CTA bus driver honks at bicyclist and passes too close

Type

Passed closely
Harrassed

What happened

The driver of CTA bus #1417, southbound route 36, ran me off the road at 7:45 this morning. I was riding southbound on Broadway, passing Briar, as far right as safe and practical because of slush and ice near the parked cars and the curb.

The driver of CTA bus #1417 came behind me, blaring the horn. I was well aware the bus was there before the driver began blaring the horn, but it was not safe to ride further to the right because of slush and ice at the curb.

The driver of CTA bus #1417 passed within two feet of me on the left, cutting back in toward me to avoid running over the pedestrian crossing sign at Barry. I was forced into the slush as the bus came within 12-18 inches of me.

I skidded, which was what I was trying to avoid with my original lane position. Fortunately, I remained mostly upright and unharmed.

Suggested improvements for this location: There are lots of cyclists on Broadway but there is insufficient road space because of curbside parking. Barry and Briar are common routes to and from the Lakefront Trail, but where those roads meet with Broadway, there are dangerous conflicts points, made worse when road conditions are snowy.

The bus driver should know better than to honk at cyclists who have taken the lane. The bus driver should know better than to pass within three feet of a cyclist. That driver acted with absolute disregard for the most vulnerable road user

  • http://www.commuterage.com/ Mr. Ray Joe Hall

    It REALLY sucks when this happens. I am loathe to perpetuate the us vs. them war but buses and cyclists should be on the team. The last time this happened to me I was towing my two year old in a trailer, and the bus passed with maybe two inches of clearance. All to get to the next stop 2 short blocks away. I pulled up next to the driver and let it fly. She wouldn’t even look at me – she hadn’t even realized she did something wrong. I sent a long email to CTA through their comment form and did end up hearing from the garage manager. But that was it – union rules keep disciplinary action private.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/ Steven Vance

      I think the CTA needs to implement a policy that requires that bus operators refrain from honking when the bus is approaching a cyclist (save for other situations that requires the bus operator to honk, like when passing another bus, or to alert someone to an impending collision).
      I think the CTA also needs to improve bus operator training to ensure that before the bus operator merges the bus right that the entire bus has cleared the cyclist. Many bus operators begin merging right after only the front of the bus has passed the cyclist. The bus operator needs to be aware that both the bus and bicycle are moving forward thus it takes a longer distance to pass the bicyclist.