Today at Berkeley Lab

Keep Your Colleagues Safe: Do Not Pass Stopped Shuttles

Passing the Lab Shuttle on the left when it is stopped and its lights are flashing—even if there is room to squeeze between the bus and double-yellow line—is not allowed and could be very dangerous for passengers and cyclists crossing in front of the shuttle. Recent Safety Concerns have addressed this and the shuttle operator is working on new, more attention-grabbing warning labels to remind motorists of this rule.

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  1. Mikhail Ryazanov says:

    > Passing the Lab Shuttle on the left when it is stopped … is not allowed

    Not allowed by whom? As far as I know, CVC has this rule only for SCHOOL buses.
    Instead of “working on attention-grabbing labels” people should read this []:

    “If a crosswalk is marked midblock, it should be behind the bus stop for several reasons:
    * Pedestrians cross behind the bus, where they can see oncoming traffic (crossing in front of a bus blocks visibility).
    * The bus driver can accelerate as soon as passengers have left the bus.
    * The bus driver won’t accidentally hit a pedestrian crossing in front of the bus, out of the driver’s cone of vision.”

    In some countries, pedestrians are actually prohibited from crossing in front of a bus because of these concerns.

  2. Dennis Baum says:

    When the new shuttles first arrived, the flashing lights started every time the driver hit the brakes. A number of us pointed out that this was abnormal vehicle lighting, and was both confusing and dangerous. The lights were disconnected from the brake pedal, and–unless I am mistaken–have never flashed since.
    The best time for the lights to flash (and I am pretty certain this is not happening now) is when a bus is stopped in the middle of the road (like at the new/temporary 46/71 uphill stop) and riders are exiting and passing in front of the bus to cross the road. This is really the perfect time for the lights to flash, and I’m pretty sure drivers behind the bus will understand what is happening and won’t pass the bus. The only way to do this is to have a switch for the flashing lights that the driver can manually control.
    A third alternative would be for the lights to flash every time the door is open, but I think this would be a bad idea. Imagine the bus is pulled all the way over to the side, like on Hearst at Euclid coming uphill. You don’t need or want the bus lights to be flashing at traffic in that case.
    So, while I don’t have anything against larger labels, I think activating the lights at the appropriate times is the real solution.

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