Do you/would you feel safe riding in the city?

1/1: Do you/would you feel safe riding in the city?

Mostly yes
Nether yes nor no
Mostly no
Other polls | 222 votes | 4 Comments
Login required to comment
In general, I feel okay commuting through the city, albeit some neighborhoods are a bit sketchy and act as incentive to pedal FAST. My problem is with arrogant bus drivers. I do not try and race buses or anything, but they stop so often that it is not hard to catch up and pass a bus. But then as soon as they pull away from the stop, they (seem) to step on the gas as hard as possible in order to get behind you and play a game of chicken. Instead of letting you either stay ahead of them in the lane or pass on your left with ample room, they just get up on your butt, then pass so close on your left that you practically get knocked over. And this goes on repeatedly until you either a) lose the bus at a light or b) the bus or you make a turn onto another street. Then the icing on the cake happened on Friday (May 2). I was on Belvedere Avenue, heading east, right in front of the Belevedere Square shopping center. I travel in the parking lane when possible, but being that it was a beautiful Friday afternoon, the street parking spaces were full. I crossed over York Road ahead of a yellow school bus who was waiting behind a left-turning car. When the bus caught up to me, instead of waiting for the opposite lane to be clear and passing with ample room, he/she (didn't get a good look at the driver) passed so close to me that the rear of the bus smacked my handle bars, causing me to crash to the ground. I missed a parked car by inches. The worst part is the bus KEPT ON GOING. Either the driver was ignorant of the near catastrophe of just didn't give a s**t about a cyclist who was in the way of the bus. The crazy thing is that if he/she had just stayed behind me, we would've wound up being stopped at the same light, so the bus did not get any further ahead by knocking me out of the road. Unfortunately, I was tangled up in my bike, the chain was hanging off the bike, cables were twisted around my reflector, etc, so I didn't get a chance to get the info on the bus or pedal to catch up with the bus. Aside from bruising on my legs and scratches on the bike, there was no major damage to myself or my bike, so i didn't see the point in calling for police. Besides, I can't help but feel that city cops would have an attitude that they don't have time for such trivial matters. Does anyone know of a way to rectify such a problem? I would LOVE to catch the driver and have him/her cited for reckless driving, perhaps having the CDL suspended to teach a valuable lesson, but I realize that is virtually impossible since I didn't have a chance to get the vehicle information from the bus as it sped away from the scene.
Wow, I'm so glad that you weren't seriously hurt in this matter. I've had my bouts with buses, but mostly just with cabbies. My route home is down St. Paul Street and as I pass Penn Station, I am always confronted with those arrogant cabbies that want to cut me off. Even though I am going just as fast as they are, they feel the need to pull in front of me as they make that right hand turn into the station to just sit there and wait for the next customer. Would it kill them to just wait that split second as I pass the entrance, with just as much right as they have. I've caught the tail end of the cabs one too many times to not consider it a game that they like to play. They don't stop either. I think bicycle safety and awareness should start with the MVA. When people get their license, they should be schooled in all vehicles that are on the road and made sure that bikers have just as much right to the road as any other vehicle, and maybe even more right!!!!! I hate getting yelled at because I am riding in the street. And when I say street, it is really in the parking lane, just inches from a car door opening, or catching a mirror to the handle bars. So no one can say that I take up a lot of room. I am not going to ride on the sidewalks. They are for pedestrians. No one should be in that much of a hurry, unless you are dying or having a baby, to get where you need to go. We can share the road. Let's be cautious and aware of our surroundings. Let's share the roads
As far as traffic, I think I can handle most any situation. I signal and have light for bring seen, and I drive cars a lot so I know how a driver may act and I try not to be a pest to them. As for other safety concerns, Baltimore is where they film The Wire. With this in mind. I might feel a bit better driving a Bradley fighting vehicle with a full crew. I don't know the city very well yet, so I have to plan routes carefully and go fast.
I've ridden through the city a few times, usually on my way to Annapolis and on one occassion to Elkridge. Some of these trips started before dawn or were long enough to be after night fall. With the proper equipment and experience, riding with traffic in the city is not difficult. --- -- iodaniell