This morning a bus cut me off in the lane I was biking to work in. I was shocked at the cavalier attitude of the driver and decided to take action. Here is the body of an e-mail I sent to the transit authority in Guelph with a copy to the Mayor (who also rides her bike to work), the City Administrator and the two representatives for my Ward:
To whom it may concern,
I commute daily by bicycle to work year round and the most consistently dangerous situation on the road I experience are City bus drivers who have no idea about what it is to share the road. This morning I had enough. I have decided to document each case of City bus aggression that I encounter.
This morning (20090616) at 7:40 I was cycling west on Stone Road West between Edinburgh Road South and Scottsdale Drive when the 52 bus (#218) started to pass me in the right lane with only a few inches to spare and then swerved even closer to the right side of the road cutting me off. I was forced to swerve to the right. I can think of no reason why the driver would have performed such a dangerous manoeuver outside of aggression. There was no one at the bus stop ahead and the driver didn’t stop before he or she changed into the left lane to turn onto Scottsdale.
If this e-mail isn’t sufficient I would like you to let me know how I can formally lodge a complaint against this driver. I have encountered lots of aggressive drivers in almost a decade of daily biking but, day to day, most City bus drivers obey the rules of the road and drive appropriately. So I realise my experience today was unusual but it is that kind of driver who needs to be counselled or simply taken off the road to work in some less dangerous job before another cyclist is killed. I will await your reply for a reasonable amount of time before pursuing other avenues.
Nothing may happen, of course, but I am hopeful that something good will come out of my ‘action’. Guelph is trying to promote cycling as a way to cut down on the carbon emissions, traffic and all that goes with overuse of the internal combustion engine. Educating our transit people about sharing the road with bicycles should be at the top of the list of to do’s if the City is serious about this, in my opinion.