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Israel
05-10-2006, 11:07 PM
Trimet's all about promoting alternative transportation, right? The same bus nearly ran me over twice in the same block while crossing Hawthorne Bridge to the west side, second time most likely was intentional:
1. Bus didn't see me in the bike lane as it made its stop just before the bridge, pushed my bars and me to the right with it. I luckily didn't fall, and I went to tell off the driver. She basically told me that she had the right of way and I should ride more safely.
2. Pissed off and weary of this driver, I went back to the bike lane and waited for the green to get on the bridge. I use this intersection every day, and since busses are ALWAYS slow at the get go, I go first. No problem. However, this driver apparently had something to prove. With no regard for me, she guns it at the green and nearly gets me run over by the car on my left.

So, ok not all that crazy given that stuff like this happens all the time biking through the city. However, it reminded me of pretty much the craziest close-call I've ever heard of, which happened to my brother while crossing the Sellwood a couple years back:

He's riding on the curb, crossing to the west side when a Trimet bus hooks his bars with its side mirror. My brother starts pedaling as fast as he possibly can, even has the clarity to shift up, but can't seem to get past that mirror. Meanwhile his bike is leaning more and more to the right and even though he's trying to pull his face away from it, the cement railing starts scraping off the skin on his cheek. By this point, they were on the down-hill and he coasts just enough faster than the bus to unhook and tumble. Bike totaled, cheek bloody among other things, and off goes the bus. The kicker is, he calls up Trimet, tells them the entire story and they respond, "Sorry, there's nothing we can do if you don't know which bus it was."

K'Tesh
12-08-2007, 07:53 AM
The customer service person you spoke to was being lazy, there are ways of tracking down buses, they are on scheduals, tracking one down isn't rocket science (despite them being on GPS). In light of the bad press Trimet has received a couple years ago, I suspect the atmosphere there may have changed a little. I realize that over a year later, it's probably too late to help you on this one, but for people who might find themselves in this situation I post the following, and it goes for anybody who gets hit.

If you have a cellphone, use it. Carry a pen on your bike (use velcro), then using any available paper, or your own skin, make a note of everything you can:

http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon4.gif Call 911 report a *HIT AND RUN*! http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon4.gif

Tell the dispatcher everything you can! Those calls should be recorded, you might be able to use it later.

Take a pic of the bus if you can,
Location and direction of bus,
Route number,
Bus number,
Time,
Ads on the bus? Which ones? What was the color scheme of the bus (brown/orange stripes or white w/pastel arcs?)
Physical description of the driver (gender, race, hair color/length, body mass, Using glasses, etc),
Was the driver using a phone or ipod? (note color/location (typically left ear, single ear bud)),
Take a pic of the driver if you can,
Names/phones of witnesses... use your cellphone to call them on the spot. Or call home and leave a voicemail for yourself

http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon4.gif Demand to talk to a supervisor! http://bikeportland.org/forum/images/icons/icon4.gif
TriMet's Phone: (503) 238 RIDE (7433)

I know that these require a presence of mind that often is hard to find under that kind of stress, but the more you can get down the less you have to remember under the stress of talking to the cop that gets dispatched, or later on, your lawyer. Perhaps, you might want to write this down and put it inside your handlebars with space left to write details down.

Be Safe!
K'Tesh

Schrauf
12-09-2007, 09:54 AM
I can't tell what exactly happened in the recent incident based on the original post, but buses only have the right of way if it is safe for them to pull out. If you were so close that you could not stop in time, the bus driver is not protected under the statue that gives them the right of way.

Further, you are only required to yield to a bus (above and beyond normal circumstances where you must yield to any vehicle) when the bus displays a yield sign, you are overtaking from the rear, and it is signaling an intention to enter traffic after stopping to receive or discharge passengers. All three factors must be present.

Always call about rude or dangerous drivers - get the bus number, time and location.