Ok so what is a bike supposed to do when it comes to buses?
Here is a scene from my commute though: There is a light, and not right after it but pretty close (less than half a block) is a bus stop. Then about a block later is a railroad crossing (so buses all stop to open their doors). Then about 2 – 3 blocks later there is another bus stop.
I always thought that if a bus pulls to the curb, just go around it (assuming traffic is free enough). However, I did that the other day and the driver only had one person getting on and then he honked at me. I figured I was doing the right thing, but that he can’t see me (yeah, he shouldn’t go so fast he has no idea if someone is next to him, but that is another story). Then he proceeded to go around me, just to pull in front of me and stop for the railroad, so I went around him again (yes, I probably should have stopped this time, since I knew he was dumb, but I’d stopped there before and some of the buses stop FOREVER). Although annoyed, I figured it was just my bad luck that our timing was hitting that way that day, and then when he got to the next stop there was a bit of time before I would get to him so I just slowed, and then he was about ready to go once I got to him and I just waited. Yes, there are times that there is gray area — and on a bike and more vulnerable, I need to err on the side of caution at those times. However, yesterday didn’t seem like gray area to me.
Yesterday I’m at the light (it was red). A bus pulls up somewhat next to me, but stays behind me (although there was room in the lane). And it honks a few times. I was like, whatever, there is room if he really wanted to pull forward, and I’m allowed to be here too. Then the light turns green, and I go, as does the bus. Although he had stayed behind me at the light, as soon as it is green he moves up next to me, and stays there since his acceleration isn’t that good, and he knows he has to stop in a second. And so he does… starts pulling over to the right to hit the stop! While still next to me! WTF??? I pulled hard on the brakes to avoid getting pidgeonholed into the curb (or the doors they were going to open to let people in), and went around it. As I pass it, the driver honks a few more times, and points at his eyes, like he is saying “I can’t see you!” If he couldn’t see me, why did he honk at me at the light?!!? Is it just me, or should he have just gone to the curb behind me? It’s not like it was that far to the bus stop, or like he was going at all faster than me by the time we got there! So I was pissed, and yes, I think it was the same driver as the other time.
He pulls out of the stop a little bit after I passed (when I passed there were still people getting on, so it’s not like he could have been moving yet). He flies past and slams on his breaks pulling in front of me (very much cutting me off and again causing strong breaking, and strong words) for the railroad crossing. I’m sick of him, so I stop, wanting him to just keep going and get away from me, as I know he will by after his next stop. But he stays stopped for a while (like, I put a foot down, my HR monitor started beeping, etc). And then goes again. I just waited. And he was soon gone. But I was PISSED. My great morning ride in became a stress yesterday.
I am tempted to call the bus company and file a complaint against the driver, reporting his action right after the light (of pressing me into the curb, and coming close to side-swiping me). But at the same time, although I can give the company the exact time and location (wooo GPS), as well as the bus number (2 — there are a few routes that use some of the same stops), I am not sure I want to. I commute that way. It is one of the sections where it might be possible to pick another road, but with how badly the roads in that city are paved and how thin some are I’m really not sure if I could. I don’t want a pissed off bus driver knowing I “told on him” to be in a lane next to me (even if it is only about 1 or 2 times a month that we seem to have our timing matched).
And then I get a bit more frustrated and upset. I’m scared to report something that threatens my safety? And why? Because I don’t feel it will do any good. Because it seems like it could just make the situtation worse. Because he is like the bully on the playground that no on will stand up to, just glad it isn’t them getting picked on. And when getting picked on, you just take it because the teachers really don’t stop it anyways. But I don’t know that there is any good solution here, other than me avoiding him. *sigh*