Photo's Of The Week

Montgomery Park Bus Stop. 

Montgomery Park Bus Stop. 

Jerry Draws for Me At 82nd and Powell  

Jerry Draws for Me At 82nd and Powell

 

Jerry image of a bus rider

Jerry image of a bus rider

Bad Temper Day  

Bad Temper Day

 

Woman who Almost Ran Me Over... I wonder why she ran the red light and almost killed me in the crosswalk?

Woman who Almost Ran Me Over... I wonder why she ran the red light and almost killed me in the crosswalk?

One of my old Pics, Yet Still I love this one. Crows Be Thinking. 

One of my old Pics, Yet Still I love this one. Crows Be Thinking. 

The Golden Hours Can Even Make A Bus Look Cool  

The Golden Hours Can Even Make A Bus Look Cool

 

Missed it by That! Much!

Missed it by That! Much!

Bike Report Card: An Outside View of the Portland Cyclist Scene.

 

 

 

Well it’s been a while since I have given a report card to the Cyclist of Portland. I know, Trimet is holding its breath hoping against hope that I do not start some outrage. Calm your jets, all is well. I just want to say that as a city of many types of transit things are going well and cyclist are no exception. My basis for comparison is Cyclist encounters when I first started driving the bus 10 years ago. Also I have to paint with a broad brush here so in no way do I imply that what is happening goes for every single Cyclist.

 

So Here it goes. I should maybe start like my Dad always did when we talked about Report Cards. “GET OFF THAT ATARI AND GET IN HERE!”  

 

Lights A++: This is such a relief to any driver of large vehicles. I don’t need to tell you why lights are good, we are all adults and know the facts but there is more. Gone are those micro-small token lights, you know the little dots that are just there to keep your ass from getting a ticket. I hardly see these at all. Also I find a lot less of those demonic LED's Flashing in my eyeballs, now this could be that people point them down and out… just as good as pointing them forward where they actually blind other drivers. So because of the token light loss and the LED light changes I say Power on Cyclist you are lighting the way to the future.

illuminate-your-bike-night-with-these-super-bright-diy-rim-lights.w654.jpg

Helmets A: Hey helmets don’t make you a safer operator but twice this year I have seen Cyclist saved by helmets. One was an Ice fall off a wire, the rider shrugged it off. The other was a low speed collision with a parked truck and the cyclist hit the ground head first and didn’t have a scratch… All hail the Helmet! Do IT!

 

Merging Courtesy A-: Don’t let the minus fool ya most cyclist are far more aware of large vehicles and are far more kind than ever. Sometimes it’s shocking, sometimes it’s even unwarranted and there is a battle of kindness, really! I stopped at a light and the cyclist pulled up, we did a high five and laughed. He was leaving room for me and I was leaving room for him. How cool is that. Still there are a few out there who drive with a righteous chip on their shoulder but they are now shockingly few.

Lane Pain B: If there is anything I would say cyclist should be aware of it’s lane encroachment. It seems sometimes comical that the larger they make the bike lanes and the wider they make the buffers the more often I have cyclist swinging out into the car lane unexpectedly.  Sometimes it’s not only me it’s the cars that they effect and then the cars try to crash into my bus. I think this is something that will be sorted out in time. As for now I like one little bike lane with no buffer, now those riders in those small lanes keep their heads in the transit game. This is an area where I think we will see future improvements.

Hmm could work

Hmm could work

Bus Mall B+: Things have gotten better on the Mall except in Summer. This grade should be a solid A but in the Summer things go crazy on the transit mall. It’s so close to an A but I can’t do it given how crazy it is. This is one area that will need improvement in the summer to change. The hardcore cyclist have a good head on their shoulder and understand the Transit Mall, but come summer they are flooded by those who just want to feel the breeze in their hair and “hey look that double white line looks like a bus lane!”


Rain A: This is one area where there is a lot more defensive driving skills being shown. I have to really salute Portland on this one. Rain and darkness is a horrible combination, but watching bikes around my bus has shown me a far more sophisticated cyclist who understand that a city bus is a big blind Rhino at those terrible times. Thank you all, really this is awesome.

Hand Signaling B: Better but still not the best, Still rare but it is growing. As you know I’m a big fan of hand Signaling and I still have my Free pizza dinner for cyclist in Portland when I see enough Hand Signaling. I’m happy with the progress. Please please please practice using hand Signals when you can. I talked with one rider who got in the habit one day at a time. It started with Mondays being Signal days, a month later he added Tuesdays and… you get it, right! Keep it up.

 

Bus Bike Carrier B+: When you are standing at a stop you should

A: Balance on the edge of the curb like an Acapulco cliff diver holding a bike, ready to step out the second the bus starts to slow. Cause you want to shave an entire second off your loading time by moving first as the bus pulls in.

B: Balance on the edge of the curb like an Acapulco cliff diver holding a bike, ready to lean outwards but not stepping out until the bus stops. Even though from behind the wheel of a bus I can’t tell the difference between A and B.

C: Once the bus sees me and signals that they are pulling in, take a half step back to put the drivers mind at ease that I’m not (A or B from above) and that I’m not moving until the bus is stopped.

More and more riders are choosing C. When I see C people I pull the rack right up to them, they just step off the curb and bang! They are done. When I see A or B people I stop away from them because it scares me and it’s not safe, so that second those A and B cyclist think they are saving by stepping out early is lost when they have to come to the bus on the other side of the bus stop. Ok B cyclist you didn’t do anything wrong like stepping in front of my moving bus but I can’t tell if you are going to, you look like those A people, so I have to treat you like A people. C people you get all my love.

248335297_3cdf194b2f.jpg

 

Rational Bike Lanes D-: Ok this is not the fault of Cyclist but it needs to be addressed. Can someone please, please! do a little thinking when adding Bike Lanes in the city. It’s a madhouse of not enough bike lanes where there are cyclist and way way too many bike lanes that are virtually empty year round. Look, I understand there is some sort of push to be the most bike friendliest place in the whole wide world, I don’t have a problem with that, but it's’ counter productive to simply be slapping bike lanes down like some Russian Communist party program in the 1970’s that’s trying to keep up with the west. “They have 5000 Kilometers of bike lanes in the west, Comrades! We will build 10,000 Kilometers of bike lanes… sure Siberia not so good for bike but Comrades! We cannot afford a bike lane gap!”

I’m sure there is something to the idea of providing bike lanes to encourage bike use but we must not get ahead of the market because there is more than a little push back when people, see their parking spaces disappear and are lucky to see a single bike at any time in those lanes, this is serving no one well. We need a little common sense balance here that is all. More is not always better if where you need more you are getting less… Wait does that makes sense? I’m not sure.

Overall not too shabby. A few places to improve on, but overall I have to say I like the direction we are headed in. Pedestrians, Cyclist, Cars and Busses can all learn to live in peace… Maybe not unicycles we can all agree those people are crazy.

“Ok now go back to your Atari.”

Thanks Dad, I love you.

You All Roll Easy. 

 

Remember Feb 2014: A tail of Transit Fail and Bus Driver Success.

Today when I was going through my photo's for the web page I found my Feb 2014 pics and realized that they told a story in their natural order so I thought I would just put on a slide show then I remembered why do a slide show when you can make a video so here it is. 

Have fun. 

Photos of the Week Wednesdays "The Ground Profound"

While searching my photo library I could not help but to notice that I have a thing for the Ground. You know the ground we all overlook as we go about in our daily life. For some reason that has got me transfixed and I end up with lot's of pics of the ground I don't really remember taking. So here it is this weeks Photos. 

This curb did not just happen. This was done by a bus or busses over time. You would think that looking down and seeing this people would stand back when the bus pulls up... You would think but you would be wrong. 

 

Ok not the ground to be sure but let me ask you this? WHO PUTS A LIGHT POLL IN A BUS YARD! Shouldn't that person also get a preventative accident or PA against their record every time a bus hits it? I mean this is like laying a bear trap on a side walk then blaming the pedestrians when they get a broken leg. 

I love the Max stop on 82nd. These long steps have seen a lot of traffic. I can remember this day because it's the day I got sick while driving and threw up outside the window of my moving bus. 

The Table at the North Terminal break room. Not "the Ground" but close. It's been used so much it's breakdown slowly. That takes many many lunches give a wood table a texture like that. 

Leaf stains and textures fought it out in this pic. They just came by and cleaned up the leaves and this is all that remained. 

Oh bus stops you never disappoint. Here we see a little bit of everything humans are about. Money, Cigs, Gum, Soda, oil stains, it's all here. 

Mop the floors with dirty water and you really don't do much do you. This felt like walking on sand because it was dirt from every other bus that mop had washed. This doesn't happen that much, Our yard crew keeps the busses tip top but this is what happens when someone slacks off

One of my earliest photos for my bus blog. I was just about to take a pic of the ground here when a passenger in a car tossed a chicken tender out the window. This crow swooped down and had himself the big score for his day. Crow Eating Chicken. 

Don't remember anything about this. Love the texture here. 

What makes a texture even more awesome. Try a bit of rain and a bright bright sun. This turned this normal looking ground into something great. 

Ok they don't all end out great. This one just didn't work

This one did work out. Just one of those things that happened right in front of me. Guy kicks cap and a minute or two later I snap this. 

Well That's all for this week. 

You stay crazy my beloved readers. 

And Roll Easy. 

Trimet Transit Terms Tuesday #5 "The Pouch"

"Without My Pouch I am Nothing"   Old Marine Corp Saying... maybe I'm wrong here but what the heck. 

Welcome to episode #5 of the almost unpronounceable Trimet Transit Terms Tuesday. That's right sweet riders and late night drivers we are here to give you the inside skinny on everything Transit.  So sit back relax and lets us fill your brain with knowledge. Hey if you already know this read on any way cause we are going to have some fun. 

Before you get to drive one of these

You are going to need a pouch. 

Wait not a Kangaroo pouch. That kind of pouch is not something you would like to carry around. Imagine a gym shirt you could never remove... That's what the inside of Kangaroo pouch is like. 


Pouches are kept by station Agents and handed out to drivers as you sign in. 

The pouch stays with the bus all day. 

In the pouch is all the things you may need. 

  • Your schedule... called a paddle. 
  • Your maps for your routes. 
  • Information on your route like blocked road or reroutes
  • You also have an accident package. 
  • You have other things like different work cards for repairs 
  • You have lost and found cards
  • An extra roll of paper for the ticket machine.
  • Keys for bathrooms at special locations

Most importantly it has your trip sheet, The proof you did your work that day. It has an inspection checklist, sign in, bus # you will drive and end time. There are extra slots for other drivers after you to sign in incase you are handing the bus off on a road relief. Hey road relief we talked about that before, remember! it's all coming together. 

Well thats it for today.

Not too fancy, not to dancy just a little know juice about the pouch. 

Ok that's all I can do on this day. I'm sick as a dog and will be back another time for some transit fun. 

Check you all down the road... and don't forget to Roll Easy

 

 

“...somedays are like that” What I see from the driver’s seat.

This Monday finds me in a poor mood, I know I’m not the only one out there feeling blue on a Monday. I know many of you feel blue on a Monday because I see your faces when I pick you up. Somedays it’s hard to look for the good, to find what’s human in others by their own actions. Somedays it seems that everyone acts in their most negative lights feeding the biases and misconceptions of others. Some days are like that. 

Some days it’s personal stuff crowding into your work or commuter life. Bills, promises unkept, what’s broken and needs fixing, what’s undone what needs to be done, kids, family much of this is good things but when added together the weight can get us down. I know I’m not the only one I see that in your faces as well when I pick you up. Somedays it feels like the accumulative weight of the world is pinning us down, holding us fast. Some days are like that. 

Some days we see the world and the problems. The troubles and wars and the grim grip of the abyss trying to strangle out the light of knowledge. Somedays we see how hard it is to build and to make and how easy it is for those with no ideas and with no ideals to just destroy what has taken far longer to make. Somedays we see how precious are the delicate threads of understanding and peace and savage are the blows that fall upon those threads. I know you see this too, I see that weight in your eyes, I see you looking at your newspaper and then looking way for salvation in the night passing by my bus. Some days are like that. 

Some days it’s the weight of others, not their actions to one another but their destructive acts towards themselves that you see. You see it even if you do not want too, even when you try to look away, to talk to the person in the seat next to you. You see those who know better but seem so powerless to choose another way. Some days they get you down, I know they do because I see your faces while we are driving. Some days it is just all too much and there is nothing that can be done… some days are like that. 

Some days the weather beats you down, Relentless cold always there, driving rains with fat drops of ice cold water seeming to target any gap you leave unattended. You suffer through driving winds, you struggle with snow and ice. It just seems so crazy that you have to put up with all this just to crowd onto a bus to get home, go to school, go to work, see a friend. I can see you think, “Is this all worth it, do I need to go to the store?” I know you are thinking this because I can see it on your faces at the stops, I can hear it in your sighs when you climb aboard and see every seat is taken, Some days are like that too. 

Some days it’s all to heavy, all of the above just piles on. I fight back with a smile, and kind word but I feel like I’m tossing sand in the Ocean. Somedays it’s too much for me to fix with kind words. Some days I feel everything that is going on in the bus. Somedays you can see that on my face as well. We are all the same in our little bus lifeboat. Fragile, broken, lost, fallen, found, upset, angry, uncomfortable, in pain. It doesn’t matter if you are the driver or the driven. If you are a payer or a skater slipping in on a bluff. We are all the same humans with all that entails. Sometimeswe are good, sometimes we are happy and on some Mondays we are down, sometimes all the way down. some days are very much like that. 

What a strange world our world is, that in it, such actors as we, fight alone together side by side.  

Photo Wednesday: pics about life of a bus driver

Hey Pam... I hope you're out there. Just so you know it's still there under there 205 freeway at Powell. May you live longer than your graffiti. 

Yes it was just sitting there at the bus stop. I bought this issue in 1991. OMNI was one of the best magazines of it's time. By 1991 though it had faded, still what are the odds?

Sometimes on the way to work you have to stop and snap a photo of what you pass every day but never notice. I love this door. 

When I first started driving this bus I would pick up this guy every Sunday morning. Well 9 years later and we are still friends. Always good to have him aboard. 

On the hottest day of the year there are good and bad places to break down... This is a good one. 

Ready to write down ideas for my next blog post as drivers talk and complain. 

Monday Monday... so good to me. Monday evening driving was all it could be. 

Temporary break room with padlock on the outside... so while you are inside people can A: lock you in or B: just walk in and start talking to you. 

7-11 the donut shop of the 2000 teens. Safest I felt all day. 

Tri-met Transit Terms Tuesday. “Doubling Back, Tri-met's little ugly Troll"

Ok groovy Transit Tribbles it’s time for another Trimet Transit Terms Tuesday, the day I hip you to the terms, lingo, ideas and words used by bus wranglers and train hangers. The only question now is, “are you ready for this!” 

Today we are going to bespeak that most evil and hated words “Doubling Back” There was a time, a time years ago when the word doubling back was just another word at Tri-met like water or rider. 

Then came an accident an accident that caused death. 

After many decades of never being a subject of interest all of a sudden the media blew up like a nuclear bomb. Now with all the hype of dead bodies behind it, the media became self elected experts on transit safety and who was there favorite whipping boy? It was Doubling Back. 

If you believed the press doubling back was a tool forced on Tri-met by union thugs who broke in at gun point… Before we tell you that story lets talk a bit about what doubling back is. 

You see when you are a bus driver you work shifts.

  • AM shifts
  • Midday shifts
  • PM shifts

So what happens if you work a late shift, say a late PM shit and found out you had an early AM shift the next morning? If it was within 8 hours you could do one of two things. 

1. Pass up, that means someone else would do your AM slot and you would show up later to work, or double back, that means you would show up and do that AM slot.

2. Doubling Back, is just showing up to do an AM shift after you work a PM shift. So if I got off at 2 AM I could come back at 8 AM and do that shift as well. 

The press went shitbird crazy over this. The idea of bus drivers driving on only 6 hours of sleep! 

Did this have anything to do with the accident that cost lives? nope, not a factor at all but a witch hunt is a witch hunt and you better not ever stand up against a witch hunt unless you want to be crucified and burned. 

Sensing a political hot potato Tri-met rolled over and jumped aboard the reform band wagon as if they had nothing to do with things like doubling back, like they didn’t benefit from it at all. 

They never mentioned that doubling back was not only allowed, it was encouraged by them so they could have enough drivers. That was there game, butts in seats. Oh but don’t mention that on the Reform Wagon. 

Some simple math may have saved the great transit worker freakout in the media. the media who was sure that every driver was doubling back or working 100 hours a week.

Not all drivers doubled back, Not even a majority, not even a minority, In fact it was just a few. Most just passed up the runs when they did not get enough sleep. Those drivers that did double back, usually planned around it. It was not unusual for them to be sleeping in their cars or staying at friends houses that were close to the garage. So if they only got 6 hours off most of that was sleeping. While if I had 8 hours off after commuting, coming home, fixing dinner a few chores I was lucky to get 6 hours of sleep as well. 

Driver adaptation didn’t matter, the Crusade Rolled on and the Double Back was shot with a silver bullet. 

What was strange you could still work two 8 hour slots. You just could not work them over an evening. So I could work an AM slot and come back and work a PM slot. That’s 16 hours of work but I could not work a PM slot and an AM slot… now that was doubling back!  It’s the same amount of time what is assumed is that we all sleep at the same time. Back when people doubled back they adjusted their sleep to accommodate the shift, If you sleep 8 hours after or 8 hours before a run it still sleep. So one way is ok and the other is forbidden. 

Doubling back was never something I could do because it did not fit my schedule . I could not get in the flow to do it but some drivers did it all the time. Good for them I always thought. Again it was more a matter of life style. 

Now back to the popular media story, Tri-met made it sound like overtime working and Doubling back was forced on them at gunpoint by Union thugs. That it was a crime perpetrated by drivers against a poor defenseless transit company. The truth is Tri-met loved it. They needed overtime because they were chronically short on drivers, without overtime and doubling back runs would have been canceled in the thousands of hours. 

So Doubling back came to an end. The gap between runs was made 10 hours for normal drivers and 9 Hours for us drive-a-holic extra board drivers. Tri-met then went on a 5 years hiring binge, a hiring binge that is still rolling along to this day and will be going until 2017. that should tell you just how much over time and extra work there was back then. Doubling back has now been relegated to the transit graveyard along side Owl Service and Transit Zones. 

Or has it? 

Is there not a time when Doubling back rises from the grave? Like a zombie in the walking dead every time there is a transit emergency the “Safety” restrictions are lifted. That’s right in snow and ice and volcanic eruption or in case of a Trump victory in the election our transit agency lifts all these “Safety” limitations. You can work unlimited hours again, you can even… dare I say it, DOUBLE BACK! Thats right when driving is at it’s worse, doubling back rises from the grave and once again walks the bull pens of Trimet for both rail and bus. By the way if you ever seen someone at the end of doubling back you will understand the zombie reference. 

So there you go, Bus Hoppers and Train Stoppers, now you know the truth, the story and three zone pass of it. 

I would like to say more but I have run out of time. 

“Hail to the bus driver, bus driver, bus driver, Hail to the bus driver the bus driver man” 

Roll Easy lemon Squeezey.

5th Avenue Angels

 

No one on earth can feel like this,
I’m thrown and overblown with bliss,
There must be an angel  
Playing with my heart.

By the Eurythmics, June 1985

What you need to know #1: In downtown Portland two streets are designated transit ways and that is 5th avenue a one way South street and 6th Avenue a one way North street. Each is made up of three lanes, the most left lane is the auto-lane, the middle lane is the transit way lane for bus and Light rail train travel, and the right lane is where the busses and the trains pullover to service their stops.

What you need to know #2: What are angels? While there are many ideas of just what an angel is, to some an Angel is a beautiful celestial being, while some others believe we turn into angelic beings when we pass. I, as an atheist and a bus driver have a little different view. For me it’s simple, an Angel is a person whose life I have saved by my defensive action as a bus operator.

I’ve said it a hundred times, driving is a life or death job. In your hands as a bus operator you save lives every day. What you do and what you don’t do has a direct impact on life and death of those about your bus. When you see a bus driver you never see the Angels they have created but trust me they are there in uncounted multitudes, An army of Angel’s following each driver. They earned these Angels every time they saves someones life.

Now let’s get into this weeks tale, this is from events about a month ago.

On this night I’m doing a 19 bus. I’m sitting on Burnside about to turn on to 5th Avenue, that transit mall I mentioned above. It was cold, raining and about 8:30 so no rush hour. It had been a quiet Tuesday so I felt I had nothing to fear. It doesn’t work that way, unlike other jobs where you have down time or times when decisions are not critical while a bus is moving every action you make is critical.

I was about to be reminded of how critical every action could be.

As I made my turn from Burnside to 5th avenue one of the local street people decided that it was his time to cross the street, red don’t walk hand be damned! With a wave of his paper bag covered bottle he strolled forward after standing unmoving while the walk signal said he could go.

As my bus sweeps the turn there is a time when he disappears into a blind spot, I noticed he was not on the curb and stopped. I was only going five miles an hour in my turn so stopping was easy. Sure enough he pops out from behind my left rearview mirror. Yelling and screaming that he didn’t need to stop no matter what the crosswalk said or the fact that I had a green arrow for my turn.

“That’s one more Angel” I laugh to myself, as I always do.

That’s my tried and true response. It makes me feel good and it stops me from focusing on the actions of others. It’s not about what they do, it’s about what I do and I’m in the Angel making business.

I service my first stop and that puts me in the far right lane. My light turns green and I do my scans, No one running for my bus, no other busses and trains to my left so I start to pull out… AAAAAAHHH!!!

A driver of a black and gold escalade in the far left lane decides to ignore the bus only signs and all the laws about intersections. He does this without warning cutting from the far left lane, through the travel lane for busses and trains, right across the front of my moving bus so he can enter the underground parking structure for the US bank tower.  Normally they have to go around the block to there left and enter the intersection from across the street from the underground parking structure. Not our Mr. Escalade, he was in a hurry, a hurry to become another one of my Angels.

I let him pass, no honking or nothing. “Honking doesn’t stop an idiot” My trainer Pete always said.

“That’s one more Angel” I laugh to myself, as I always do. Two in two blocks that was rare.

I continue on up 5th Ave, There is a surprising amount of Traffic but there was still two weeks to go until Christmas so maybe that was not so surprising after all. Two Cyclist following the automobiles up the Auto lane become frustrated as I approach. I see them swerve left, no too close to the curb for them to pass, they then come to the right of the auto lane and by reflex I start to break.

“Hey look” the cyclist think to themselves, I can see their thinking process by the way they are riding, “There is a double white line on the right. What does that mean? Wait I know! It’s a bike lane, That little 6” gap between the two white lines is a bike lane! They swing into the Mini-Bike lane and that puts them in danger of meeting my bus. I slow down even more keeping pace just behind them. I have just enough room to pass but no safety margin because they are in what they think is a bike lane and it is not.

  At the next intersection what I fear could happen, happens. the lead car is turning left slowly and the second car swings to the right to go around, crossing the double white line. The cyclist to avoid getting side swiped have to catapult into my lane and suddenly slow down. I’ve already seen this coming and I come to a complete halt as both car and cyclist go through a red light.

I laugh cause I’m in the Angel business and business is good.

“That’s two more Angels” I laugh to myself, as I always do..

Yes the double white lane is not a bike lane but try telling that to the over eager. They had no idea that had I kept rolling I would have flattened two cyclist. They are my Angels now and they don’t know it.

My second stop is uneventful, easy even. No problems landing, picking up my riders and taking off again. I’m on edge because of the previous encounters but there was no Angel making here. That felt good. I pull away heading to my next stop when around the corner comes a speeding Mazda. By corner I mean the car was going the wrong way down a one ways street, Portland loves one way streets. The Mazda driver had realized what was going on and in a panic, turned off of one wrong way street, onto 5th avenue the wrong way as well and was face to face to me. I stopped, turn on my four way lights and the car screeches to a halt. I had no idea Angels drive Mazdas,

“That’s one more Angel” I laugh to myself, as I always do.

Now I’m nearing my PSU stop the second to last stop on the bus mall of 5th Avenue. As I approach I can see a huge crowd of University students and others waiting for me. They all crowd towards the stop and that sets off red alerts in my head. Too many people and all are right up to the edge of the sidewalk.

    As I pull in a young woman, a freshman maybe, drops her money. Without thinking she leans down sticking her head out over the curb, You know the thinky part of her body. Despite this action at the last second I’m way ahead of her. I was approaching the stop at a crawl because of the crowding. I came to a halt easily and tapped my horn. She jumped and looked up right into my headlight, well within arms reach.

She boards my bus, pays and walks to the back without a word.

Most Angels are like that after I save their life… most never say a thing. Maybe it’s embarrassment or maybe they don’t feel their Angelic power, I really don’t care as long as they are safe and unharmed.

“That’s one more Angel” I laugh to myself, as I always do.

Now the last stop on 5th Avenue. I pull up and my heart is beating fast. I’m ok with one or two Angel encounters per Mall trip but all these encounters in one night? While I’m going over this in my head, a huge dump truck pulls up next to me blocking my sight of crossing traffic.

At this intersection we get a green light before the dump truck but since I can’t see around him I just sit until he moves. He moves about a lane and a half and stops with a jolt. I’m just switching my foot from brake to gas so it’s easy for me to stop. In a flash a Motorcycle zips across the stopped dump trucks front.

Just like that I see that I’m not the only one in the Angel making business.

“That’s one more Angel” I laugh to myself, as I always do, only this one belongs to the dump truck driver. Good on ya dumb truck driver.

That’s it, this night stuck in my head because how could it not. Now I wanted to say two things more.

 

  1. I would like to take credit for my safe driving but it was learned. Learned from old Pete and from all the classes I have taken. I believe in Safety and that means taking responsibility and always, ALWAYs be looking. There are no safe drivers, just safe driving. You are only as good as you are driving moment to moment.

  2. This is a bit more philosophical. Every once in awhile you will hear of a bus injuring a pedestrian or worse. What I want to say is this, When the worse happens don't be so fast to jump on this driver and start pointing fingers and calling names. You have no idea how big their Angel pool is. That driver could have saved hundreds or thousands of lives but you will never know it. Don’t worry those of you who need a good crucifixion the press will crucify them, Transit agencies will blame it all on the operator and the law is stacked against all commercial drivers. So the ugly witch hunt will happen, all I’m asking is to have some compassion for the driver, just a sliver if you will. That driver did not get up in the morning with a plan to hurt anyone, don’t panic they will have their life ruined, a career ended and they could have legal actions and civil actions to follow. All that will happen without the public piling on. All I ask is look with open eyes at some poor operator and try to see all those uncounted Angels that follow them. Let ugly justice be done but have some compassion for the operator. I think we can do that much for a fellow human being and someone who may have been in the Angel making business just like me.

That’s it for this week. With any luck next week I will have my first video done.

Until then under all conditions keep Rolling Easy and please please make as many Angels as you can.