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as a commuter: is there anything worse then bus drivers?(19 posts)

as a commuter: is there anything worse then bus drivers?cyclopathic
Jun 30, 2003 10:01 AM
this morning I've been cut off at least 4 times by buses. When I was passing stopped one he took off and moved left. Or how about this: trackstand behind bus, while he loads people from other /disabled/ one and try to jump into traffic lane?
re: as a commuter: is there anything worse then bus drivers?pearlbeer
Jun 30, 2003 10:44 AM
The only thing worse is people that honk at cyclists. I'm just going to spit on any car that honks at me.
some states (NC) it is law for motorsit to honk when passsing(nmandy02
Jul 1, 2003 10:30 AM
A case of unequal parties sharing the same space.dzrider
Jun 30, 2003 11:04 AM
They have to cross the lane we ride in to pick up and drop off passengers making it inevitable that they are going to get in our way. They are also really big so it takes a long time to pass one or for one to pass us. If that isn't enough, pedestrians behave unpredictably around buses. I only have them for about 2 miles on one stretch of road on my commute and have relatively few problems with them so long is I plan ahead and use some common sense.

I never pass them on the right, even if they are waiting at a stop light and don't try to pass them on the left unless I see people waiting to get on the bus - drop offs can happen too quickly to give me enough time to get by. I don't try to get around them on the sidewalk, cause people getting on and off can be a problem. Mostly I try to speed up or slow down which ever gets them further away more quickly!
yes - other drivers. In Brooklyn, at least... [nm]tz
Jun 30, 2003 11:22 AM
I used to "get even" with them...jesse1
Jun 30, 2003 11:23 AM
.....when I was a runner, in Baltimore, I'd be running on the street (hugging the curb), facing traffic. There were a couple of drivers who never would pull away (even though there were no other vehicles to their left)to give me space. I took to carrying a small wooden rod - kinda like a small baseball bat) and would take aim for the side mirror.
Sometimes I'd get them, sometimes not. If they'd ever call the cops (never happened), I was prepared take my case against them.
yes-- car driversDropped
Jun 30, 2003 11:23 AM
I've actually only had one or two run-ins with bus drivers in 13 years of urban commuting. I think that generally, because they are professionals, they know how to drive.

To me, the worst are your average car driver. Particularly the ones who don't use turn signals.

The biggest source of annoyance to me, however, is usually other cyclists. Riding two-across on a narrow bike path is one thing. The running of stop signs and red lights is another. The topper that for some reason drives me nuts is the "racers." You know, you're cruising along at a consistent pace doing your own thing and happen to pass some guy going 10 mph. After you pass him, now this guy is Lance Armstrong and he comes sprinting past you, only to tire 100 yards down the road and turn off down a side-street to save face. I don't know why, but that drives me nuts.
As a commuter? Don't know. As a rider....maybe....t0adman
Jun 30, 2003 11:26 AM
It amazes me how differently people react to cyclist in urban versus suburban areas here in the Pacific Northwest. On my ride Saturday we rode along city streets with not so much as a honk, word, or dirty look. As soon as we left the city limits we got honks, scowls, and verbal abuse. Stuff like, "You guys should have to have a license you take up so much of the damn road!", or "Get the f*ck out of the street you a$$holes!". I hate to stereotype but you can probably guess what kind of "rig" they were driving and their socioeconomic background.

Then yesterday I'm headed down a city street and a car behind me honks. A few nearby pedestrians start yelling at the car about how I have the right of way. It was beautiful!

More cars in the city but they're considerably more tolerant of cyclists.
wait 'till it starts rainingcyclopathic
Jun 30, 2003 12:58 PM
then drivers get really pissy when they see you moving faster then they. I switched to MTB after I got ran off into ditch 2 times in a row. At least I can handle drains, curbs and potholes.
I agree!andy02
Jun 30, 2003 11:47 AM
that and people speeding by to right are real problems.
Yes- Motor homes.alansutton
Jun 30, 2003 12:07 PM
Yeah - your average car driver is worse!Rich_Racer
Jun 30, 2003 12:36 PM
When he/she is in way too much of a hurry and doesn't seem to know where their turn signal switch is located! And yes - the speed past you then turn right in front of you is the most annoying - especially as it happens almost everyday! I always want to stop them and ask them what they intend to do withthe 2 seconds that they just saved in almost killing me and whether they felt it was worth it!
Elderly ladies going to church on Sunday morningsDave Hickey
Jun 30, 2003 12:53 PM
On my ride yesterday, I had two elderly ladies almost hit me. Because traffic is so light at 7:00am Sundays, I'll ride roads that I wouldn't normally ride. At about 8:00am I'm cruising down the right lane of a four lane road with no traffic. From behind me comes a 1974 Cadillac with an elderly lady that could barely see over the steering wheel. I was in the far right lane but she refused to move over. She kept honking her horn and waving me to get off the road. I finally found a a shoulder to pull off. About an hour later I had another lady miss me by about 6 inches as she tried to pass. I decided not to tempt fate and I packed in in after 30 miles.....
Bus Lanes Are Nice Though..2300 Edmontonian
Jun 30, 2003 1:30 PM
..I seldom encounter buses in bus lanes, and cars don't hang out there, so it's fun, you have the whole lane to yourself.
In a place like Edmonton, people in cars aren't accustomed to high speed road bikes, so they'll always turn infront or around you, and do all sorts of crazy things that makes you wanna.. ugh!, however I find that most cars are very respectful to cyclists on the road - usually let you have the lane, even when it's busy, even trucks change lanes to pass you.
The worse thing is when a car drafts behind you because it can't change lanes or doesn't want to overtake you in the same lane.. soon enough you'll have a line of cars right behind you, not a pleasent thing to have.
Not many things worse around here.TWD
Jun 30, 2003 6:53 PM
In my little corner of Oregon, I find the bus drivers to be a major pain in the rear. 90% of my commute has wide bike lanes, and the bus routes follow a good portion of the route.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that at least half of the times I encounter a bus, the bus driver will do something stupid or dangerous. If I'm just cruising down my bike lane, they almost always pass way closer than any other cars or trucks. The fact that the engines are in the back of the bus means that you can't hear them coming until the front end of the bus is near you and the mirror whizzes past inches away from your shoulder. This happens a lot, even when the driving lane is wide and there is no oncoming traffic.

If there is a bus stop near by, the bus drivers will act as though no one else is one the road, particularly cyclists. I have lost count of the number of times that a bus has started to pass me from behind when I am approaching a bus stop, only to have the bus get half way past me then pull in to the bus stop, taking me to the curb, or forcing me to slam on my brakes and swerve left to go around them as they come to a quick stop in the bike lane.

You can't win. If I they cut you off as they pull in, they repeat the offense pulling back out as you go around. Waiting behind them sucks, since cars approaching from behind are frantically trying to swerve around the bus and dodge oncoming traffic. They surely don't notice the cyclist patiently waiting behing the bus.

Sure, there are greater hazards on the road, but the percentage of dangersous encounters I have with them are far higher than any other type of vehicle I see on the road (except of course other bicycle riders, particularly the riding the wrong way with headphones types).
How to choose, how to choose?djg
Jul 1, 2003 6:36 AM
Bus drivers can be pretty bad, but at least you see them coming. Anybody driving while talking on a cell phone is bad; add a big tall SUV and it gets worse, add a driver applying makeup during the morning commute and you've got multi-tasking hell.

But once in a while you run into a driver who consciously wants to use his or her car as an instrument of agression. And that, in my opinion, is the worst.
Cabbies - definitely cabbies!SpoiledBikeDaddy
Jul 1, 2003 9:37 AM
These clowns act as if the roads are their own personal bumper-car ride. Drive erratically, never signal, block lanes and alleys, etc.
Yes, street sweepers. nmKristin
Jul 1, 2003 10:33 AM
re: as a commuter: is there anything worse then bus drivers?commuterguy
Jul 1, 2003 10:48 AM
There are exceptions to every rule, but my experience in the DC area is that bus drivers are actually pretty benign. I think, as another poster noted, the professional vs. ordinary driver breakdown is frequently the difference between safe, considerate driving and the opposite. I believe that most car drivers can't conceive of a bike going faster than 10 mph, even when their eyes are telling them that a bike is going 20-30 mph. Consequently, I find them turning left directly in front of me a lot, and sometimes I can see disbelief/terror in their eyes ("omigod he's going to slam into my car and scratch my paint!") as I do a panic stop and they try to decide if they should just go for it or panic stop themselves. Cabbies and bus drivers tend to be much better judges of speed. Private (non commercial) cars also, in my experience, are more likely to speed up, pass me, and then turn right with out giving me enough time to adjust my pace/course. Again, I think this is much more often incompetence rather than mendacity.

I guess my biggest gripe with buses is the chemical warfare they wage when accelerating away from a stop, or when they try to get up a steep hill. Breathing that dark sooty cloud can't be very good for you.