Photo by myself in Midtown.
What happened here? Is this the scene of an accident? Was anyone hurt?
No. This is an example gridlock. This happens every day. It's a recipe for disaster in a busy city with a street grid.
First, an ambitious car tries to beat a red light. The cars ahead of it slow down and suddenly the sneaky car finds itself caught behind traffic. Then the light changes and pedestrians take their 'right of way', willfully crossing the street.
The sneaky car is stranded. It can't go forward because of the pedestrians. It can't go backwards because of traffic trying to going the other way, if only there weren't this *@#&!^ sneaky car blocking the road. Gah!!!
Horns honk. Ordinarily sane people lose their tempers. Rude hand gestures are made. All the while, a steady stream of pedestrians navigates around the stranded car.
Related posts: A Pedestrian City, Fixing Flats in the Streets and Taxi Drivers Wanted, Brooklyn.