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Old 02-13-11, 03:37 PM   #1
RonH
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Attention Atlanta folks -- watch out for Marta buses -- update # 2

I had a very close call with a Marta bus today. I was riding east from Avondale Estates toward Stone Mountain on Church Street. At one point on the road between North Decatur Rd and Glendale Dr I was passed VERY CLOSE by a Marta bus. I'm talking less than 6 inches clearance. I managed to catch up with the bus a block later. I asked the driver if he realized how close he was when he passed me and then asked if he could give cyclists a little more room in the future. He just said "#@%* you, get on the bike path". I could see if was pointless to continue the conversation so I rode off. He caught up with me a few hundred feet later and swerved over toward me. I thought he was going to run me down this time. Through the open door he shouted for me to "get off the #@%*ing road". He then sped away.
I called the Marta police since it was Sunday. I'm calling Marta's customer service tomorrow.
I thought all the Marta drivers were "educated" about how to pass a cyclist, etc.
This driver should not be driving a bus if he is going to endanger cyclists.

I also sent this to the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (www.atlantabike.org). They love stories like this.
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Old 02-13-11, 05:26 PM   #2
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Ron, glad you got away OK. By all means pursue this as far as you can with Marta. This guy should not be on the road serving the public. Please follow up with your results.
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Old 02-13-11, 05:47 PM   #3
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Ron, glad you weren't hurt. That level of unprofessional behavior is simply inexcusable.
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Old 02-13-11, 05:49 PM   #4
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I've had so many bad experiences with MARTA in general that this doesn't surprise me at all.

You were able to get the bus number and everything?
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Old 02-13-11, 05:54 PM   #5
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Ron. Did you run this one off the road?

http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...w=1178&bih=603
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Old 02-13-11, 06:41 PM   #6
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Ron. Did you run this one off the road?
Good one. I hadn't seen those pics before.
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Old 02-14-11, 02:51 AM   #7
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I'm surprised to hear you single out MARTA drivers. My experience with them has been very good, with rare exceptions. If I were to nominate one group of fleet drivers for a "Worst of Atlanta" award if would be the taxis -- no contest.
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Old 02-14-11, 07:53 AM   #8
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I posted this because this is the first time I've had a close call with a Marta bus since 2001. Most of the time they give cyclists lots of room when passing.
True taxi drivers around here are awful. When I was bike commuting I had a few unpleasant experiences with them.
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Old 02-15-11, 04:56 PM   #9
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For all you ATL folks I received two follow-up emails from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC), an email from Marta's customer service dept, and an email from Marta's Director of Bus Transportation.
The CS person was very apologetic and said Marta would definitely follow up on this incident and the driver would be disciplined. The director too was very apologetic and said that all Marta drivers are currently going through a Defensive Driving Program to help them understand the rules of the road for ALL users of the roadways. Maybe something good may come from this.
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Old 02-16-11, 07:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for the update and more importantly, thanks for following up. There is no reason MARTA drivers should behave that way.
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Old 02-17-11, 10:55 AM   #11
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Just had to reply to this. I used to bike a lot in Seattle, my home town, and have recently taken it up again here in Decatur. Coming out of the MARTA station in downtown Decatur on Swanton Way, I have been cut off twice by a MARTA bus turning right at the light where Swanton intersects with Commerce. The bus went around me and crossed my path to turn right on Commerce as I was heading straight through the intersection. The second time the bus came within inches of hitting me. I wonder if it was the same driver. Anyway, be careful!
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Old 02-17-11, 03:57 PM   #12
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Call or email Marta's customer service dept. They want to know about these kinds of incidents. The folks at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (www.atlantabike.org) are currently working with Marta on cycling safety issues.
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Old 02-18-11, 01:08 PM   #13
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I received an email from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (ABC) today.
Quote:
ABC has had three reports of aggressive driving this week. They are putting some feelers out to law enforcement and their contacts at the Governor's Office of Highway Safety.
Three reports of aggressive driving??? Sounds kinda scary!!
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Old 03-27-11, 12:02 PM   #14
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Here in louisville the TARC buses are generally great. They rarely pass you unless there is a 2nd lane. Guess the friendliness comes from the busses having bike racks on board
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Old 03-27-11, 01:14 PM   #15
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Here in louisville the TARC buses are generally great. They rarely pass you unless there is a 2nd lane. Guess the friendliness comes from the busses having bike racks on board
Bike racks on buses have nothing to do with it. Marta buses have had bike racks since about 2002.
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Old 04-02-11, 02:35 PM   #16
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I'd be happy with one of those handlebar mounted rocket launchers.
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Old 04-03-11, 05:45 PM   #17
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I live in Stockbridge, McDonough Henry County area and people drive close to you there. I can't see myself cycling on the streets of Atlanta or Dekalb County were this incident took place. I drive down busy Moreland Ave and see cyclist out there. I have mad respect for you guys that do ride on the streets of Atlanta. Bad enough in a car or truck.
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Old 04-04-11, 08:29 AM   #18
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WTF? MARTA slows traffic and inhibits proper flow way more than cyclists do... worthless Dbags... how many people were actually on the bus? ONE? maybe TWO? I always see those empty oversized busses clogging up traffic because they can't make a proper turn around some of Atlanta's narrow streets. Next time I'm weaseling my way around one of these brick walls they allow on the road, I'll laugh as i'm reminded how the few occupants could get where they're going much more efficiently on a bike.
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Old 09-01-11, 07:30 AM   #19
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Lucky me. Now I have my very own MARTA bus story. To save time I'm just going to copy and paste my complaint to MARTA. Be safe out there, people.

On Monday evening I was cycling on Lawrenceville Highway near the 285 overpass. That's when bus 2919 passed me within a foot of my left shoulder. I noticed the bus was very close to the right side of the lane when he passed me but after he passed me he then went back into the center/left side of the lane. As a cyclist I recognize this as a common behavior of harassing motorists and it is usually intentional. I caught up to the bus at the next light and told the driver that he came way too close to me. At first he tried to ignore me, then he finally looked over and just nodded his head in a "whatever" fashion and then looked straight ahead again.

Now I can't say if this drivers behavior was intentional or whether he just wasn't paying attention. If it was intentional.....this is inexcusable. If he just wasn't paying attention......this is inexcusable. The drivers attitude was appalling and I can't imagine this is a rare occurrence for him.



While cyclists are expected to travel as far right in a lane as is safe and reasonable, sometimes a cyclist must move left in a lane to avoid objects or broken road. Had I moved to the left at that moment I would have been hit by bus 2919. You may also be aware that the state of Georgia has passed a law requiring motorists to give cyclists 3 feet while passing. While I don't think this is always reasonable or practical also I don't believe a bus should pass within inches of a cyclist.

A few months ago another local cyclist posted in Bikeforums (read by several thousand people each day) of similar careless behavior by another (or maybe the same) MARTA driver. This careless behavior will eventually lead to someones death and I hope that MARTA will discipline this driver and educate other drivers before that happens.
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Old 09-01-11, 09:29 AM   #20
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Send your story to Rebecca at the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition (www.atlantabike.org). The email link is here (http://www.atlantabike.org/contact/information%20). They'll get back to you ASAP. They're very concerned about bus/bike problems. They have an on-going project of working with Marta to get their drivers "trained".
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Old 09-01-11, 11:16 AM   #21
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Already done. And Rebecca has already responded. She says they've been hearing a lot of this lately. I think what pisses me off most is the expression on that drivers face. Like "yeah, so what. I'll do as I please." If it weren't for that I may have just let it go and not sent complaints. But this guy got under my skin.
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Old 09-02-11, 03:26 PM   #22
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Must be the same driver that I had a problem with last Feb. His response to me was F you.
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