The Chainlink

Why do bus drivers see us in the bus stop and pull in at high speeds trying to pass us just as we start passing thru the bus stop

Several times I have been riding down the street to look over my shoulder and a CTA speeding up to try and pass me when I am a few inches from the bus stop they can force me off the road way.One time I was riding down Clark street right after Howard moving at a good rate of speed with a friend from work who wasnt as experienced as I am on the streets Good thing I looked to my left as I heard the busers transmission shift gears in the middle of the block as I came up to the bus stop the next thing I knew I was being forced to the curb.I was so close to the curb after stopping that I could not move to confront the bus driver of her action.The next block traffic was moving very slow so I took this oppertunity to tell the bus that,the bus out weighs me buy long shot and If I was not paying attention she would have ran me over.She simply told me stay out of the way and get out of the way.I could have sworn that there was a law passed that would ticket people for cutting off , opening cars doors other bad things of that nature to bicyclist.This is the reason that cop kicked that CTA bus drivers ass.He did the very same act to him cut him off in the bus stop.So we need law enforcement to step it up on CTA drivers as well.The cops I contacted sayed sayed if she didnt make contact with me there was nothing that they could do.B.S.I guess the next time I will be a Free Spirit.

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BE careful! If you have a collision and get a judgement against the CTA, it'll take several years to collect!
I have emailed the CTA before to complement drivers who were particularly bike-friendly, but today I sent in this complaint:

At 10:15 today (June 15th), I was riding my bike along Milwaukee. At Milwaukee and Western, the #56 bus, bus driver #45516, pulled alongside me and then moved to the right, effectively crushing me to the curb. I yelled to the driver that "crushing me to the curb is not cool." Since the bus was stopped, I moved ahead. The driver performed the same maneuver at Milwaukee and Armitage. After that, I moved ahead again and, being faster than the bus, immediately lost the bus.
This bus driver would have lost no time by pulling behind me. Her actions were pre-meditated, aggressive, and dangerous. I hope that the CTA management can remedy this situation before her dangerous driving injures or kills someone.
I know that there are a lot of annoying, stupid bicyclists along Milwaukee Avenue. However, I was careful to stay behind the bus until I had a good shot at passing. I wish the driver had accorded me the same courtesy.

Doubt it will help.

Jen
I feel that most of those bus drivers come from the ghetto or burbs where bicycles are seen as toys and the city folks who ride them as poor stupid annoying people who should be on their bus instead. They should be avoided with as much caution as those cellphone faced SUV driving soccer moms.
I've sent messages like Jen's and had good (well, reasonably convincing) follow-up; with the exception that I see these things from within the bus and can provide much more precise information; that said this really depends a lot on the individual bus driver-- wondering how often Alvin rides the bus and sees it from the driver's perspective. It's pretty scary to see from the bus how riders seem to have no consideration for other users sometimes, and will ride happily along the right side of a bus as it approaches a stop, ride into the stop zone just as the bus is about to enter . . .. the #21 driver I had on the way back east from Riverside Sunday night encountered such a cyclist and not only behaved in an exemplary manner, but I heard her arguing understanding and tolerance to a passenger who made a negative comment about the cyclist.

I am scratching my head a bit at the role of law enforcement-- how would you get the police involved, and what would Chicago Police in particular do in response to a complaint that a bus driver "almost killed me?"

Alvin, can you give a little more detail about the police help you received?
maybe its a sport to them
They do it because they are angry, frustrated morons.

Buses are, in my opinion, the biggest danger out on the road be you a bike, car or pedestrian.
I am not a big fan of generalizations but I am a fan of percentages; when I think about the volume of cars, cabs, SUVs, trucks, vans and other vehicles vs. the number of them that I actually end up having problems with buses are far and a way the most dangerous thing on the road when it comes to number of buses on the road vs. number of negative encounters.


I think a large part of the problem is that the drivers do not actually know the laws regarding bikes in the road and their right of way, or possibly the rules of the road in general. I have had problems and confrontations with bus drivers both driving and biking and every time I have had to engage them they seemed clueless of the rules of the road and felt entitled to drive however they wanted. Buses are easily the greatest danger on the road and I would agree something needs to be done about it and the best way to do so is to file a complaint every time you feel threatened by a bus.
from feedback@transitchicago.com:

Thank you for your complaint. We apologize for your poor travel experience. Your information has been forwarded to the General Manager of the Forest Glen Bus Garage for corrective and appropriate disciplinary action. Sharing the road safely with bicyclists is very important to CTA, so thank you for reporting this incident.

Again, we are sorry for the inconvenience.

We appreciate your comments.

CTA FEEDBACK TEAM
H3N3 said: . . .. the #21 driver I had on the way back east from Riverside Sunday night encountered such a cyclist and not only behaved in an exemplary manner, but I heard her arguing understanding and tolerance to a passenger who made a negative comment about the cyclist....
I have also seen some really exemplary bus driving-- for either exemplary or egregious drivers, I do try to get their driver number (on the uniform sleeve) and provide appropriate feedback. Milwaukee Ave. is one of the worst streets (in my experience) for bikes and busses-- there are lots of bicyclists, some slow, some fast, some reckless, some timid. I've also seen the perspective from inside the bus and from that view, some of the other transit users (bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers) seem to be suicidal. I tend to favor Elston Ave for its dedicated bike lane and lack of bus route.

I also agree with Mike-- let's be careful out there!
Sorry that happened to you, sounds really scary and upsetting. I have actually been feeling like bus drivers are getting a lot better than they were even a couple years ago. Maybe because I don't travel at rush hours anymore, I don't get the stressed-out drivers as much.

I do see lots of cyclists who don't know how to interact with buses at all. I don't like to rip on people's cycling skills, because everyone was a beginner at some point, but come on... if you stay to the right of a bus that is pulling over, you're going to get stuck. Just wait a second and let it pass, and then go around on the left.
I wonder if the drivers actually had to watch that. In my experience, very few ever check their mirrors.

wig [ isaac ] said:
I don't like riding down clark when commuting to work since I feel those drivers are noticeably worse or maybe there are just more buses. I ended up making my commute Halsted to Lincoln to Wells and have a lot fewer bus probems.

One thing I try to give buses lots of room (trucks too). If he's pulling up I'll pull left and take that lane so the bus can pull over to the right, or else i'll slow down so he can pass safely. If one is at a stop I just stay behind instead of sitting in front waiting for the green, since i know he's going to go right around me anyway and by being in front I'm just in the way. (I grew tired of the leapfrog game after a couple commutes) I do pass them while we're both moving though.

I've seen real bad bus drivers too, and have had them lay on their horns (again Clark drivers) when I was being very careful and safe. So there are all kinds out there. It would be nice if besides writing in for bad ones, we try to write in when we notice good ones, to make sure the good ones get rewarded and keep their jobs.

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