Friday, October 1, 2010

safe biking

the other day, a bicyclist attacked a bus.  i know this because i was on the bus as it wound its way north on figueroa towards what i think of as "union station annex," 7th/metro (aka 7th/hope, 7th/flower and 7th/figueroa).  along with the usual rush hour crush of cars and buses, a pack of about 20 college kids (or perhaps old looking high-schoolers) on bikes were meandering up the same route.

on this stretch of figueroa, there's a bus lane, one that's wonderfully wide open to us bus riders and simply too tempting for bicyclists.  between traffic and stops, the bicyclists were easily keeping up with the bus, but in that wandering, would-be-drunk-if-driving kind of way.  the bus driver had to make several sudden stops to avoid hitting the bicyclists and eventually got fed up and honked.  a block later, the bicyclists caught up, went over to the driver's side and smacked the bus while yelling, to which the driver yelled back.

above, you see a view of the beautiful bike lanes nyc has installed on 9th avenue (pic taken from  they are physically separated from cars and buses and there is no question what the space is intended for.  bicycling is encouraged because it is safe and conflicts between bicycles and motorists are minimized.  if there were such a lane on figueroa, perhaps the bicyclists above would not have had to put themselves in danger and our dear bus driver could have gotten through his day with lower blood pressure.

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