Did the SEPTA bus driver give a cyclist who blocked the bus enough room as he passed him last Wednesday? You be the judge.
SEPTA released a 30 minute video to Billy Penn, including several minutes of the bus driver’s route beforehand, the moments when the bus passed the cyclist and about 20 minutes of the man standing in the way of the bus on Locust Street.
The cyclist went in front of the bus on Broad and Locust, where the driver did not pull into the bus lane as required. Not quite halfway between Broad Street and 13th Street, what appears to be a white work vehicle was parked on the south side of the street. The bus driver, traveling at 14 mph, passed the cyclist at the same time they were both going around this vehicle. State law requires four feet of space between cyclists and vehicles — and it’s unclear, based on the video, that the bus driver cleared that standard.
A few seconds later, the cyclist pedaled past the bus and stopped immediately in front of it. He yelled something and then put his arms up in exasperation. Soon, he pulled out his phone and appeared to either talk or at least hold it to his ear for about five minutes.
Before the cyclist got in the way, the bus was about one-third full. Several people got off immediately. Others waited, standing up in the aisle and getting a closer look at what has happening outside.
After about seven minutes, the bus driver backed up. SEPTA said this was his attempt to get around the cyclist, but it evidently failed, as the cyclist moved back closer to the bus and the standoff continued.
Twelve minutes after stopping, the cyclist took off his helmet. He also looked like he was playing with his phone. This was about the same time the passengers on the bus seemed to give up on the possibility of getting away from there soon. Several went from standing to sitting back down.
The video stops with the man still standing there after about 20 minutes have gone by. There was no sign yet of the officer who arrived at some point on a Segway. Cars and several cyclists passed by throughout, none of them seeming to give the scene a second glance.