Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Camera Bus?

There is a popular fallacy that four-wheels should be straddling the lane line when they pass two-wheels; "sharing the lane," as it were. There's another alarming one, that once the driver's body has passed the "obstacle" it's time to start drifting back right. Put those two together with a metro bus and it's hair raising.

I had a feeling when the bus pulled up behind me at the red light, so I looked back and memorized all the numbers on the front. After the green, when the driver had an opening, they started to pass halfway within the lane, then while alongside started to run me off the road. Actually there was a row of parked cars, so I'm lucky the bus didn't get any closer. But it's just that, luck, when they were closing on me in the blind spot. After they passed I memorized the numbers off the back of the bus, too.

Then I called the NFTA at 855-7211. Maybe their phone system was busted or over capacity, but I was hung up on at least nine times before I got through to a person, who graciously took my complaint. Here's what I learned:

- they can identify a bus by the numbers on it, but not by its license plate
- that particular bus is a "camera bus," so they can actually review the footage with the driver

I hope they get something out of it for their general bus driver training.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Main St

- 3 cars in a row passed me with inches to spare, speeding; occupants of last car shouting out window

Antisocial behavior at its mindless finest, like trampling someone at WalMart to get ahead in line. This street had two narrow lanes plus parked cars. You could have waited a few seconds and used the left lane. Was it worth those few seconds to potentially kill someone?

Despite the "Complete Streets" policy, they rebuilt this stretch of Main Street without bike lanes. They found room for a flowerbed down the middle, though.

In case you skipped drivers ed, when there's no marked bike lane the rightmost travel lane becomes the bike lane, and if it's too narrow for both vehicles (15 feet or so) you are required to change lanes completely to pass. Plus, then you won't casually kill someone.