One-way streets and traffic in NYC

Michael Page | January 25, 2013

Editor’s note: This story submission tied Michael Page for third place in Overdrive‘s GPS contest giveaway in December 2012. Entrants were asked to describe their worst experience getting lost or finding directions on a haul. Overdrive editors ranked their favorites.

My father and I were an independent trucking company. My dispatcher found me a load out of Atlanta, Georgia. I didn’t want the load in the first place because it was going to Queens, N.Y. However, the negotiations on the pay kept going back and forth until it just got ridiculously high and I couldn’t resist.

This country boy from Oklahoma picked up a load of prison doors … yes, prison doors, in Atlanta and headed to Queens. I thought arriving in New York at 2 or 3 in the morning there wouldn’t be any traffic — WRONG!

I crossed the same toll bridge and paid the huge tolls four times because I kept getting on one-way streets which kept me going in circles. I couldn’t find the prison in Queens, so I thought, “I’ll just pull off into a parking lot of an automotive parts store and try to flag down a policeman” — WRONG!

The N.Y. police will NOT stop for anyone standing in the road trying to get their attention to stop and offer any assistance. I rattled the doors of the auto parts store and set off the burglar alarms knowing that the police would show up — WRONG!

The auto parts store was right next to some high-rise apartments, so I cranked up the stereo and people kept yelling at me to turn it down or they would call the police. I told them to go ahead … no police showed up. I eventually walked to a motel a few blocks down the street and asked the front desk clerk if she knew where the prison was located. She said “Well yes, as a matter a fact, my brother is there.”

Come to find out the prison was only about three blocks away. With her directions, I finally reached the prison to unload the prison doors. By the time I got unloaded, it was mid-morning and the traffic was horrible. I started trying to make my way out of town.

I didn’t know that a truck with a trailer wasn’t allowed on “parkways.” Driving on the “parkway” got the policeman’s attention, and they stopped me and started to issue me a ticket and finally decided to let me go if I would just get off the parkway. I told them if they would let me go not only would I get off the parkway, I would never, ever, ever come back to this town again. I have been lost many times but not like I was in New York.