Well most people would agree that stopping for red light is NOT dangerous, but the other day something happened to at least give me pause.
I was riding with a friend through a three block long business district. About 50 feet behind us was a bus. My friend was riding too close to the curb and rather tentatively, so I pulled into the middle of the lane and proceeded about 10 feet behind her. In the first block, she drifted through the stop, but I came to a complete stop. She was now a bit farther ahead now. So I sped up to about 22 mph, then started to slow down again for the second stop. At this point I made the slowing down hand gesture, (left hand at a 45 degree angle). The bus was right behind me as I came to a complete stop. I heard the bus stop abruptly. That is when the bus driver started to swear at me. Nothing specific, like “let me get past you @#% %^&*, but just your general cuss words of displeasure.
Apparently I had irritated the bus driver by coming to a complete stop! I accelerated over the 200 foot long blocks at pretty much the same speed as the empty bus and that might have pissed him off as well, presuming here that he wanted to pass but simply lacked the power and safety margin to do that in a city bus.
Now the one thing that occurred to me is that the bus driver was anticipating me running the stop. Perhaps it is because his route is on a tight street with lots of stops, traffic and bikes and he sees cyclists run light all day long. Another thing is that he probably blows off 20% or more stops on the smaller residential streets.
Hearing the swearing, my friend looks back to see what all the noise was about.
Well about a minute later, we intersect paths with the bus again. This time the bus was crossing right to left in front of us at an intersection. Well the bus "hero" gets out of the bus and really starts laying on the swear words and calling me to, "settle this up in the street". I say something about how I just followed the law and that there where witnesses all around. That pretty much got him to shut up and jump in the bus and take off.
So did I do the right thing, or should I have yielded to the lumbering bus and should have chosen to ride behind him sniffing his exhaust? Or should I have blown off the signs?
Of course we called the bus driver complaint line, but that really is about all I could do. I got the bus number, but not the driver's badge. Seems like the bus drivers are immune from getting in trouble for this type of thing. I once saw a bus cut off a motorcycle cop! The cop pulled up to the driver and begin to criticize him and the driver just said your not going to give me a ticket, so why don’t you just drive off. Which the MC cop did!
This happened in Pittsburgh at Bryant and St Clair., I was on Bryant. It was a Negley bus.