Selfish Drivers, Helpless Bus Riders

There were so many vehicles parked in the bus lane at Rockwell and Devon on Saturday afternoon that a CTA bus lacked enough room to safely approach the stop. When the driver finally pulled in, he found that all the curbside clutter left him with no place to lower a ramp so a passenger in a wheelchair could board, and had to ask that a line of shopping carts (parked curbside for the convenience of the illegal parkers) be removed so the ramp could be lowered for the passenger. The driver was disgusted and the passenger furious. It’s happened before to both of them, they said.

Drivers on Devon are known for their selfishness. They block bus stops. They park in crosswalks.  They cut in front of the bus (I’ve seen this–it’s scary.)

I’ve been on buses that let passengers on and off in the middle of Devon–seniors, including some with canes and walkers, women with strollers and toddlers trailing along–all getting off in the middle of the street because these arrogant shoppers have no respect for neighborhood residents. Many of the license plates and city stickers clearly show that the drivers are from out of state or the suburbs. Would they behave like this where they live?

Last week I was on the Devon bus when a van pulled in front of it into the bus stop, lights flashing; the woman who exited the vehicle indicated that she’d just be a minute in the store. Imagine! The bus, trapped between her vehicle and a construction cone on the street, could not move until the van did. And neither could any of the traffic behind the bus.

This stop needs larger signage, at eye level for drivers, making it clear that the bus lane runs west from the corner. The parking ban should be photo-enforced. If ever there was a place for a City surveillance camera, this is it. It needs to be made clear to shoppers that disrespect for bus passengers will not be tolerated.

Do we need a permanent police presence at Rockwell & Devon to ensure that bus passengers may safely access the bus and the sidewalk, and that drivers obey the law?

Or will we wait for a senseless tragedy that is entirely preventable?





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