All formal bicycle education – courses, printed material, and online content – should specifically include information on how to ride safely near buses, with an emphasis on:
- Riding in view of one of the bus side mirrors as consistently as is practical
- Making visual contact with the operator and communicating intent with physical signals
- How to assess safe situations for passing stopped buses, and how to pass safely to the left of the bus while staying in view of the operator’s left side mirror
- Avoiding the right side of a stopping, stopped, or turning bus, where the operator’s visibility is most limited and potential conflicts for the bicycle rider include, collision with the bus as it pulls to the curb or collisions with pedestrians boarding or alighting
- How leapfrogging affects bus operators and people on bicycles, and offers the option to ride on parallel streets with less or no bus service
- How riding behavior may be perceived by bus operators, including either a practical or video component showing footage from the driver’s seat of the bus to portray an operator’s large blind spots
While the long-form Traffic Skills 101 course is valuable, education should not be limited to formal courses requiring most of a day:
- Signage, striping, and pop-up education activities can help communicate safe riding behavior in an easy and accessible manner
- A public awareness campaign can further extend the reach of safe riding practices near buses, such as placing messages on the back of buses stating no passing on the right
- Public service announcements made available on the internet as part of a public awareness campaign, targeted ads and videos, or through regular efforts on social media and agency websites can provide advice on how people riding bicycles can make themselves visible to operators and motorists
- Creating a bicycle ambassador program to educate people through programming at existing events and along well used bike facilities. A similar program in Chicago educated 100,000 people in 2016 with four full time staff and two part time staff
- Continue holding sponsored small group rides around Los Angeles County to provide practical on-street biking opportunities in a safe and informal setting, as Metro has done in the past with C.I.C.L.E., a bike advocacy organization.
- Utilize Metro Bike Hubs and similar bike station facilities to host bike education clinics and informational resources.
Bicycle safety trainings should discuss how new road treatments may alter interactions between buses and bikes:
- Trainings should reiterate best practices for bike-bus interactions even if a new facility has no effect on typical expectation