today made me think I was recreating “Death Race 2000” with pedestrians jumping out in front of my car trying to add to my point score.

Up first was a little old man, using a walker, who jumped, as much as an old man using a walker can, in front of my car on Avenue Z by Sheepshead Bay Gourmet. He stopped in front of my car to allow a truck to pass in the opposite direction. The next car wasn’t so lucky, slamming on it’s breaks to keep the old gentleman alive.

As I watched him mount the sidewalk, a not-so-little and not-so-old woman, with hair dyed a color never to be found in nature, entered the Avenue Z roadway from the north side, in front of the car that just laid down about 20 feet of rubber as it  screamed to a halt for the little old man. As she passed in front of me, she shook her fingers in some sort of taunting manner. Damn, if this was only the movie, lady, you would have added at least 20 points to my score. The little old man, hell, he was worth 100!

Driving up Ocean Avenue, I could see kids (40 points each) running across the street a block away. They were in the middle of the block and definitely not looking as they crossed. Over on Nostrand, between Avenue X and Avenue V, there’s so many people walking across the street and out from between parked cars it might as well be a pedestrian mall!

On Avenue U, it continued by the post office, by Jay and Lloyds and by Brennan and Carr. It’s not always kids, today’s offenders were mostly middle-aged women. What – don’t they break? Or are they like Tigger and bounce. Sometimes it’s tempting to find out.

My number one complaint is the parents with kids in strollers who push the child out into traffic as they cross. If this were indeed “Death Race 2000,” this would be an ideal situation as toddlers are worth 70 points! But no, I unfortunately drive much like Frankenstein and avoid the easy gets.

So, come on Sheepshead Bay. Play by the rules. Drive safely and if you’re walking, remember cars hurt when they slam into your flesh. Cross at the corners and with the light. Or, should we just let the games begin?

Comment policy


  1. I think there should be a sign on Brighton Beach Avenue saying: Warning. Pedestrians crossing all the time.

  2. All of us drivers should be allowed a paintball rifle. The pedestrians need to be ‘reminded’ of their misbehaviors Would someone contact Governor Cuomo to get working on this?

  3. One thing I’ve learned is to avoid the schools, especially the high school when all the kids are getting out. You’re bound to lose your patience in 5 seconds max. Someone really needs to give these kids a dose of reality for them to realize that the world does not revolve around them and that they should/must use the pedestrian crosswalks.

  4. I own a car, am an avid walker and ride a bycycle from time to time. Nobody comes to the table with clean hands, but pedestrians in NYC are particularly egregious now more than ever since the tweet, the text and the smart phone replaced The Walkman. They walk into the street without looking and without a care in the world. And what makes things worse, is that nyc and brooklyn’s population keeps growing so there is less room for everybody involved.

  5. It happens all over the city — young parents waiting on the corner for the light to change, forgetting their kids’ strollers are just over the curb, on the street.

  6. And let me shove that cell phone/ipad where the sun don’t shine for ya’!
    As a child my parents taught us to put a little pep in our step if a driver was courteous enough to stop… I am usually sorry and have to wait for them to shuffle along while multi-tasking in the street.
    To the schmucks that find themselves in the middle of a 4 lane avenue…..for what ever reason you got yourself there….I will not be the driver to let you finish crossing.
    I have seen people get wacked when the driver in the left lane allows them to go while the driver in the right lane blows right into them.
    To the parents that like to give their kids freedom by letting them run/bike or skate to the intersection waaaaay ahead of them, strange things can happen in the blink of an eye.
    If you are not going to cross the street at a stop sign…….MOVE AWAY from the corner!
    Driving in Sheepshead Bay and Graves End is the pits, like no where else and I drive all over Brooklyn.

    Sheepshead Bay home to the arrogant.

  7. It is of course not just Sheepshead Bay.. I work in Boro Park and my pet peeve is parents pushing the stroller in the street ahead of them!

  8. No one remembers, cross at the green not in between. Jay walking is a crime but there is not a cop who will enforce it. Our neighborhood is overrun with people crossing streets anywhere it is convenient with total disregard to anyone else. Avenue U has seen a spike in pedestrian accidents and that is because multi-tasking while crossing the street is inappropriate. Drop the cell phone and watch where you are going. The driver sometimes can not stop in time.

  9. I agree wholeheartedly that driving in Sheepshead Bay and Gravesend is the pits, at a time, ironically, when both areas are undergoing an unprecedented boom, which should continue for a variety of reasons. And it also seems that our authorities, save the implementation of speed cameras, seem not to be concerned with enforcing the moving vehicular laws. This is both sad, and can become more tragic. Along the same lines, I find it ironic that when people look back to the 1970’s and 1980’s, when there was supposedly more crime, filth, graffiti vandalism, especially on our Subways, and the like, there was NEVER a need in those days to post signs on our transit, and the like, stating that assaulting a bus driver or transit clerk is a felony punishable by ten years in prison, or to worry that the stranger sitting next to us may have a bomb! Many of us have lost our sense of CIVILITY, and concern for the other, and what might be even more troubling, is that except for the many learned and thoughtful people who comment on, and read this thread, most folks don’t understand what I just wrote! Or perhaps, Malthus is and was indeed, right, all along?!!!

  10. as both pedestrian and driver, i am extremely annoyed by the drivers not showing the turn signals. you gotta be an arrogant schmuck to not bother letting people know where you’re going and blocking the road at last minute. i also love (not) when i cross the street on the green light and have to jump our of the way of a car making a right or left turn. people seem to be in such a rush to complete a turn and cut a pedestrian, only to come to a red light at the end of the block. i mean, do they even know how the traffic lights work? end rant. this post just struck a nerve.

  11. i totally agree on the crossing at the green – only issue is that you risk getting killed by someone making a turn. there are no winners here.

  12. Population control? Not with “Go forth and multiply”. Many cultures have huge families. The food supply is already a problem. So yes, I agree Malthus is on the $$ with his theory.

  13. A few months ago I was driving on Ocean Av making the turn onto Shore Blvd and a guy was crossing the street and stops half way in the middle of the crosswalk to complete his text. So I have to stop and wait for him. Just as I was about to blow the horn, he stops texting momentarily and gives me a look as if to say okay, okay, he will be done in just a few seconds and I should be patient and wait. I don’t remember what happened after that. Are these people on their phone just totally oblivious to their surroundings as to forget about their own safety?

  14. I mainly blame Bloomberg and his Transportation Commissioner, who seems to think her job is to promote bicycles as a method of transportation. We need a Traffic commissioner, not a Transportation commissioner. Does anyone remember the late, great Henry Barnes, he was a Traffic commissioner who set the gold standard. Bicycles are for recreation not transportation.

    How in the fuck are bicycles, or promotion of bicycles, in any way
    related to pedestrians having their noses stuck in their phones,
    jaywalking, and being careless in general? Get over your stupid argument. There’s been 0 promotion of bicycling in southern Brooklyn and $5 Billion, WITH A B, spent on repairing bridges along the belt pkwy. So let’s see that 0 spent on bike infrastructure, $5 Billion to support car infrastructure. Get your head out your ass and stop bringing up bicycles at every mention of cars interacting poorly with pretty much everything around them.

Comments are closed.