The above blink-and-you’ll-miss-it snippet sliced from today’s morning commute timelapse footage might seem at first look to be nothing much, so lemme just cut to the chase and let the complaint filed with the MTA tell the whole story:
The operator of MTA Bus No. 8115 on the westbound 333 line at 9:20 a.m. this morning committed several moving violations and demonstrated a blatant disregard for safe driving practices.
I was traveling westbound on Venice Boulevard on my bicycle in the striped Class II bike lane between Ogden and Sawyer when the bus operator from out of view behind me on the left and moving at speed startled me with two illegal honks of the bus horn. Despite me having position in the lane ahead of him and having the right of way the operator immediately thereafter accelerated to pull abreast of me (at the intersection of Sawyer and Venice) and began to bear right encroaching against me while at the same time crossing over into the bike lane and forcing me to take evasive braking and maneuvering in order to prevent the bus from striking me. The operator continued on with zero concern for the risks he took until crossing completely over to the curb lane ultimately coming to a stop at the northeast corner of the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Fairfax.
Approaching the operator via his window on the left side of the bus (which he refused to open) and advising him that the safer more responsible action would be to decrease his speed and pull in behind me, he simply shrugged and pointed to the front of the bus where its number is located. I told him I’d already noted it and planned on filing a complaint without delay. The operator couldn’t have cared less.
It’s entirely disheartening to encounter such sub-quality, aggressive, irresponsible and unrepentant bus operators who do the MTA such a great disservice. A less-experienced cyclist might have ended up injured or worse because of this operator’s careless behavior.
As a dedicated bicycle commuter I carry cameras (handheld and bike-mounted) with me to document egregious incidents like this. A real-time timelapse video clip of the bus violating my space and pictures of the front and rear of the bus are publicly viewable at the following links:
Past complaints made to the MTA black hole otherwise known as its Customer Relations Department about bad bus operator encounters have brought little more than a form-letter acknowledgment of receipt of my statement and I don’t expect much different this time around.