Cyclist Demands Answers From LA Metro After Altercation With Bus Driver Over Lane Share
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A bicyclist is demanding answers from the Los Angeles Metro after he says a bus driver caused a near-collision by ignoring lane share laws during his Monday morning commute.
Michael MacDonald says he narrowly escaped crashing into the back of a Metro bus in Mid-City the morning of June 9.
His helmet camera caught what appears to be the driver cutting him off, and their exchange following the near-crash.
“You just cut me off,” MacDonald tells the driver, who responds, “Don’t ride in the middle of the lane.”
MacDonald continues to defend his position in the video, insisting he had the right-of-way.
The driver declines to provide his identification number at MacDonald’s request and eventually shuts his window, ending the conversation.
“I was on my breaks full-on, making sure that I was coming to a really quick stop,” MacDonald said.
KCAL9′s Kristine Lazar reports the law tells cyclists to ride in the middle of the lane when a bike lane is not available. There is no bike lane on the stretch of West Adams that MacDonald takes to and from work every day.
“His response to me made it seem that he had seen me and that what he had done was an intended act to make it clear I didn’t belong in the road,” MacDonald said.
He has since filed a complaint with Metro.
L.A. County Bicycle Coalition Planning and Policy Director Eric Bruins defended MacDonald’s position.
“The cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities of drivers of motor vehicles. And so that means the right to use a lane,” Bruins said. “And so if the lane is too narrow to safely share side-by-side, then cyclists should be in the middle of the lane to make it very clear to drivers that they will have to change lanes to pass.”
Metro launched a campaign just last year raising awareness for cyclist safety.
Slogans like, “Every lane is a bike lane,” and “Every day is a bike day,” appeared on billboards and were splashed across Metro buses.
A spokesperson from the agency said it has reviewed MacDonald’s video and issued the following statement to KCAL9: “Sharing the road with bicyclists is part of our bus operator training. We have asked Metro Operations to conduct a full investigation, which is now underway. Safety is our number one priority.”
Metro also said they would be in contact with MacDonald in the coming days.
The spokesperson declined to say if action would be taken against the bus driver pending the outcome of the investigation, calling it a personnel issue.