The rideshare-mobile rolls on, and thus my dash-cam has been busily documenting my campaign in New York City (NYC). This week was predictable along the lines of traffic congestion, street closures, and people in Times Square; however, we did have a president sighting. On Thursday (Star Wars day, May 4th) President Trump paid a visit to the Intrepid museum. The perma-docked aircraft carrier that’s located on the West-side highway, around 54th St. And with his gracious visitation (for a meeting about some historic battle’s anniversary); the appropriate protesting ensued from the masses. Essentially, protesters were irate that the president was visiting NYC, and felt compelled to demonstrate across from the Intrepid ship. Why? That’s beyond me. All I know is what I heard the group chanting, “Trump get out, this is our New York” in a repetitive, sing-songy, totally non-threatening manner. Plus the protest was confined to a pre-determined area, which was fenced off by police.
The fact that people showed up to stand inside a little gated area, and chant “Trump get out, this our New York” was such a pathetic excuse for being a responsible activist. Not that I am one. Just pointing out how ineffective that protest was, and actually was costly for the city in the form of increased police presence. Cops get paid upwards of $45/hour on top of their normal salaried wages to deploy outside of regular shift-hours. Multiply $45 by the number of police that lined the West-side highway last night (there were many), and by the number of hours they were stationed there. And what do we have?
$45 x 120 x 6 = $32,400
That (rough) figure’s not including whatever transportation costs were associated with moving President Trump to/from the Intrepid museum. And whatever additional security was required to be on his personnel during the meeting. So, good job protesters. Not!
This all leads to my first clip of the week. Taken from right in front of the intrepid, and therefore in between the museum and the group of protesters
In it, I’m talking with the two female pax seated in the back of my van. We were trying to decipher when the meeting was, as the protest obviously well past it. This is one of frustrating things about NYC traffic, it’s completely unpredictable.
Driver: Ah, here is the protest.
Female pax: There’s the protestors, that’s what we’re talking about.
Driver: I thought it was earlier, I guess not?
Female pax: I think it was… Yeah I definitely saw a notification…
Driver: This is ‘in response to’…. let’s go, c’mon!
Sometimes traffic gets heavy around midnight, because that’s when construction crews are on duty. Or people are protesting the President’s visit to a museum. Other times it’ll be smooth sailing during rush hour, for no rhyme or reason.
Take my next clip for example; The FDR drive should be bumper-to-bumper at this time of day; however, you can see that around 60th St. (and the Queensboro bridge) things are moving nicely:
After watching this video, you may be thinking, “what am I looking at?” And the answer is, besides a nice view of the East River and the 59th St. bridge, is no traffic. It may be a little congested, in that I’m traveling at the speed limit. And not 9mph over, as most NY drivers (and NJ drivers too) like to do. But the key, as I’ve discussed in some depth in previous posts, is that things are moving. When it’s moving, that means the meter’s running. And when the meter’s running, well you know what that means.
Related Post: Side-Hustle or Main Gig?
You won’t find any of my little videos in that post, but you’ll find a lot of great information concerning the whole TLC process. Along these lines, I like to provide at least one or two clips each week of “close calls,” or “hairy situations,” or otherwise something that resembles a near miss of some kind. And this week is no different; as it seems that pedestrians are running in front of my vehicle as I’m driving. Now, this is common in NYC; because people think that cars will automatically stop when they’re crossing. From the driver’s perspective, if I don’t see you, there’s no guaranteeing that I’ll stop. Even though the likelihood is quite high, because otherwise there could be a headache with traffic violations (e.g., hitting a pedestrian), insurance claims, property damage, etc.
There’s almost always going to be close calls driving in NYC. And it’s my job here to bring these little bump-ins to light; so that interested parties (i.e., individuals obtaining their TLC license) know what’s in store for them. Similarly, I’ve been hearing stories about drivers that are getting frustrated, cursing, venting behind the wheel, by my various pax. The following clip is probably one of the reasons why. So, just be mindful of what the general population at large perceive as the norm, in terms of crossing the street.
Finally, this clip demonstrates how little margin of error the pedestrian leaves in crossing my path. Reflecting on this clip some, it doesn’t appear that I slow down at all. And perhaps the logic goes that I’ve got a green light, so he shouldn’t be crossing? Regardless, had there been contact between my van and the dude crossing, who knows what kinds of consequences would’ve ensued. Perhaps an angry kick to the side of my vehicle (which I’ve had happen before). And really, there’s no stopping in my position; as working with rideshare apps require a constant Go, Go, Go!
Be safe, and happy ridesharing. More on the movement opposing President Trump can be found here.