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  1. #1
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    3 feet rule, please tell me how to deal with city bus driver. Help.

    Ok, maybe I will try here. Please move me if this is the wrong place.

    City buy came close, about 8-10 inches from me today on purpose. We were able to catch him about 200' down the road because he had to stop. We were all in single file in the gutter or construction lane(construction going on but still two wide lanes were completely open. He comes into our lane and almost brushed up against me. I ask him (young men in his late 20s, early 30s) about the 3" rule, he said you should not have been in there and need to ride in the regular lane so it doesn't apply with a really cocky attitude. he stopped there and said "call the cop". Real piece of work. I should have only a young kid came up to us and said he's started a new job and he might late, and begged us to let it go. We got his bus number, and not sure the cops,Yeah LAPD, is going to do anything about it, or laugh me out of the station. I am thinking about going there right now. This happened at 4:30 today. What do you suggest? I the past 30 years I have dealt with them and are very tire of them, not regular drivers, but bus drivers. They seem to cut you off when they feel like it.

    Jeff

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  2. #2
    johnliu@earthlink.net jyl's Avatar
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    Typing on the iPhone I see!

    Report him to the transit (bus) agency. Be specific - where, when, names, his response to you.

    One such report might do nothing but as his personnel file fills with these, I think eventually there will be consequences for him. And of course if he hits someone, it will help the victim recover damages.

    I don't know about reporting to LAPD. I mean, I'd do it too, if it isn't a big hassle.

    Here in Portland, you can tell the bus drivers have been very specifically trained about bikes. They are the safest vehicles to be near.
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  3. #3
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    Hi, John,

    Well, i just went down to the police station and got the typical cop respond. How do I know, he could have just been a little tired, again, none of us were there. Report it to the bus company. I don't know nothing about the 3' rule? So, it was a complete waste of time.

    For those that question about my riding and many of you that don't know me (from thread transfer). I raced for 15 years starting from the mid 80s. No, we/I don't cruise in the middle of the road and always ride closest to the right. I only need about one foot of space, because I ride very straight and have no sudden movements. No talking during rides, normally. avg speed is around 20 so try to stay with flow during traffic hour, not that's important. Over the years, I have had stuff thrown at me, coke poured over my head from a pick up truck while I was waiting for a green light, so I am no stranger to this kind of crap. Believe me, I am tired of the cyclist who take up the whole lane yapping away with their friends doing 10 mph thinking they have god given rights to hold everyone up. Some bus drivers are a real pain in my azz and I am really tire of them..

  4. #4
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Honestly,

    1. Report it to the bus company and see how they respond.

    2. Don't forget that he's driving a bus and you're on a bike. Don't fight every battle. If the bus company takes it seriously, then push some, if they don't then ignore it.

    3. It's 3', not 3". He probably gave you closer to 3" than 3'.
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  5. #5
    ♋ ☮♂ ☭ ☯ -=(8)=-'s Avatar
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    Look on the bright side, if it was a school bus, he would have hit you

    I have lots of very close calls with metro buses. I can only suppose they get angry because I/we hold them up for a second as they are getting to there stops, since we by nature are right-lane users. I like the frequent-- pass left, hard swerve right, jam on the brakes-- move, to do their next pick-up.
    Ok, I get it, you didnt want to follow me for 20 more yards, have a great day, asset to humanity you are

  6. #6
    Senior Member bibliobob's Avatar
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    Police won't do anything.

    Call the bus company and lodge a complaint. Enough complaints, and he'll be suspended...
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  7. #7
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
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    Call bus company with vehicle number.

    Talking to cops or driver is waste of time.

    In Georgia three feet is not a rule, it's the law.

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    Contact the bus company. I got a great response from our local bus company when I reported a driver for passing too closely. They reviewed the video from the bus, agreed with me, talked to the driver, and even put up some educational material in the drivers break room. I haven't had a close pass from a bus since.

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    Maybe I'm naive, but if CA actually has a 3' law (some states do not), I'd print out a copy of the law and ask the police again. Don't know that law? Here it is!

    Have you asked your local bike advocacy group for advice?

  10. #10
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Get a video camera and record the incident. Maybe the news media woiuld be interested.

  11. #11
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Get a video camera and record the incident. Maybe the news media woiuld be interested.
    I agree with reporting it to the bus company. Buses in San Diego County have cameras to capture incidents like this. LA buses might also have them.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jyl View Post
    Typing on the iPhone I see!

    Report him to the transit (bus) agency. Be specific - where, when, names, his response to you. ....
    .
    +1000

    Cops aren't likely to do much, but the bus company (city or private contractor) will. Of course the likely response will be a lecture, and maybe a note in his file. But I gather you're more interested in solving the problem than punishing the driver.

    Fleet operators are very conscious of the cost of liability claims, both valid, and BS. They do everything possible to make sure their drivers drive safely and conservatively. Here in Westchester County, the operator instructs drivers to slow, announce their presence with a tap on the horn, and pass at a low speed differential with wide separation. Drivers here don't all tap the horn but they pass with about half a lane separating us.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member longbeachgary's Avatar
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    It's important to follow up on incidents like this. Yesterday a cyclist was killed by a passenger bus in southern california.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Sometimes only a lawsuit will get an agency attention , particularly LA ..

    its how America communicates ,


    oh and the ***, that is a communication tool as well, sadly.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 01-24-14 at 01:13 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterw_diy View Post
    Maybe I'm naive, but if CA actually has a 3' law (some states do not) ...
    It does not - yet. It was passed last year and goes into effect in September. Unfortunately it also has a loophole that if there isn't room for a 3' clearance it's ok to pass as long as it's done 'safely'.

    An incident with a city bus I'd report to the transit agency including the time, location, and (if possible) the bus number. Much more likely to get positive results that way than reporting to the police where the usual attitude is that if they didn't see it there's nothing they can do.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Hoshnasi's Avatar
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    I take the lane... 3' rule or not, it sounds like you were not in a comfortable enough position considering the road conditions to be sharing the lane with any vehicle. Let alone a dang bus.

    Take the lane next time or enough of it that forces the motorist to consciously merge into the other lane to pass. There is something about make the motorist enter another lane that makes them really cautious.

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  17. #17
    Seńior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    if there isn't room for a 3' clearance it's ok to pass as long as it's done 'safely'.
    Does that mean that they don't have to wait for oncoming traffic to clear, but can squeeze by in the lane even if it's a substandard lane? That's a useless law then. The way to respond to that is to really take the lane so it's not possible to get by within the lane.
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  18. #18
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    I know in San Francisco, the city bus drivers are bad - I generally avoid getting closet to them at any cost when on a bike.

    I have wondered how the 3' rule works if you are in a shoulder or a bike lane. I get passed by buses and large vehicles by less then 3' while I am in a bike lane all the time, particularly buses that are usually about a foot away.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Hoshnasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Does that mean that they don't have to wait for oncoming traffic to clear, but can squeeze by in the lane even if it's a substandard lane? That's a useless law then. The way to respond to that is to really take the lane so it's not possible to get by within the lane.
    Exactly and yes, as the the law is written, it provides an 'out' to let people squeeze by based on the drivers perception of what is "safe".

    Take the lane, problem -almost always- solved.

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  20. #20
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    Remember the first rule of complaint: Complain to the right person.

    The customer service people at the transit company are the wrong people.

    The person you want to speak with the the "Safety Director". Call the business number, not the customer service number. Speak with the safety director. Do your best to remain unemotional, non-accusatory. Just the facts. Report the date, time, location and unit number of the offending bus.

    Conversely, I've developed a good relationship with the safety director at my local transit authority by also phoning in "attaboys".
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by prathmann View Post
    It does not - yet. It was passed last year and goes into effect in September. Unfortunately it also has a loophole that if there isn't room for a 3' clearance it's ok to pass as long as it's done 'safely'.

    An incident with a city bus I'd report to the transit agency including the time, location, and (if possible) the bus number. Much more likely to get positive results that way than reporting to the police where the usual attitude is that if they didn't see it there's nothing they can do.
    I don't have a problem with that. Here in New York we're used to close passing. For me it isn't as much how close to how fast, and the actual conditions. Streets are narrow, and if cyclists insist on a 3" rule, or take the lane all traffic would move at bicycle speed, and the backlash would be staggering. I take the lane, but make it a point to move over to allow a pass, including a close pass, when speeds and conditions warrant it.

    The street grid isn't perfect, and if we all (cars and bikes) insisted on a "rights" or rule book approach to sharing limited road space, it would be an unworkable mess. Common sense, flexibility, respect and courtesy are needed to make things work safely and efficiently.

    Road cooperation has served me well for almost 50 years, and I expect they'll continue to do so. Yes, there are jerks, out there, but laws on the books aren't going to change that, and anyway they're few and far between.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    nothing good about a city bus. nothing good at all. hope you can avoid them altogether!
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hoshnasi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I don't have a problem with that. Here in New York we're used to close passing. For me it isn't as much how close to how fast, and the actual conditions. Streets are narrow, and if cyclists insist on a 3" rule, or take the lane all traffic would move at bicycle speed, and the backlash would be staggering. I take the lane, but make it a point to move over to allow a pass, including a close pass, when speeds and conditions warrant it.

    The street grid isn't perfect, and if we all (cars and bikes) insisted on a "rights" or rule book approach to sharing limited road space, it would be an unworkable mess. Common sense, flexibility, respect and courtesy are needed to make things work safely and efficiently.

    Road cooperation has served me well for almost 50 years, and I expect they'll continue to do so. Yes, there are jerks, out there, but laws on the books aren't going to change that, and anyway they're few and far between.
    IDK what point you are trying to make. Your opinion on taking the lane or not is subjective based on your comfort level.

    If you can give motorists more space and feel safe, great. I on the other hand cannot. In those few and short duration situations I take the lane and make the motorists consciously merge to the other lane to pass me.

    Further I disagree that cycling asserting themselves (when imperative) would drag the flow of traffic down. It would be a momentary slow, one that in most situations has another lane motorists can flow into.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoshnasi View Post
    IDK what point you are trying to make. Your opinion on taking the lane or not is subjective based on your comfort level.

    If you can give motorists more space and feel safe, great. I on the other hand cannot. In those few and short duration situations I take the lane and make the motorists consciously merge to the other lane to pass me.

    Further I disagree that cycling asserting themselves (when imperative) would drag the flow of traffic down. It would be a momentary slow, one that in most situations has another lane motorists can flow into.
    Everything is relative and situational. If there's a short amount of time needed before a good passing opportunity, so much the better. However, many eastern cities have narrow roads dating to the horse and buggy era, often running for miles without decent passing opportunities. So we have to make them.

    Understand, I'm not saying anybody is wrong for riding however they do. That's between them and the folks in the area. I'm just saying I prefer to avoid making it an issue of rights, and try to strike a balance between my needs, and those of my fellow road users.

    I try to apply the golden rule on a bike, the same way I try (try- not always succeed) in my daily life.

    BTW- required passing clearance is subjective, and probably depends on where you live and your cycling experience.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    nothing good about a city bus. nothing good at all. hope you can avoid them altogether!
    It must depend on where you live, I find the drivers here to be super professional and respectful of my needs on the road. On my evening ride home, I often end up playing leap frog with the bus for 3-4 miles since we both have the same average speed. They never pass and trap me approaching stops, and use their left signal to let me know whether to pass or hold back and let them out.

    If the only motor vehicles I encountered on my ride home were buses, and Fedex, I'd be a very happy camper.
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    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

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