May 29, 2012

Bike lanes, Bikes and Buses

One concern when talking about bike infrastructure is the is the conflict with buses. I can report first hand that:

  1. It kind of sucks to be behind a bus; and
  2. Buses take up the bike lane when stopping.

In the above picture, I am travelling west on Broad Street in a bike lane. I've accented the bike lane because it is not obvious in the picture. When I see a bus pass me I pray that the bus will not stop until it's really far ahead. Otherwise, I either could leap frog where I pass the bus and then it passes me. I feel this to add unnecessary risk due to the fact that cars are also leap frogging which adds a potential conflict. Or I could just stop and feel the warm exhaust and see a black cloud of exhaust as the bus revs up its engine to start onward again.


This picture is of a school bus stopped in the same bike lane around the same spot as the first picture. I was surprised to see a school bus stopped on Broad Street instead of back in the neighborhood to the north.  I was also surprised to not see anyone get on or off of the bus. Maybe it's a school bus full of ghosts?

BTW, this post is not anti-buses. Sure, buses will stop and I'm cool with that. I'm cool with them being in the bike lane too because a passenger should be picked up from the curb. One thing that I wish buses operators would think about is that if they're going to stop at a nearby stop, would it be possible to not pass a cyclist?

Finally, a coworker and I were talking about being behind buses. He asked if I tried to hold me breath when the cloud of black smoke came out as a bus was accelerating. Of course I try to hold my breath and he does as well. Do any other cyclists do the same?

Try to hold your breath for this bus exhaust:

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