Monthly Archives: October, 2014

Thursday, October 23

I was waiting for the #16 when the #2 pulled up; just then a young woman asked me, “Do you know when the bus comes?”

Which one? I said and took off my sunglasses.

The 16.

It should be here any minute; I can see it back there, I said pointing down the street.

She boarded the #2 anyway.

The remaining people at the stop gathered for the #16. A man kept looking at me — he might have been wearing a chef’s uniform but black pants instead of white ones. As we started to board, he said, Your eyes are striking! They match your shirt and everything! (Blue)

I said Thank you and laughed.

On the bus, the driver called out, Does this bus turn on Delmar or after that? I felt like she was looking at me in the mirror, so I responded, It turns at the street right after Delmar.

Another woman chimed in. The driver couldn’t remember if it was this one or the #2 that had changed (I have yet to figure out what the #2 is supposed to do). I understand driving multiple routes, but isn’t there a driver schedule?


Thursday, October 9

The bus was a little late, but the ride was uneventful. I still got to parking services before 5, which allowed me to buy some day passes for infrequent parking. I needed one for today. I was walking from parking to the daycare when two young women, probably in their teens, stopped me just as I was finishing a phone conversation with my husband about when we would each be getting to the daycare (me: soon; him: less soon). Excuse me, one said…Her phone had died and wanted to know if she could borrow mine. Sure, I said, and stood there while she called someone. The girl with her stood there with a fountain drink, burping and saying “Excuse me.” You can stop anytime, the first one said to her. On the phone, she let someone know they were on their way, and that was it.

Friday, October 3

Pershing and Skinker: It’s around 5 pm, and I’m waiting for the #16 to get to daycare, where I will pick up M and then wait for R. I’m on the phone with my sister discussing Important Family Stuff, when a guy approaches the stop.

Has the #2 come yet? he calls out. I shake my head No.
Which one you waiting for — the 1? he asks.
No, the #16, I say.

Then he asks me for $2 for a drink. I tell him I don’t have any cash. He calls me “Beautiful” (not helping) and asks if I’ll go to the station to get something (the bank machine? I’m not fully listening). I call upon my best Mom voice and say, I. Am. On. The. Phone., and he walks away. My sister is laughing — Making friends? she asks.

Then the guy asks the young woman next to me. She says No. He asks why she’s walking away; is she scared of him? She says she’s not scared and she’s not giving him money. Why you got to be so mean? he asks. Some people are just mean, she says.

While I stand there, he asks everyone who approaches the stop. When the bus arrives — the #2 comes before the #16 so I decide to get on — the young woman starts to board when the driver holds his hand up. Two elderly women are getting off with a cart. The guy asks if they need help and carries it to the sidewalk. Then he asks them for money.

The driver says something to the guy when he boards, and the guy laughs. He gets off 3 stops later at Skinker and Delmar.


Two encounters with cars on foot

One. Crossing Melville at Delmar with the green light and walk sign. Towards the bike shop to pick out a helmet for the one-year-old. I wait for two cars turning left on yield-to-oncoming-traffic green light then start to cross. Still a Walk Sign. For the record, not on my phone. A third car starts to turn while I am in the intersection. I do a quick two-step to avoid a bumper then look at the driver who is looking straight ahead. Not towards me at all. Another argument against left turns without an arrow.

Two. Exiting the #16 bus on Rosedale from the front of the bus. The stop is at a stop sign with a crosswalk. Normally, I cross behind the bus and stand in the yellow zone between the two lanes, one in each direction. Today I do it legally and cross in front of the bus at the stop sign in the crosswalk. As I’m in front of the bus, the driver honks two short beeps. I pause to look up towards the driver. An SUV pulls around the bus into the crosswalk and passes while I stand between the bus and the space the SUV occupies. I wave what I hope shows “Thank you” to the driver.

It’s not required to wait behind a public bus that’s stopped the way drivers must stop for school buses. However, it was a short stop – only two people got off and no one got on, and it was at a stop sign, which the SUV driver ran when passing the bus, at at a crosswalk, and in only one lane.

Bike hesitation

I had asked R to help me (i.e. do it himself) attach the bike trailer to my bike this morning with grand plans to cycle to daycare. I have scoped out the route as much as possible on foot, with the car, and on Google Maps. I like to know exactly where I’m going. The weather was lovely this morning. I was wearing a skirt but would change to pants for the trip.

R: Do you want me to go set up the bike? Are you going to ride this morning?

Me: I’m nervous about it.

R: That’s understandable. Do you want me to ride with you?

Me: Maybe. I checked out the route, and I only have to be on Olive (the only “main” road) for 3/10 miles, but when I was driving back yesterday, I was doing just under 30 in a 25 mph zone, and the car behind me rode my tail and then passed me on the right immediately…. Maybe I could ride on the sidewalk. Drivers are a**holes. People are always honking at that intersection, and last week I saw someone get rear ended in the turn lane. It was just a bump, and both drivers stopped, but still…

It was sort of decided he’d ride with us, but when R picked up the metal piece to attach the trailer to the bike, he said, There should be a pin. Do you know which way this goes?

Me: The pin is on the trailer, I think. I don’t remember what she said about how to set it up. Maybe we should do it this weekend when we have more time.

R: We can look up the manual online.

So… I walked M in the stroller. It took about 30 minutes door to door. I did decide on a second possible bike route. It still involves Olive, no way around that except to use Skinker, which intimidates me even more, but it might be a little easier. Saturday afternoon, definitely, we’re setting up the trailer and doing a practice ride.