As soon as I got to work yesterday, the dispatcher handed me a customer complaint, and for once, it wasn't someone claiming that I'd "passed them up."
Apparently, somebody felt that I cut them off.
Of course, it's entirely possible- probable, even- that I did. The person who complained seemed relatively reasonable and perception is
reality, right? They noted that they were aware of the fact that they are required to yield to a bus coming out of a stop, but claimed that we were even at the stop until I bolted out in front of them and cut them off.
We were sitting at Chicago Avenue, eastbound on Franklin Avenue. The bus stop is in a right turn only lane. One lane continues straight and one lane is a left turn lane.
Here is what I do at that stop, and every stop like it.
When I'm ready to go, I put on my left turn signal, to indicate that I'll be leaving the stop. When the light turns green, I'll have already scanned the intersection, so I... wait for it... go.
I go straight forward, toward the parked cars on the other side of the intersection. That gives the cars on my left enough time to get past me. How many cars? Two. That's typically how many have time to get by me by the time I'm going to move back into traffic. Two cars sit next to the bus at a stop. The third is back far enough that they can wait for me to get in front of them.
Of course, it doesn't always work like that. Sometimes, the third car rides the second car's bumper and refuses to let me in. Then three cars get by me. Sometimes one of the first two cars is not paying attention when the light changes. Then I move forward and they do not. At that point, I often make my move to their lane and "cut them off," as they figure out that the light is green about the time I'm almost past them.
I can't remember the incident in question for sure, but I'm guessing that the complainer was someone who was not paying attention. I do remember having to stop in the middle of that intersection sometime last week because the first car next to me started too late, then rode alongside my rear tires. But they didn't pass me as I slowed and stopped, so I went ahead and got into their lane. I guess an argument could be made that I had cut them off. Again, I have no idea if that was the person who complained, but if it wasn't, then I have absolutely no idea when I would have cut someone off.
However, something about the story didn't quite ring true. The complaint stated that we were sitting side-by-side at the light and that I "bolted" out in front of the car in question. Really? I "bolted" somewhere, anywhere, in my 0-to-60-in-three-minutes rocket ship? Awesome. Um, or... not likely.