On December 6th, Uber driver Noah Forman claims he drove from Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem to Washington Square Park in downtown Manhattan, then back up to 59th street, across to Second Avenue, and back downtown to the Bowery at Prince Street before hitting a single red light. That’s 240 green lights in a row, for a 27-minute nonstop drive through New York City at about 3:30 in the morning.
Forman told The New York Daily News that his personal best before that night was 186 green lights. All of these things seem nearly impossible — the 186 green lights, the 240 green lights, the decision to drive a car down Fifth Avenue during holiday tourist season, the decision to drive a car down Fifth Avenue given the fact that it is home to a president-elect who does not count his home city’s drivability among his very few concerns. Yet, here is a video (sped up!).
Is it real? I don’t know, and neither does the NYC Department of Transportation. A spokesperson told The Verge that the DOT “cannot attest to this video, given we are unsure of its accuracy.”
I don’t want to be a jerk, but I typed Noah’s route into Google Maps. Unfortunately, as the speed limit on both Fifth Avenue and Second Avenue is 25 miles per hour, I’m going to have to guess that Noah was speeding a little bit at times. That part of the possibly true story is not great, as it would be illegal.
But either way, the video is beautiful. Look at how many times something goes right. 240 times. Can you imagine 240 things going just the way you want, and all of them happen one right after the other? Oh my goodness! While watching “Noah Hits 240 Green Lights,” it is lovely to zoom past the Christmas lights of midtown Manhattan. The zooming is much better than having to trudge through a hoard of human beings so dense and unnavigable that you end up thinking “hmm what would happen if I were to just lie down and take a nap in the warmth of this leg forest?” It is nice, in my opinion, that there are no collisions in this film about a car — atypical for the “movies about cars” genre. I am happy.
Forman told The New York Daily News that he “could tell right from the beginning” that it was a perfect night to try for his record. He also said, “It seems like you go with where the lights take you,” which is a cheesy poetic phrase but not the worst I’ve heard. Honestly if he’s making all this up I don’t even care.