Most of you have probably been following the story of Randy Mason, the Flagstaff cyclist who got grazed by a city bus and then yelled at for it, and then cited for disorderly conduct.
He was riding his bike as far to the right as he reasonably could, given that the bike lane was full of snow. The driver said that since Mason was technically inside the bike lane, a bus could come just as close as it wanted, so long as it didn’t cross that white stripe.
In other words: if you are in the bike lane, you don’t get three feet.
Naturally, the Flagstaff police agreed.
And so did the City Attorney.
Or anyway, they did until they started getting barraged and embarrassed by press reports and public outrage.
In the end, not only did everybody cave, but the disorderly charge was dropped and the bus driver was ticketed for what Ed Beighe over at AZbikelaw.org is saying may be the first-ever Arizona citation for a three-foot rule violation that did not involve an actual collision. And the Flagstaff daily wrote a great editorial about it.
I think the lesson to learn from all this is: don’t go quietly! Contact the press. Talk to me if you need tips on getting video and audio footage. Fight the power! These are bureaucracies we are dealing with here, and a lifetime of fighting bureaucracies has taught me that the only way to make them change is to humiliate them or to sue them. Usually, public humiliation is cheaper, quicker, and more fun.
Anyway, thats what Mason did, and he did it brilliantly. As the Flagstaff paper notes, the outcome of all of this is that both police and bus drivers are getting extra training on bike laws and how they apply. A positive step for all.