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View Full Version : TriMet Nudge: SW Main


dwillym
10-11-2006, 09:19 AM
I'm posting this mainly to confirm whether or not I did anything wrong this morning. I've lived here about a year and I have yet to have a problem in traffic - and I was pretty ticked off about this so I want to make sure my feelings are validated. Here's the skinny:

I ride around 8am west over the Hawthorne, follow the lanes, and go up Main street to make a left on Broadway. Many people do this. Anyways, there's a TriMet stop immediately after the first light after the bridge, I believe between 1st and 2nd on SW Main. I'm mindful of this, and this morning I stopped to let a bus with flashing "I'm entering traffic now" lights get back into traffic after picking people up. He/She proceeded to hesitate at the green light at 2nd to avoid blocking the intersection, so I passed him on the right (there are no explicit bike lanes here, so as most riders do - and as I understand the law - you stay as far to the right as possible where lanes don't exist, and since the far right lane between 1st & 2nd on Main is a right turn only, I stay to the far right of the right through-traffic lane, or middle lane). So I did what I do every morning in terms of lane use. And since there isn't a bus stop between 2nd and 3rd it's not like I interrupted the TriMet flow by passing the bus.

I proceed along Main through that stretch with the statue (an aside: what do most people do here? I see a lot of bikers getting in the left lane; I generally keep stay in the right lane close to the curb, and if I'm lucky there'll be enough space for me to get through). Anyways, no problem here.

But when I cross 4th Ave. I hear a horn and the bus is barrelling down on me, pulling over to the right at the bus stop between 4th & 5th. He/She completely cuts me off, such that I have to slow down as the back-right rear end of the bus just nearly misses me. I rode around and passed the bus on the left, and made a "mere inches" sign with my hand and the bus driver honked again.

Am I doing the right thing for riding on SW Main in morning traffic? Should I stay in the left lane in general since bus stops aren't on the left side? Or was this TriMet driver out of line?

Thanks.

**Didn't get the bus number....**

Attornatus_Oregonensis
10-12-2006, 06:58 AM
You're fine! You have every right to be where you were and do what you did. It may be easier to stay left, but it's certainly not required.

YOU GOTTA GET THE NUMBER! (I know how hard it is in that situation!) The driver should be fired. Maybe not criminal (maybe), but definitely not what Trimet or the public wants from their drivers.

jami
10-12-2006, 02:32 PM
you were in the right, and the bus driver was clearly a jerk.

getting in the left lane does solve the bus issue and the issue of the right turn after the statue. i try to get left. but it's so crowded in the morning that it's really hard to get left across both lanes without at least two suvs getting their panties in a bunch about it. and then to turn safely into the broadway bike lane, it's usually (gotta love that randomly changed neon sign, eh?) better to cross back in the right lane, so you've given another two suvs wedgies (not entirely a negative, i suppose).

over the years, this clumsy part of my commute has been the part that has most often made me want to say "fuck it" and buy my own damn suv. this morning, having successfully gotten in the left lane, i found that some poor gal's car had broken down there and was hooked to a tow truck, while the bus in the right lane was just sitting there for mysterious reasons of its own. 'course, i just pushed my bike onto the sidewalk and magically transformed into a pedestrian. try doing that in an suv.

i normally try to think of solutions to things that make me complain, but i really can't even envision a fix short of making the hawthorne bridge bike-only that could make that stretch better for bikes.

Rixtir
10-12-2006, 06:11 PM
and as I understand the law - you stay as far to the right as possible where lanes don't existActually, you stay as far to the right as is practicable. That means you only have to go as far to the right of the lane as is feasible under the circumstances. For example, if a lane has debris on the right, it's not practicable to ride through the debris. Or, if the lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle, it's not practicable to ride to the right.

As far as what you did, you were in the right, the bus driver was being a jerk and should be cited.

TCR Punk
10-13-2006, 09:46 AM
But when I cross 4th Ave. I hear a horn and the bus is barrelling down on me, pulling over to the right at the bus stop between 4th & 5th. He/She completely cuts me off, such that I have to slow down as the back-right rear end of the bus just nearly misses me. I rode around and passed the bus on the left, and made a "mere inches" sign with my hand and the bus driver honked again.

Am I doing the right thing for riding on SW Main in morning traffic? Should I stay in the left lane in general since bus stops aren't on the left side? Or was this TriMet driver out of line?

Thanks.

**Didn't get the bus number....**

I wouldn't mind punching a buss driver in the nose. I think that would be fun. But I would end up in jail for a long time. But i would feel better. Plus it would make them understand that they are not immortal on the streets. I'd put my bike on the bike rack, board the bus, then punch the driver. STOP Wait, this is very wrong. Never mind.

Rixtir
10-13-2006, 10:59 AM
I wouldn't mind punching a buss driver in the nose. I think that would be fun. But I would end up in jail for a long time. But i would feel better. Plus it would make them understand that they are not immortal on the streets. I'd put my bike on the bike rack, board the bus, then punch the driver. STOP Wait, this is very wrong. Never mind.Yeah, they have some special statute that addresses assaulting trimet drivers. I don't remember exactly what it says at the moment, but you don't want to go there. Except in your daydreams. :)

I had a bus driver in San Francisco push me into oncoming traffic once. Intentionally. I hate those mofos, so I totally understand why somebody would want to punch one out.

Rixtir
10-13-2006, 11:08 AM
Actually, you stay as far to the right as is practicable. That means you only have to go as far to the right of the lane as is feasible under the circumstances. For example, if a lane has debris on the right, it's not practicable to ride through the debris. Or, if the lane is too narrow to share with a motor vehicle, it's not practicable to ride to the right.

As far as what you did, you were in the right, the bus driver was being a jerk and should be cited.I rethought this last night, and decided to clarify what I said. Here's the revised version.

Practicable means "feasible." What the statute is saying is that, in the absence of a bike lane, you are required to stay as far to the right as is reasonably capable of being accomplished under the circumstances. That is a different thing from staying as far to the right as possible.

Using the examples I gave last night:

1) If the right of the lane has debris in it, it's not possible to ride to the right, near the curb, and therefore, you would ride as far to the right as practicable, which is to the left of the debris.

2) If a lane is too narrow to safely share with a motor vehicle, although it's possible to ride to the right, near the curb, it's not safe, so in this instance, riding as far to the right as is practicable means taking the lane.

flyingdutchman
10-15-2006, 03:36 PM
While nice to have the bus number, it shouldn't be necessary.
You undoubtedly know what street you were on, and at which intersection.
If you also know the time of day within a few minutes, should be good enough. They run on schedules. Tri-Met will know which bus was there at that time.

Good luck,
Kevin