A Morning Run

Home Brooklyn Life A Morning Run

By Amanda Massa

Atlantic Avenue at seven in the morning: intersections like these could make those without cars thankful for their Metro cards. With each green light, cars punch the gas, peeling ahead at full-force like a drag race commute to work.


Sixty seconds: that’s the exact time pedestrians have to cross both Flatbush and Atlantic, by way of 4th St. in the triangular intersection. The only way to get across both roads without getting stuck in the middle was to run—and that’s what they did.

It looked like the route for a morning workout; several people at a time swiftly scurrying across the pavement as a flashing red hand signal awaited them ahead. But these people weren’t completing a morning jog; they were just heading to the subway.

They ran holding book bags and coffees. Some wore business suits; others had sweatshirt hoods pulled over their heads, headphone wires hanging from their ears. One man sipped Red Bull through a straw as he ran. Another casually ate a banana as he hustled across.

Groups of pedestrians crossed all at once; it was a race between them and the drivers. Those in their cars inched toward the crosswalk, waiting for the green light, watching pedestrians scramble to reach the corner. About a dozen people crossed at once, hurriedly stepping into the road seconds after the ‘walk’ signal illuminated.

But alas! A straggler. A woman wearing a red overcoat scampers up the block, determined to cross with the crowd, which has already made it safely across. She hesitates for a moment then bolts for the other side. Flash, flash, flash; the red hand gives the warning. But it is too late.

Green light. The woman continues her shuffle across, but the cars take off like bullets. A taxi catapults toward the woman and the driver blows its horn. Without looking over, the woman screams, “asshole!”  Her sneakers reach the sidewalk, and she walks to the LIRR entrance.

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