Vancouver is such a fantastic place to bike, especially in the summer. This past month has been particularly fantastic, warm with a cool ocean breeze, perfect bike riding weather. The other day I was riding down Broadway and a bus driver attempted to pull out in front of me after he dropped off his passengers. When I continued to ride past him he raised his hand out his window at me as if to say “what are you doing crazy biker?” My question to those inconsiderate bus drivers who pull out willy nilly, is “What are you doing crazy bus driver?” I have never driven a bus before and I can imagine that at times it is a frustrating job but does that mean that they should throw out their common sense and courtesy to people? Just because you are bigger than I am, does it mean that you should be able to push me around and potentially drive over me or lead me into traffic to avoid you? Do you think a signal light means that it is okay for you to blindly move left into a lane?
I don’t know when the rule came into place that when a bus wants to pull out in front of you, you let it, but it seems to me that many bus drivers abuse this privilege and throw caution to the wind. When I am driving my car, the bus drivers often bully their way back into the lane without giving me much notice at all. It is as though they are playing chicken. “Hey, I am bigger than you so clear out or deal with the consequences. Your choice”. While I am driving my car, at least I have the protection of the steel around me and the airbag that will deploy if I hit something. As a bike rider I am much more vulnerable. If I slam on my brakes will I go over the bars? Will the guy behind me run me over? While I am shoulder checking to see if the coast is clear to slow down and move over, I risk getting slammed by someone opening their car door.
I ride my bike because I like it. It is good for me and it is good for the environment. I am doing my part, kind of like those people who ride the bus. I do not have the opportunity to drive a bus, so I cannot be in the driver’s shoes but maybe Mr. Bus Driver, you would like to get on a bike some day and commute in Vancouver for a week and see how it feels to dodge large buses as you make your way to your appointments. Oh and all drivers, please remember to look behind you before you open your door and lastly, using a hand held cell phone and texting while driving is now illegal. Don’t let a memorable experience like killing someone be the reason you finally take this law seriously. Thanks