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Old 05-21-19, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by jimmuller View Post
He! Be glad you didn't ask for Washington St.
Ha! When I said that the Washington Street bus/bike lane was my favorite, they wanted to know if I thought it should be full time, rather than just 5:00am-9:00am. Huh? Oh, right, there are now TWO different bus/bike lanes on TWO different Washington Streets, sort of kind of. (The Washington Street addresses are monotonic even if the streets are discontinuous across the orange line / Amtrak tracks.)

Anyhow, some brief notes about the bus/bike workshop.

First, if you EVER get a chance to take this workshop, do so.

They take their responsibilities to us seriously. They are *always* monitoring mirrors, the instructor said it's like being a bobble head. Getting to sit in the bus operators chair and see what they can and can not see is illuminating.

First, always knew, they see ABSOLUTELY NOTHING directly behind the bus for well over a bus length.

Second, they can see MUCH better on the driver's side of the bus than I thought. However, when passing on the left they prefer us to give them at least five feet. This gives them and US time to react in case of a mistake.

Third, on the passenger side, the planar mirror is for looking at the passenger side rear tire. The convex mirror (he called it by the proper name, and also emphasized that it is like a funhouse mirror) covers the area about three feet out from the edge of the bus and farther away, starting at about the door. But it is small, and dramatically distorts distance (far more than car mirrors, images in the mirror are WAY closer than they appear!) They like Hi Viz and *LOVE* our daytime blinky lights btw, but they look for unlit darkly clothed riders too, and they learn how to pick us out in a distorted sea of gray.

There's also a lookdown mirror inside the bus that covers the front door (about a goalies crease area immediately next to the door) and another mirror to monitor the inside of the rear door. Finally, one large mirror to see the interior of the bus.

They would strongly prefer that we don't pass them on the right when they are moving. But they know that it is THEIR responsibility to make sure that nobody is on their right, and they know that some people on bikes pass them on their right.

Also, if they've passed us, and then slow or stop, they are checking their mirrors for us because they KNOW that we often catch up with them.

As far as leap frog. If they are pulling into a bus stop, pass on their left and be happily on your way. However, if we are approaching a bus that seems like it will soon pull out, ESPECIALLY if they have their left turn signal on, we should yield. And, again, some people on bikes don't yield just like some people in cars don't yield. They'll treat other users who make errors with respect. They know we are amateurs and they are the professionals on the road.

If they catch up to us nearing a bus stop, they slow down, stay a safe distance behind us, and pull in behind us.

One note, AFC 2.0 (Charlie Card 2.0) should make boarding buses far faster, but it's been pushed out another year, so 2022ish. So expect a future where picking up a single passenger is more like touch and go.

Other things that makes them go hmmm, if they are first at a stop light filtering up alongside the bus, particularly when there is a bus stop across the intersection, makes our ride less safe. Also, filtering alongside the bus and then pulling directly in front of the bus is one of the least safe things we can do as well. They would prefer we stay behind them in these cases. (I already do this, even when people shoal me AND the bus at the light.)

However, if they are stopped but not at the front of the line at the light, filtering on the right is fine, but try to make sure that you finish your filtering BEFORE the traffic starts to move. Another thing that I've seen but they emphasized that they are trained this way. When they are at a light, if they are first and the light turns green, count two seconds and bobble head then go when safe to do so. If they are behind a car at the light, count two seconds AFTER the vehicle in front of them moves bobble head then go when safe to do so. (Funny moment, they put up with impatient honks, but the people behind the bus can't see the light, so they never honk anyway.)

They give us five feet when passing at any speed differential, never ever less than three feet.

What else? One of the two safety trainers came on her bike. How cool is that!

Oh, the trackless trolleys and silver line buses are easier to drive than the full size buses according to the instructor. (You only drive the front of the bus, the trailer just follows.

And they let us all learn how to load a bicycle on the front rack. (The new design is far easier.) They aren't allowed to help us load and unload a bike, but they will talk a noob to take a deep breath, it's easy, you can do it, just read the step one, step two, step three.

Oh, their biggest complaint about sharing the bus lanes with people on bikes? Double parked cars.

So, here's a pamphlet that they give to their drivers. All drivers are trained every two years, some drivers more often. (When they get a complaint, they take them very seriously and investigate and correct right away.)

-mr. bill

Last edited by mr_bill; 10-04-19 at 09:01 AM.
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