Bus in the Bike Lane: A Recipe for…

Ingredients:

  • 40,000 pound city transit bus
  • Lazy-ass or law-breaking bus driver (see if you can find one that’s both)
  • One 28-pound steel-framed sea foam green Fairdale Weekender Archer bicycle named Sophie (substitutions allowed)
  • Experienced person on said bicycle, vulnerable to said buses
  • Narrow traffic and bike lanes on most dangerous section of road in Austin for bikes
  • Friday evening rush hour
  • Big pot of history of near misses with city buses for the bicyclist
  • Memory of John Anthony Diaz, a cyclist killed by same bus company (separate into two portions)
  • Kettle full of road rage for the bus driver
  • Add a pinch, a soupçon, or a schosche of irritating, smelly bus riders into the mix

Implements:

  • Irony
  • Satire
  • Metaphor
  • Danger
  • Skill
  • Terror
  • Pot and black kettle (purchased from the bus company merch page)

Directions:

  1. Set the pot of near misses and the kettle of road rage to SIMMER.
  2. Start a timer that will point each vehicle on a trajectory that will place them side by side at the same time.
  3. Mix all other ingredients together. Stir very vigorously, with a lot of anger.
  4. As they begin to congeal, slowly pour in the other near misses, road rage and second half of the memory of John Anthony Diaz
  5. Move the bus right to the edge of and even a little bit inside the magically protective painted white line of the bike lane.
  6. It should be so close that, hypothetically, the cyclist could easily touch the bus with force if an outstretched fist to alert the bus driver that they were too close.
  7. Also hypothetically, the bike rider could gesture with a certain finger while yelling obscenities at the diver of the 40,000 bus.
  8. At a stop, the bus driver should peer through their sunglasses and pretend to ignore the bicyclist while the bike rider hypothetically holds up six fingers indicating the legal distance that 40,000 pound city transit buses are required by law to pass people on bicycles so they don’t murder said people on bikes while the cyclists, hypothetically, yells through the bus door “you know you’re wrong!”.
  9. Bike rider should astutely take off from the stoplight before the bus then legally occupy the center of the traffic lane, forcing the bus driver to make one of three recipe variations:
    1. Run over bicyclist.
    2. Slow down and wait for bike rider to move out of the traffic lane when it feels safe for them to do so.
    3. Change lanes, safely passing cyclist, as bus drivers are surely trained to do and any idiot student driver would figure out.
  10. Other options are for the bike rider to:
    1. Quickly dismount or pop a wheelie onto the curb, deftly avoiding being crushed by the bus and not hitting passengers at the bus stop, bench and so on.
    2. Stop and let the bus pass, reinforcing the poor decision making choices of the lazy-ass, law-breaking bus driver.
    3. Slow down and try to enter other lane of traffic to go around the bus during rush hour traffic, probably causing a wreck.
  11. The recipe is complete when either the cyclist lies mangled or dead on the road, or escapes the situation safely. Preferably the latter.
Scene of murder of cyclist John Anthony Diaz by bus driver Mindi Taylor Stafford who was on four prescription drugs. She’s in prison. Source: KXAN

Notes:

This recipe is a popular favorite in cities across America. However, it requires skill to make due to the wide variability and volatility of the ingredients. This dish can turn out to be a success or a disaster depending on the implements used. The easiest way to make this dish work well is train the bus drivers to change lanes to go around people on bicycles. Failing that, bicyclists should clock the bus number, route number, time, direction and make an incident report to the bus company. When that doesn’t work to get their lazy law-breaking ass fired, one can always raise holy hell with city council, the media, and bicycle advocacy organizations. The hope is to someday force the city to install PROTECTED bike lanes so lazy-assed, law-breaking drivers of 40,000 pound city buses don’t kill vulnerable human beings who, like in this case, are very experienced but still vulnerable due to riding 28-pound bicycles.

Anthony “Tony” John Diaz Source: Change.org petition

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4 thoughts on “Bus in the Bike Lane: A Recipe for…

  1. Here in Reno we have bike/bus lanes. I am sure these exist in many places. As you might see this; the mouse and the elephant are kept in the same cage. I hope our bus drivers are getting the training that we are all allies. When our transportation department asks for public comment I try to point out our phantom bike lanes (they just vanish), bike lanes across acceleration lanes at freeway on-ramps, bike lanes too close to on-street parking, and traffic signals not designed for bicycle traffic. These are issues I encounter on my short daily commute. Your article handles the worst case scenario in a clever way. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing, there’s so many opportunities for improvement but budgets and political will seem to be lacking. That’s great you advocate for improvements. I didn’t come up with the idea but liked it. Safe riding!

      Like

  2. Recipe for disaster most days. I think sometimes that the longer I do this the worse my odds for surviving such an incident. Stay safe, ever vigilant and keep the pressure on the local politicians to make necessary changes before something bad happens. But we all know that often the recipe for disaster takes a disaster to change things. Grim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately you’re probably right. Taxpayers approved a big bond last fall for more improvements but they don’t maintain the lanes they have.

      I felt I had this situation in hand and the safest thing would have been to get out of the way. But I’m brave or stupid enough to hold my ground and not capitulate to shitty drivers. I should have reported it but they could use the video against me even though I was well within my rights. The driver got the message and if anyone watches the video is be surprised but the driver would be warned foe sure.

      But not being dead is better than being right, so yeah, we have to make good choices. Do you use a rear view mirror?

      Like

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