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Caught on Camera: Metro Bus Harasses Will Campbell

Last March, there was a flurry of "bus versus bicycle" stories that captured the attention of bike blogs and Metro itself.  On it's worst day, two stories, one by Enci Box and one by Eric Richardson were posted within hours of each other.  Metro responded by putting together a task force for cyclists and operators to talk it out and hopefully come up with some solutions.

This year as Winter turns to Spring, another prominant bicycle activist and blogger reports on his "bus versus bike" story, but Will Campbell was armed with something neither Eric or Enci had on them.  A video camera.  Will explains the video clip above at his personal blog:

I was traveling westbound on Venice Boulevard on my bicycle in thestriped Class II bike lane between Ogden and Sawyer when the busoperator from out of view behind me on the left and moving at speedstartled me with two illegal honks of the bus horn. Despite me havingposition in the lane ahead of him and having the right of way theoperator immediately thereafter accelerated to pull abreast of me (atthe intersection of Sawyer and Venice) and began to bear rightencroaching against me while at the same time crossing over into thebike lane and forcing me to take evasive braking and maneuvering inorder to prevent the bus from striking me. The operator continued onwith zero concern for the risks he took until crossing completely overto the curb lane ultimately coming to a stop at the northeast corner ofthe intersection of Venice Boulevard and Fairfax.

After forwarding the blog post and video to Metro's bicycle and public relations department, I got a call from David Sotero from Metro's public relations office.  He told me that while Metro hadn't yet received the complaint, he forwarded it to customer relations who forwarded it to
the bus operator’s division manager for further follow up.

Sotero also asked me to ask anyone who has an issue with driver safety to please report it to Metro via their website or by emailing customerservice@metro.net.  If we can show that Campbell's, and Box's and Richardson's before him, experiences aren't just the exception to the rule, there's a better chance we'll be able to pressure Metro to make changes and get rid of unsafe drivers. It's too early to declare last year's efforts to reduce "bus v bike" incidents a failure, but if you have an issue on the street please contact Metro and feel free to also send a note to damien@streetsblog.org  and we'll make sure that at the very least your voice is heard at Metro HQ.

For more on Campbell's experience you can see images from his flickr set here and here and link to his youtube video here.

(Update: Will's complaint has been received by customer relations and the official response is on it's way to him now.)

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