Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 18th, 2010 at 9:36 am
If you haven't been following along in the coverage and comments (nearly 300 of them) about TriMet in the last few days, let me try and bring you up to speed.
On Monday, I reported about a collision between a bike and a bus on Hawthorne. A guy on a bike claimed a bus came from behind him and squeezed him into a parked car. Coincidentally, I had just heard from two readers with complaints about TriMet bus operators. With all of this in mind, I published a story the next day outlining stories of three "aggressive TriMet bus operators" (note the new and improved headline).
Yesterday, TriMet released onboard video that showed the man riding his bike on Hawthorne was clearly at fault for the collision and it didn't happen quite as he recalled initially.
In the comments of both stories I was accused of jumping to conclusions without the facts and of unfair reporting about TriMet operators. I heard the feedback, I acknowledged that I could have been a bit more careful with word choices, and I engaged in comments with people who were critical of my work.
Just to make it clear. I have never lumped all TriMet operators together, nor do I have any resentment of them personally. However, I remain concerned about how some operators behave around people on bikes and the policies and training that influence that behavior. That's just my job, and until bus/bike interaction is as perfect as it can be, I'll remain concerned about it.
Hopefully all my readers at TriMet understand where I'm coming from and will continue to visit this site with an open mind, knowing that my goal is to make things better, not rile up anger and divide us.
On that note, I wanted to give the last word to Al M. Al is a TriMet bus operator who authors the Rantings of a Bus Driver from Portland Oregon blog and who commented several times in the last few days. He made a video statement just for BikePortland.org, which I've embedded below:
Thanks Al, I don't agree with everything you say, but I hear it and it informs my work going forward. Also, thanks to "trimet chick," all my friends at TriMet, and everyone who has been involved in this discussion.
Whether you drive a bus, ride a bike, or publish a blog, it's impossible to be perfect all the time. But if we can maintain a productive dialogue, be open to criticism, and then learn from it, things will get better.
Maybe I should host a TriMet-themed Get Together event so we can air all this stuff out face-to-face? Until then, see you on the streets.