Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Got bumped by a bike today

Are people supposed to carry their bike up on the escalator? I thought they were supposed to use the stairs or the elevator. It seems awfully crowded and dangerous to have a bike on a packed up-escalator!

Granted, the woman, extremely thin and frail-looking, was doing her best to carry the bike at shoulder-level to avoid bumping into crowds. I kept my distance from her the best I could...about 3 escalator steps behind her. I was getting nervous watching her because I could tell her arms were getting tired and the bike was swinging back and forth as her arms started to lower.

Suddenly, she took a step down on the escalator to help keep her balance, but the bike swung backwards anyways and she ended up right in front of me. One of her bike tires hit my face as a result. I was expecting it to happen....I knew at some point she would not be able to keep the bike above her shoulders. There were passengers riding the escalator behind me, so I couldn't take more steps back to protect myself.

It didn't hurt much. I was more concerned with the tires being dirty than hurting my face. She was so apologetic and having such a tough time with her bike that I felt too sorry for her to yell at her!


Anonymous said...

bikes are not allowed on escalators. If the woman was too frail to carry her bike up the stairs she should have used the elevator. BART Bike Rules

That's really dangerous, if you had fallen back as a result it could have started domino situation on the escalator and really injured people.

Frankly, if you're going to attempt to carry a bike on the escalator you should rest the tires on the stair treads, with the bike tilted at an angle. Still breaks the rules and is dangerous, but it would avoid the "tired arms" problem....

David said...

I'm getting tired of bikes being on BART during the commute hours. For the most part, the bike riders are down right rude.

The BART bike rules say people bringing bikes onboard must "yield to other passengers, and not block aisles or doors..." but I see this happening every day. These rude people seem to prefer the sideway seats by the doors. They sit down then place their bikes in front of them, thus blocking the seat.

In spite of the fact that BART says "(r)egardless of any other rule, bikes are never allowed on crowded cars", they are quite often on crowded cars. Hell, just by the fact that the bikes take up so much room, the cars become crowded.

BART is a people mover, not a mover of bikes. They should be banned.

I've written BART about this but all they said was that they'd look into it.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree, or at least make it a last car only policy (which wont work because the same riders that arn't obeying the rules now won't follow any new ones that come along either)

I have a fealing that Bart will always take the stance "look into it" until something happens on the trains and people get hurt because the bikes were on the trains. Then they will hide behind the rules that they don't enforce now and start some BS "strict rules" campain which will work until it becomes old news and everything goes back to the was that it is now.

bartmusings said...

I see bikers walk in and out of the side gates all the time without paying. When will someone actually start enforcing rules more seriously? I don't mean to generalize but whenever I look at the station ticket agents, they're looking down doing something but never looking at people who are walking right in front of them!

I have yelled at bikers on BART before for their lack of consideration- in addition to breaking "no bike" rules, they actually don't even have the consideration to remove their bikes to the side so people can actually sit or stand comfortably.

Anonymous said...

Bikes are a big problem that BART doesn't deal with..

Yep, many (not all) are rude, they don't follow the rules, they use the elevators or the side gates to fare evade.

The rules can be enforced by the california vehicle code (see the bike rules)

Most Station Agents dislike the bikers that don't follow the rules, but it is BART Police that are supposed to cite them.

BART Police do not support or help the Agents catch the bikers, so the Agents give up and turn a blind eye.

Over the years the bikers created a "east bay bike coalition" to push their way on the trains (which they should be allowed to, but pay for the room they take, anytime). They fight any restrictions with politics and with disregard for the rest of the public.

I ride my bike, and I don't want to get flamed here. But I've seen attitudes of some bikers that make the rest of us look bad.

BART Police needs to step up the enforcement of the rules, but they won't. And many Agents will continue to turn a blind eye, since they can't do anything.

And the public will continue to see bikes on escalators, bikes fare evading, bikes on commute trains taking up space for 2 and paying for 1, and the occasional bike grease on the seats.

bartmusings said...

Thanks for sharing your insight and for being one of the considerate bikers.

Some train operators do a decent job kicking out bikers during commute hours. One in particular on the Pittsburg/Baypoint to SF route....he would literally yell over the speakers saying, "The gentleman who just walked onto this train with your bike- please exit immediately. This is a commuter train only- I repeat please remove your bike and exit immediately."

Maybe train operators ought to be the ones enforcing the bike rules on trains? I don't know for sure how this operator knew, but I'm assuming he was carefully monitoring either through a window or video cameras.

Whatever he did, it worked!

Anonymous said...

What they need is a special "bike car" on some trains where they take out half or all the seats and just have a big open car for people with bikes.

Of course, this only address the car space issue, and not the rude people issue....

Anonymous said...

Tsk tsk on her. Sometimes I say "They could give you a ticket for that."