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left turns

Many Voices, One Goal for Bus and Pedestrian Safety

I recently attended, and had the opportunity to be part of a panel of speakers, at the NYC MTA Bus Safety Symposium. A variety of topics were discussed regarding bus and pedestrian safety issues. What was obvious is we all have a common goal to provide the safest transit systems possible, in spite of the possibility of increasing bus/pedestrian and bus/cyclist collisions.

Still Blaming Bus-Pedestrian Contact On the A-Pillar/Mirror Design?

I have had it with the never-ending meeting of the minds on the predominant causes of left-turn bus-pedestrian collisions. This whole issue is getting obscured with presentations that slice and dice every possible cause of these incidents into a collection of symbols, numbers and formulas. Please stop.

Key Steps to Managing Left-Turning Buses and Pedestrian Safety

Bus operators are not blindfolded. Operators are trained and required to identify potential hazards, based on their forward planning skills. With regard to left turns, these so called “blind spots” are really areas behind the left A-pillar/mirror that are “temporarily” obstructed to the operator, not blind to the operator. The key here is for the operators to utilize their observation and forward planning skills to minimize the time that their vision is temporarily obstructed. The pedestrian that regrettably becomes a victim of bus contact should be in the clear view of the operator long before arriving at the location where the contact occurred. Pedestrians are not “coming out of nowhere!"

Are your bus operators square?

If you are in transit, you know this question has nothing to do with lifestyle and everything to do with left hand turns. And in transit, we prefer squares. For the sake of clarity, we are talking about the difference between taking extra care to square off a left-hand turn as opposed to simply rounding the turn. A square turn involves setting up the pivot point of the bus and by its very nature requires the operator to conduct the turn at a much slower rate of speed.