Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 15th, 2012 at 12:52 pm
concern for people on bikes.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
In the coming weeks, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the North Williams Traffic Operations Safety Project will hammer out a formal recommendation to PBOT on how to improve bike access on the street. One of the considerations they'll take into account is the safety of the bicycling environment and how people operating cars, bikes, and buses interact on the street.
Today I got an email from reader Craig H. that underscores one of the urgent public safety issues the Williams project aims to address — the dangerous proximity of humans on bicycles with multi-ton steel vehicles that pass by just inches away.
Here's Craig's story:
"I realized my helmet had been grazed by the bus's side mirror."
Monday, I was riding northbound on N Williams, hugging the left side of the bike lane, as I normally do when passing parked cars [in order to avoid the door zone]. At about NE Thompson, I was startled by a light "thwack" on the left side of my helmet. My instant thought was "tree branch", but my startling carried on as a TriMet bus passed me within an elbow's reach.
I realized my helmet had been grazed by the bus's side mirror.
The mirror is positioned fairly high, but my riding posture [on a Yuba Mundo cargo bike] is also rather upright on an already tall seat.
My adrenaline rushed and I pedaled hard to catch up to the bus at its next stop. The traffic light at N Russel turned red and the bus stopped. I approached its door from the bike lane, and a TriMet staffer stood at the doors as they opened, to greet me. I was still shaken and upset and I stood there demanding that a formal report be made. It turns out that the bus was being driven by a new trainee, and the staffer who greeted me a the door was his trainer. He suggested we pull to the side to exchange information.
Once we were stopped at the curb, he offered to call his supervisor and/or police, and I said that the supervisor would be sufficient. I apologized for being so demanding earlier, and everyone was gracious about the whole thing. A supervisor arrived and took my information for a TriMet report and said that the video would probably be reviewed and there would possibly some other internal follow-up from the incident.
I wanted to share this because of all the blog comments about the danger people feel when riding in the bike lane on N Williams.
Thanks for sharing this Craig. I hope PBOT is able to move forward on improvements very soon.Email This Post Possibly related posts