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Old 02-03-07, 05:00 AM   #1
SSfreak
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I was almost ran over by a bus

I was riding home from work when a bus passes me very close on my left hand side and proceeds to cut me off to drop off passengers while taking the whole bike lane. I wait at the back of the bus until it starts moving again. I'm riding and come up upon traffic (two cars making a right taking up the bike lane, then the bus and about three cars behind the bus) so I proceed to pass on the left hand side. As I pass the three cars and come upon the bus, I give a light tap on the front of the bus to let him know I'm there passing. As I'm doing this, traffic starts moving so I start pedaling faster. As I'm doing this the bus starts catching speed as I'm passing the bus. The bad part is the bus is on my ass and I barely have enough room to pass. I know he sees me but I'm not sure why he's acting like a dipsh**. Also if I fall I'll probably be underneath the bus.

Now here is where it gets bad. I'm back on the bike lane, I've passed up the bus again (this time on the right lane since I don't want to die) and passing up two cars that are in front of the bus. Traffic starts flowing and as soon as the bus reaches me, he gets on my a** AGAIN and this time starts blasting his horn. This guy is scaring the crap out of me. I'm obeying all the laws and I feel I'm about to get ran over. He passes me on my left. As the bus gets half way passed me it starts riding the bike lane. I see the lane and sidewalk curb get smaller and smaller between me and the bus. I look to the left and see the back tires of the bus inches away from my handlebars. I had to make drastic measure since the bus is right beside me and no more bike lane since he's taken it all. I really felt like I was gong to die. I hit the curb and land on the side walk as me and my bike goe down. Get back up, I pick up my bike, start running to the bus (anger kicks in and I'm about to kick the drivers a**). Bus makes a quick stop and hits the gas when I'm about reaching the bus doors.

I didn't catch the bus number and wasn't thinking correctly right after this happened since I was possessed with anger and being scared sh**less. This is the first time anything like this has ever happened to me. Next time I'll just have to keep my anger down and get the correct information.

Excuse the English grammar. I thought I just had to share this and get it out of my system. A thing like this makes me not want to ride my bike. I thought the bus was supposed to be on the same team.

Just one question, why?

Last edited by SSfreak; 02-03-07 at 05:11 AM.
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Old 02-03-07, 05:53 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSfreak
I was riding home from work when a bus passes me very close on my left hand side and proceeds to cut me off to drop off passengers while taking the whole bike lane.
<snip>
Just one question, why?
I'm sure that if you contact the transit company and give a time and location of this incident they could figure out who it was. Was there any advertising on the bus or anything about the bus (size, colour, etc) that may help narrow it down (maybe?) Police on the scene shortly after and witnesses would have helped also.

I would not let this slide.

In answer to your question "why" - jerks are everywhere, they even drive buses (most drive automobiles).

I'm sorry that this had to happen to you though and take comfort in the fact that you are uninjured.

Cheers!
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Old 02-03-07, 07:03 AM   #3
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You can't play leap frog with a city bus. I would have let him go the first time and waited until he was a block down before starting up. Bus drivers know they can ride inches from you because they can. However, there are blind spots and it looks like he may have lost you for a moment. A very dangerous place to be.
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Old 02-03-07, 08:06 AM   #4
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You can't play leap frog with a city bus. I would have let him go the first time and waited until he was a block down before starting up. Bus drivers know they can ride inches from you because they can. However, there are blind spots and it looks like he may have lost you for a moment. A very dangerous place to be.
+1.

I don't know what to do about the bus driver you encountered, as it just sounds like a mutually exacerbated encounter rather than a clear incident where one person is most definitely at fault.

In the future, though, I would suggest either letting the bus go for at least a block ahead or, if traffic and traffic light conditions give the advantage to you, you get ahead of the bus. Whenever I do the latter, I make sure to turn, smile, and wave to the driver as there's a good chance they'll see you ahead. I'd rather the driver see me as a nice, polite person than just, at best, some random cyclist.
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Obviously, the guy's like a 12th level white wizard or something. His mere presence is a danger to mortals.
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Old 02-03-07, 08:06 AM   #5
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you CAN play leap frog with a city bus, that driver was harassing the OP despite the conditions. it is wiser to avoid the situation however.

Some bus drivers HATE bicyclists, they certainly dislike being held up by a bicyclist. I've chatted with some and the talk around the bike barn about bikers would make their mothers ashamed they raised such social scoundrels.
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Old 02-03-07, 08:35 AM   #6
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You could have just avoided the issue and allowed the bus to gain distance from you.

Jousting with a multi-ton vehicle in traffic is akin to playing russian roulette.

"He who fights and runs away, lives to fight another day"
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Old 02-03-07, 10:07 AM   #7
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Bus drivers are *******s in all cities it seems. MTA bus drivers here in NYC love to do the same ****. It is a ticketable offense, but since they are driving extra large death machines, I guess they are exempt.

I just do my best to stay far away from buses. I get out of their way, and if I have to pass them, I do so on the left. If their is a bike lane, I get out of it and take a lane further left, since the bike lane is usually right in their pick-up/drop-off path.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwhalin
If their is a bike lane, I get out of it and take a lane further left, since the bike lane is usually right in their pick-up/drop-off path.
To be more specific, the right side of the street is almost always where the pick-up/drop-off point will be for a city bus. Bike lane or not. A smart city bicyclist has to realize that it is a city fact of life that bus drivers have to repeatedly pull in and out of the right most part of the street to do their job. Asserting your alleged "rights" by playing dodge with a known hazard of city cycling is not smart cycling.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:25 AM   #9
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if you've got the groove on, the traffic weave with a city bus is not that tough. just be aware they're going to be curbhugging and cutting you off. One technique is that once the the bus begins to pass, gets past your nose and a stop is ahead, feather back and pass on the left. Repeat.

you can leapfrog a city bus. be aware the drivers hate you.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:29 AM   #10
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If you are familiar with the locations of the bus stops along your route, you can chose to:

1. Outrun it. If the stops are very block or so, and your fitness allows it.
2. Hang back and let it get ahead of you.

Good advice from everyone. Glad you weren't hurt
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Old 02-03-07, 10:36 AM   #11
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+ 1 on not playing leap frog with a bus or semi or other very long vehicle with a large turning radius and multiple blind spots.... While it may be fun the first time, surviving the learning curve of "VC Large Vehicle Leap Frog" is steep with limited odds of success.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:44 AM   #12
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Buses always have the right of way. They need only to signal and pull out into traffic--- traffic- including bikes, must let them back in. In many areas, it is also illegal to turn right in front of a stopped bus. No wonder they drive like maniacs--- they can basically do no wrong.
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Old 02-03-07, 10:50 AM   #13
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"I thought the bus was supposed to be on the same team."

Well, in terms of providing city dwellers with an alternate means, besides the car, of transportation, yes.

But on the other hand, he's our direct competition. If bus passengers are already peeved at the latest fare hike to $2.00, then they see bicycles going faster than the bus, they just might quit riding the bus and get a bicycle. With a two-dollar bus fare, a bicycle could pay for itself in two months.

No, the bus is out to win passengers, it's not on the same team as us.
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Old 02-03-07, 11:30 AM   #14
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"I thought the bus was supposed to be on the same team."
Sez who? Mr. Straw Man?
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Old 02-03-07, 02:10 PM   #15
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This has happened to me a couple of times.
On my home I ride on a road with 2 lanes of regular traffic and a transit lane on the right, absolutely no shoulder to speak of. At the time I'm usually riding home there is light traffic. More than once, a bus pulls up behind me- I am riding in the transit lane off to the right side- and just lays on the horn. Each time there is no other traffic preventing the bus from moving left and passing me. When the bus finally does pass, it is within inches, and again the bus has plenty of room to pass safely.
I called the transit company and reported the incident. The person implied it was my fault for riding in the transit lane, even though there is absolutely no shoulder to ride on.
So I feel your frustration.
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Old 02-03-07, 02:36 PM   #16
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Glad you are ok. Report it, they can figure out who did it to you and WILL take action. (At least, if they are like our transit here they will.)

It seems that many bus drivers have cyclists. I have had run ins with them as well but do not remember the details all that well. Dont let one idiot stop you from enjoying your bike.
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Old 02-03-07, 03:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filtersweep
Buses always have the right of way. They need only to signal and pull out into traffic--- traffic- including bikes, must let them back in. In many areas, it is also illegal to turn right in front of a stopped bus. No wonder they drive like maniacs--- they can basically do no wrong.
Correct, and one of my strongest arguments against Mass transit. The government, which runs the system, sets it up as a can-do-no-wrong legal entity. And by the way if it does some wrong, you go in front of (drum roll please the same local government officials to argue your case.

The fact that none of these overpaid pansy-assed judges and lawyers would be caught dead riding a bus doesn't salve their guilt about the fact that no one else does, and who do you think you are! YOU ARE! on a bike. If you were a tried and true fan of mass transit you would be ON THE BUS, not blocking it, you ninny! Didn't you have Ralph Kramden fantasies as a kid?

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Old 02-03-07, 03:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughstuff
Correct, and one of my strongest arguments against Mass transit. The government, which runs the system, sets it up as a can-do-no-wrong legal entity. And by the way if it does some wrong, you go in front of (drum roll please the same local government officials to argue your case.

The fact that none of these overpaid pansy-assed judges and lawyers would be caught dead riding a bus doesn't salve their guilt about the fact that no one else does, and who do you think you are! YOU ARE! on a bike. If you were a tried and true fan of mass transit you would be ON THE BUS, not blocking it, you ninny! Didn't you have Ralph Kramden fantasies as a kid?

roughstuff
The problem is, not everyone wants to make every trip by bicycle, not everyone can, some people don't want to, or can't drive either, so transit in some form is needed. However buses are a terrible way to implement mass transit, they are noisy, they are stinky, and can, on occassion be operated by a dumb**s

Much better is the streetcar, little noise, no stink, and even if the operator is a dumb**s they can not swerve to buzz you. The only issue is the track can eat a bicycle wheel, and can be slippy when wet, so you need to cross them at a greater then 45 degree angle, or bunny-hop them, something that I am sure you only forget once
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Old 02-03-07, 08:25 PM   #19
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The idea that buses always have the right of way is yet another urban myth.

Some states and provinces require traffic *behind* the bus to yield to them as they merge back in after a stop. This doesn't mean that they can plow into a vehicle that is legally already passing them.

They are held to the same standards as the rest of us. Definitely complain to the transit company with as much detail as possible.
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Old 02-03-07, 09:04 PM   #20
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I had this similar situation happen with a bus and I just followed him to the next stop. I went up to him and he wouldn't open the door. I just told him, that I would kick is azz if he tried something like that with me. I would go to a stop up the road and ditch my bike and just kick the crap out of him. I will NOT be bullied by anyone on the f'n road. I have had it and will make an example out of someone at some point. I am no joking either. I almost threw my bike through some guy's windshield one time. I would do it if I feel threatened. I just don't care anymore.
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Old 02-05-07, 10:03 AM   #21
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Thanks guys. Next time I'll take a different approach to this situation. I'll try that is.
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Old 02-05-07, 11:47 AM   #22
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I used to hate playing leapfrog with the buses coming from La Jolla. Even if you slowed down and let em get ahead inevitably here comes another one right behind it. I switched to side roads, safer but took longer.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:40 PM   #23
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There is no excuse for aggressive driving, especially from a city bus driver. Get the number and report him if you can.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:50 PM   #24
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I run into similar problems with buses in philadelphia all the time. The worst is when there is a bike lane and a bunch of bus stops. I've learned to be cautious to any bus near a stop in fear of dumbasses exiting the bus without looking both ways on the bike path. Yes I know I should yeild to this type of behavior but its not always obvious if a street corner is a bus stop nor do buses always pull over, Typically what happen is that bus will pull over just into the bike lane, usually cutting any cyclist off. The biggest annoyance of this is that I can't do much to win against a bus. A car will get the hood tap some type of confrontation. Bus driver no idea. Die septa die.
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Old 02-05-07, 12:58 PM   #25
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Transit companies do take complaints seriously, always report bad behaviour even if you sparked it somehow, a professional driver should not respond.

Leapfrog w/bus = bad.
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