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Old 10-13-08, 05:27 PM   #1
SlumberMachine
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Almost got run over by a city bus

So I was riding on a small downtown street here. 25mph street and I was doing 15. The street does have bike lanes so I was using it, kinda sore, tired, and spacey after riding (my first in many many years) 20+ miles. I hear a horn, three small beeps. and it took a second to realize it was for me. Next thing I realize and see/hear in my rear view mirror is a big city bus coming up close behind me and it was that bus that was honking at me.

So I move over more to the side since maybe the bus was worried I was too far over in my bike lane and that is when I saw the bus-stop bench ahead of me. Obviously the bus was honking to let me know that he is going to pull over to the bus-stop. I started riding harder and moved over to the far right of the bike lane so I wouldn't be in the way. The bus drove up besides me and continued to move to the right and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid being pinched between the curb and the bus. Then, once the bus got in front of me it stopped at the bus stop completely blocking my way.

I couldn't go around to the left of the bus because there was only enough room for the busy cars going by and I don't have enough experience yet to ride with cars in that situation, and also, that aggressive bus driver probably would have just pulled out into me anyway. So I had to go onto the sidewalk and I ended up getting stuck behind peds. Grrrr.

Anyway, just venting cause if the bus driver could have just waited like 5 more seconds he could have drove up into the bus stop without any issue. Without putting my life in danger and without making me go around. Should I report this to the local transportation agency or do busses have the right to make bikes yeild and just pull into bus stops like that? I somewhat doubt that.
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Old 10-13-08, 05:39 PM   #2
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bus drivers most important priority is their schedule, not your safety

damn right report it
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Old 10-13-08, 06:51 PM   #3
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Report, on the double. Roster number of the bus at XYZ time down said route should be entirely sufficient.

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Old 10-13-08, 08:16 PM   #4
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in this case...i usually slow down and let the bus pass me instead of trying to get in front of the bus. but that just me...i rather ride another day then waste my time reporting.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:30 PM   #5
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take your rightful place on the road, and make the bus driver slow down for a change.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:45 PM   #6
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I understand why someone would be cowed into doing what the OP did. But it's taking your life in your hands. If a bus driver had done that to me, I'd be on the bus trying to figure out how to give him the Cinzano.

Last time a bus honked at me, I just waved and moved further out into the lane. We had both started from the same red light and we were going to a red light a few hundred feet up.
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Old 10-13-08, 08:55 PM   #7
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Bus drivers, postmen, cops, basically anyone with a government job. They know they can get away with it. So, they drive however they want. Usually fast & reckless.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:09 PM   #8
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As others have said, report it immediately. Next time, you might not have the chance to get away.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:13 PM   #9
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2 choices

i feel for ya, but from all the reading of car-bike accidents, it seems that the best 2 choices are ALWAYS to either make yourself more seen or prominent in the lane or roadway by declaring space, or to stop/slow-down.

i don't live in a city (more like a small town), and always take extra time to get places, so i try to avoid situations when i'm in a hurry and am tempted to speed-up to get somewhere. its like i've posted in my blog about commuting: sometimes its best to go bike-speed instead of trying to go car-speed or faster in general. to me, its like riding in the left lane (in a car): it can be faster, but its usually more stressful.
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Old 10-13-08, 09:58 PM   #10
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don't give up your space, if someone is honking at you like that when you are in the bike lane, move out into the actual lane. And when the bus stopped in front of you like that you should've gotten onto the bus and gave the driver a piece of your mind and THEN reporting it, adding to the report that the driver verbally abused you...

People really shouldn't be scared of riding on the street..especially in the middle of the lane..
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Old 10-14-08, 07:07 AM   #11
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did you get the bus number, time, location?

Report It! and get a case # for reference (check on progress)

been there, done that.

glad you're ok!
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Old 10-14-08, 07:19 AM   #12
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Report it! I did that with a cab company the other day when one of their vehicles tried to take me out. Management put a shot across their bow about it. It also helped that I mentioned the fact that the institution where I work is a significant market for their services.
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Old 10-14-08, 08:27 AM   #13
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You may also want to contact your favorite elected city official and ask him/her for help on the best way to report a dangerous transit driver. Don't complain, but ask for help. Most elected officials go into duck and cover when you complain, but love to advocate for one of their voters and can get you through at least one set of transit system barriers.
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Old 10-22-08, 01:49 AM   #14
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Well, I e-mailed the situation to the VTA (Santa Clara Valley Transportation agency) customer service e-mail on their web-site. I think it was positive, I got a response asking for more information on direction of travel and such. So far so good. I'll follow up to this thread if I get another response.
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Old 10-22-08, 09:25 AM   #15
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In Montreal the bike lane is dotted at bus stops to allow busses to move into the bike lane. I would have moved over the the left of the bus lane so it could pass me on the inside. Then neither of us would have been delayed.
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Old 10-22-08, 07:41 PM   #16
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VTA? You should sign up with the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition. It will get you a lot of e-mails discussing cycling, but they might have a direct number and name for you to contact about this.

http://bikesiliconvalley.org/


That driver was a tool. When I ride the bus between Diridon and my work, the drivers always wait until a cyclist clears the stop, then pulls over.
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Old 10-22-08, 09:40 PM   #17
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I would have accelerated and stayed right in front of the bus until it got to the stop. If the stop was far away, and the bus was still going full speed to get to it, I would have pulled off on the right and tailed behind the bus. If for some reason the bus was going really fast right up until it got to the stop with no space to pull off on the right like you say, I would have moved to the left of the bus and let it pass me on the inside to get to the stop. In most cases, a bicycle is faster than a bus slowing down to a stop.
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Old 10-23-08, 12:37 AM   #18
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Man, you totally should have gone commando on his headlight.
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Old 10-23-08, 12:47 AM   #19
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I filed a report with our transit system today as one of city drivers almost ran me off the road when he passed me and cut me off as he rolled up to his next stop... all he had to do was wait 5 seconds and I would have passed the stop as I was running hard and fast.

It was bad day to be on the roads... the drivers were far worse than usual.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:18 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlumberMachine View Post
So I was riding on a small downtown street here. 25mph street and I was doing 15. The street does have bike lanes so I was using it, kinda sore, tired, and spacey after riding (my first in many many years) 20+ miles. I hear a horn, three small beeps. and it took a second to realize it was for me. Next thing I realize and see/hear in my rear view mirror is a big city bus coming up close behind me and it was that bus that was honking at me.

So I move over more to the side since maybe the bus was worried I was too far over in my bike lane and that is when I saw the bus-stop bench ahead of me. Obviously the bus was honking to let me know that he is going to pull over to the bus-stop. I started riding harder and moved over to the far right of the bike lane so I wouldn't be in the way. The bus drove up besides me and continued to move to the right and I had to slam on my breaks to avoid being pinched between the curb and the bus. Then, once the bus got in front of me it stopped at the bus stop completely blocking my way.

I couldn't go around to the left of the bus because there was only enough room for the busy cars going by and I don't have enough experience yet to ride with cars in that situation, and also, that aggressive bus driver probably would have just pulled out into me anyway. So I had to go onto the sidewalk and I ended up getting stuck behind peds. Grrrr.

Anyway, just venting cause if the bus driver could have just waited like 5 more seconds he could have drove up into the bus stop without any issue. Without putting my life in danger and without making me go around. Should I report this to the local transportation agency or do busses have the right to make bikes yeild and just pull into bus stops like that? I somewhat doubt that.
You wouldn't be the first person killed by a city bus. Bus drivers can be pretty aggressive, so always give them plenty of berth and never expect courtesy. Live to write about it.
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Old 10-23-08, 06:30 AM   #21
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You wouldn't be the first person killed by a city bus. Bus drivers can be pretty aggressive, so always give them plenty of berth and never expect courtesy. Live to write about it.
Actually, while bus drivers are often obnoxious and rude, they are rarely lethal. There's just no gray area with them.

My attitude toward the road is that I own it, as my taxes have paid for it. All other users are treated graciously and with courtesy, as I would treat all guests. However, those guests who abuse my hospitality are told to leave. That goes double for people like city bus drivers, who are also, after all, my employees.
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Old 10-23-08, 09:09 AM   #22
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Man, you totally should have gone commando on his headlight.
I could see going postal or gettin' medieval on it, but free-balling it in the headlight beam?

That's just weird.
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Old 10-23-08, 10:23 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by SlumberMachine View Post
Anyway, just venting cause if the bus driver could have just waited like 5 more seconds he could have drove up into the bus stop without any issue. Without putting my life in danger and without making me go around. Should I report this to the local transportation agency or do busses have the right to make bikes yeild and just pull into bus stops like that? I somewhat doubt that.
Curses. Its bad enough when someone thinks they own the road. With publicly funded mass transit the local authorities have every incentive to come down on the side of the transit workers, as well. Its a conflict of interest that makes me very leery of such schemes.

Buses get ya both ways...they have to pull INTO their stops (which cuts across a bike line, or shoulder, if you are lucky enough to have either) and they have to pull back out into traffic (which hurts you if you decide to pass them on the left). You are correct...they don't look, either way. Get a good lawyer if ya need one...fighting city hall, the local transit union, and hizzoner ain't no fun.


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Old 10-23-08, 12:23 PM   #24
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Buses are great for drafting though, and they work well as a shield against cars when they run red lights or force their way into a left turn and you get to go along beside them. It's also easy to flirt with cute passengers looking out the window.
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Old 10-23-08, 01:01 PM   #25
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Buses get ya both ways...they have to pull INTO their stops (which cuts across a bike line, or shoulder, if you are lucky enough to have either) and they have to pull back out into traffic (which hurts you if you decide to pass them on the left). You are correct...they don't look, either way. Get a good lawyer if ya need one...fighting city hall, the local transit union, and hizzoner ain't no fun.


roughstuff
When the buses in the area the OP was riding in turn on their left turn signal to merge into traffic, the law requires traffic to stop and yield to them. Waiting a few seconds for a cyclist so they can pull into the stop doesn't impact their schedule.
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