How Can Bicycles and Buses Share the Road More Safely?

Share the Road – Buses and Bicycles from Chicago Bicycle Program on Vimeo.

Yesterday morning, Megan Charlop was killed by a bus in the Bronx after apparently being doored and knocked into traffic by the driver of a parked car while riding her bike. Anyone who regularly rides a bicycle in New York City or or anywhere else knows that potentially fatal bus-bicycle interactions are common. Conflicts between buses and bikes are often created or exacerbated by double-parked cars or drivers who open their doors without looking, but there is also often a lack of clarity about how bus drivers and bicyclists should interact as they share the road. As a result, it can be scary and confusing to ride along bus routes.

In the comments about Charlop’s death on the Bronx News Network, one person asked, "Mayor Bloomberg and Ray Kelly: What are you going to do to make our streets safer for bicyclists?!"

Well, here’s one idea. What about following the lead of Chicago, where the local DOT and the Chicago Transit Authority created this excellent educational video for bus drivers and cyclists? (Thanks to Steven Vance of Streetsblog Network member Steven Can Plan for bringing it to our attention.)

The video takes a reasonable, practical approach to what can be a very emotional and dangerous relationship (and it does include a section that alerts both parties to the possibility of dooring). Educating car drivers is a separate challenge, but this is a great place to start. It’s the kind of thing that could help both bus drivers and cyclists to see each other as allies in the movement for safer streets, rather than adversaries.

See also the video about traffic enforcement for bicyclist safety made by the Chicago DOT and Chicago Police Department.

More from around the network: Reimagine an Urban Paradise has an update on Pittsburgh bike parking plan. Portland Transport links to a model for electric bikesharing. And Morristown Pedal Pushers has the top 10 rudest things drivers do when encountering cyclists.

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