Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Query...

I know a few people who read this ride their bikes somewhat regularely in town, and I've got a question about an altercation I witnessed today:

I was waiting on Robie St. across from the old QEH for bus 42. When the bus in question began up the slight incline to the bus stop, there was a man on his bicycle even with the back curbside wheels of the bus. Since I was standing there, wanting a ride, the bus needed to pull towards the curb, meaning the fellow on his bike was in an awkward position, his road narrowing and then disappearing. I didn't see exactly what he did, but as soon as the bus stopped, he pulled around and stuck his head in the door saying things like "Come on, man, you totally cut me off back there." The bus driver just denied having done anything of the sort, and after a couple exchanges of these phrases, the 42 pulled away down Robie.

(Completely unrelatedly, the bicycle beat us to the other end of Robie, primarily due to not having to wait all stacked up at traffic lights.)

So...what would have been correct procedure for both vehicles in that situation? Clearly the cyclist was in the awkward position of the disappearing lane, which would definitely be unpleasant, but the bus couldn't really have just not picked me up, because the entire point of the bus is to pick up and deposit passengers. It didn't appear that the bus was at all racing the guy--it was just an unfortunate bit of timing.

Who was in the wrong? What would have been the best procedure in that instance? Oh cyclists of the world, I ask you what you think!


Steph said...

As a bicycle commuter, (well, not today, but when the weather is nicer), I follow the rules of the road and treat my space on the road like a car would. No one in a car would attempt to pass a bus on the inside.

If the cyclist had been thinking ahead he would have realized that buses often pull over to pick up riders and wouldn't have been riding in that space in the first place.

Lesley said...

I agree with Steph.

My husband used to bike all the time in all weather before some arsehole stole his front wheel (bike was inside our building!). What he said was cyclists need to remember that every other vehicle on the road has the potentional to end your life...yield to them.

kit said...

While I have not actually read the post and have very little to contribute to the subject at hand, I am (delicately) hijacking this for a moment to try to get in touch with you (as all other methods are failing).

jkleclerc said...

I do not bike, but have learned to fear the bus in my car. Chances are, the bus is going to do what he wants whether you are in the way or not. The cyclist was taking a huge risk.

smartygirl said...

in my city, the law is that vehicles have to yield to buses... and i would assume that goes for cyclists too.