In an urban environment where city streets are routinely clogged in traffic, often at the mercy of automated traffic lights, do you ever feel a titanic sense of accomplishment if you could somehow drive through several lights just as they’re turning green when you pass? Most drivers would be content just cruising through two consecutive green lights. Some would feel the challenge and try to navigate a city’s streets hoping to cross every traffic light when they know it’ll turn green and thus not have to hit the brakes for anything. What do you think is the record for that? 10? 20? Would you believe somebody has hit the hundreds with this challenge?
Last December 3, 2016 as CNN tells it, one Noah Forman, a former New York City Yellow Cabbie and currently a driver for the ride-share online service Uber, made some kind of driving history by hitting a grand total of 236 green traffic lights in NYC, all in one single drive. He did it by somehow predicting the system trend in when the city’s traffic lights will go green just in time for him to drive through it. His interest in beating the traffic light system to hit as many multiple greens as possible, goes all the way back to 2014 during his cabbie days, when he saw an uploaded video of a New York driver hitting a max 55 green lights.
Forman looked at the footage and thought, “I could totally beat that.” Like all regular NYC drivers he has picked up on some sense in trying to guess when a traffic light was going to signal green, telling CNN, “After a few years of driving, you notice a pattern.” He should know, having driven Yellow Cab since 2005. Shortly after seeing the 55-green video he topped it by passing over 100 green lights in one go, a feat he uploaded into YouTube. He switched to Uber not long after that, all the better to chase more green NYC traffic lights in his off time.
His tip for any other driver looking to mimic his feat is both simple and nebulous: "You just make sure to go at a steady pace and time it so you don't have to stop. At the right time, the lights switch right after one another." Sounds like advice from a Jedi. Forman also stresses that even while beating the traffic lights he follows traffic laws to the letter, pointing out that even though he’s running through multiple lights, he’s in no real hurry, as speeding also tends to mess up traffic.
His next goal is to hit the 500-green light mark for NYC, although the local Department of Transportation tells CNN that they haven’t verified Forman’s feat.
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