Fri 20 Mar 2009
Thanks to my buddy Ted at BikinginLA tapping my buddy Damien at Streetsblog LA on the virtual shoulder and saying “Take a look at what happened to Will” last Tuesday, Damien not only re-posted my my timelapse video of my bad bus driver encounter on his indispensable blog, but because he knows actual people that work at the MTA and who return his phone calls and emails, he forwarded my rantings to a guy there who replied to him in decidedly measured bureaucratic tones advising Damien to rest assured knowing that attention would be paid to my complaint across the proper channels.
In fact, shortly after the Streetsblog post, I received this unsigned email from firstname.lastname@example.org:
Dear Mr. Campbell
Thanks for the follow-up email and please accept our apology for the regrettable incident described below. Rest assured, your report will be entered into our database and a copy sent to management staff for investigation. It should be noted that although your Customer Relations email was just opened, however, your earlier inquiry this morning to Dave Sotero prompted an immediate follow-up by the Division manager responsible for Line 333, Bus #8115. This matter will be thoroughly investigated and the appropriate corrective measures taken.
It needs noting that it was Damien who contacted Dave Sotero; until Damien picked up the ball and ran it into the endzone, I’d never heard of Sotero. It also bears stating that in my imperfect retributive world, I’d be invited to that “appropriate corrective measures” meeting and get the opportunity to give the bus operator a big ol’ real-world perspective that he couldn’t ignore and dismiss so casually from atop his air-cushioned throne inside his bus while pointing to where the bus number was painted and oh-so-casually daring me to complain.
But I digress. Because the point of today’s post is not to get all riled up about the past, but instead to admit that I go both ways. No not those both ways, gutterbrain. The both ways involved in being able to deliver the bitter as well as the sweet.
Witness today’s sugar regarding today’s bus encounter shared at the MTA’s online customer comments form:
As I consider it equally important to highlight bus operator behavior both excellent and inexcusable, following the complaint I filed (No. 3896) earlier this week regarding the inconsiderate operator of MTA Bus No. 8115, I wanted to write in to commend the operator of bus No. 3011 who this morning while westbound on Venice Boulevard approaching Hauser demonstrated excellent awareness and consideration for me on my bicycle in the Class II striped bike lane. Similar to No. 8115, No. 3011 approached me on the left from the rear, but instead of honking and forcing her bus across the bike lane to the curb she instead came to a stop in the traffic lane, leaving me with the right of way and allowing me to proceed safely to the intersection. It may be a minor matter, but I greatly appreciated it and the operator should be recognized for doing her part to share the road.
Here’s the timelapse video snip of her doing the right thing. And below is a “Goofus & Gallant” side-by-side images stills of the two, with No. 8011 on the left fully occupying the solid striped portion of the bike lane as I brake and go toward the curb, and No. 3011 on the right staying completely in the traffic lane — bonus kudos for doing so when she had the broken bike lane line she could have legitimately crossed over into (slightly biggifiable if clicked):