Highlawn School in GravesendTwo MTA buses blocking each other’s path yesterday evening at a Boro Park intersection resulted in a conflict between the drivers and a massive traffic backup, according to videos shared to Twitter.
The cause, the MTA says: an illegally parked minivan and shipping container.
In the videos, uploaded to the Twitter account NYC Scanner, two articulated B35 buses can be seen nose-to-nose at the corner of 13th Avenue and 39th Street in Borough Park, while car horns blare in the background.
Though the tweet says the drivers stayed stuck for 30 minutes, an MTA spokesperson said the incident, which began at about 6:35pm on Thursday, lasted closer to 12 minutes.
When one driver tells the other to “back it up,” the other driver points to an adjacent spot on the street and responds: “Why you can’t back up? You’re supposed to be right there.”
The latter driver also argues with the unidentified person filming the video, who refers to the drivers as “two babies over here.” When the driver tells the person not to record, the person replies, “I can take a picture of you. You’re blocking my whole street over here!”
Meanwhile, other passersby try to convince the drivers to yield. Eventually, a man offers to help the argumentative driver back up. By that point, the driver, who has calmed down, says “Thank you, I appreciate it. Because there’s so many cars right here, I don’t want to cause any problems.”
A second video uploaded by the account shows a fire truck pulling up to the intersection with sirens blaring.
According to the MTA, the hold-up was caused by a van parked in a No Standing zone that forced one of the drivers to take a wide turn at the intersection. The move caused gridlock with another bus stopped at the light near a shipping container parked on the street, which made it difficult to move.
“While this very New York traffic jam should have been resolved more professionally, a significant cause of the gridlock appears to be an illegally parked minivan and shipping container,” said agency spokesperson Shams Tarek.
“This is an illustration of why well-enforced bus priority and street parking regulations are so critical to the smooth operation of our buses — we will be in touch with local authorities to ensure that this is not a chronic troublespot.”
The agency said a third bus operator, who was traveling as a passenger on one of the buses, helped back up traffic in the area to allow the buses to proceed.
The two operators involved in the incident have been temporarily taken out of service and are being investigated for operational, conduct and mask violations.