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I Want To Ride My Bicycle! Stop That Bus!

A little over a week after Mayor Adrian M. Fenty crashed his bike and refused an ambulance, another bicycle accident has touched the John A. Wilson Building.

Asher Corson, director of communications for Council member Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3), found himself pinned between a parked truck and a Metro bus.

The bus driver, Corson said, apparently did not see him as he cycled in the "rightmost lane" on Thursday on H Street NW near the White House. Corson, 24, just purchased his black and gray Cannondale Sunday and was biking from his home in Foggy Bottom to the Wilson Building shortly after 9 a.m.

"I merge over. Right as I merge over, the bus begins to speed up," said Corson, 24, who found himself being squeezed. "Clearly, he didn't see me. Or I guess he didn't see me."

Happy to see that he had suffered only a busted knuckle, Corson said his relief quickly turned to anger when the bus simply pulled off.

Corson jumped up on his bike and caught the driver at the next stop. "I said, Sir, you almost killed me.' At which point, he closed the door," he recalled. "I was..."

This is a family D.C. Wire, Asher.

He again jumped on his bike and at the next stop, he got all the information he needed to file a police report.

Corson said he has learned in his research that the driver was supposed to "stop, call a supervisor, call the police."

"Instead of it being accident, I filed a hit-and-run (report)."

Corson said he's not interested in suing the city or WMATA. He said he just wants "WMATA and bus drivers to pay a little closer attention to bikers."

"If it (the bus) was an inch over, I could have broken my shoulder. If it had been two inches, I could have been dead," he said. "It scared the daylights out of me."

Corson has every intention to "keep on riding."

Updated at 2:51 p.m. to correct a quote. Thank you, readers.

By Nikita R Stewart  |  August 8, 2008; 1:38 PM ET
Categories:  City Hall Aides , City Life  
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"Corson said he's not interested in suing the city or WMATA. He said he just wants 'WMATA and bus drivers to pay a little closer attention to drivers.'"

Hmm, something tells me he probably said "bikers" not "drivers" here...

Posted by: B. | August 8, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I admit it. I had an affair!

Posted by: Sen John Edwards | August 8, 2008 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Was he holding a kitten?

Posted by: Jamiroquai | August 8, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse

This is disturbing. If the guy on the bike writes any more about this experience (updates, etc), and if he is reading this, please let us know. You are owed an apology at the very least.

Posted by: Terry | August 9, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

With rising gas prices, traffic congestion, epidemic obesity, and the environmental problems we are facing, cycling needs to be treated as a legitimate and serious method of transportation. We need to look to the many European countries in which cycling is a primary form of transportation and learn from them regarding how to build better infrastructure that promotes safe cycling. As for WMATA, I have had similar instances happen to me many times. The bus drivers are unnecessarily aggressive and need some serious retraining. In addition, WMATA needs to take complaints like these seriously. If a driver gets too many complaints against him or her, they need to be fired.

Posted by: AR | August 9, 2008 10:17 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad Asher didn't get smushed by the bus. He's also our ANC guy and has been doing a great job. It's unfortunate that he almost suffered the personal effects of drivers' blatant disregard for cyclists, but I'm glad he's taking on the issue.

Posted by: rallycap | August 9, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Cyclist in the District want the best of both worlds. They only follow traffic rules when it is convenient for them. I want MPD to start stopping cyclist that violate the rules of the road and issue them citations in the same way they would a vehicle. That includes running stop signs, proceeding across the street against a red light, straddling the center line to proceed past traffic stopped at a light, etc., etc., etc.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2008 11:33 AM | Report abuse

This city needs to get tough on drivers, period, once and for all. For all the residents who believe police have the mystical power to stop bullets, we all know they have the power to stop cars and buses.

I'm not talking about speed cameras in the suburbs. I'm talking about commuter buses passing cars at 60 mph on two-lane 25-mph-limit residential streets. Drivers ignoring red lights, stop signs, and emergency vehicles as though these things did not exist. Obviously, minding bicyclists, pedestrians, and other traffic is way beyond the capacity of drivers who have no self-control to begin with.

This is always cited as a low priority against the volume of serious or violent crime. But the culture of lawlessness is no more often or more clearly expressed than in the way nearly everyone drives in DC. It would be better to see this as the low-hanging fruit, and if law enforcement can't knock this out, they can't do anything.

I agree also -- bicyclists who are seen operating in an unsafe manner should also be stopped by police. The notion that rules, safety, self-control, and common sense are for everyone else and not me has got to go, no matter what you are driving. Only the police can deal with this - for everyone else, a car or truck or bus (never mind an out-of-control driver) is just as lethal as a gun.

Posted by: Enough | August 9, 2008 1:11 PM | Report abuse

It would be nice if DDOT and the Mayor finally realize that bikes and pedestrians need to be given even footing (if not preference) over cars, and the sooner the better.

Bike sharing, bike lanes, bike boxes, pedestrian signals all contribute to this effort.

I am glad Mr. Corson is okay, and hope the bus driver receives the proper consequence.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 9, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I was sorry to read about Asher's mishap. He is a fair and honest person and was probably dumbfounded by the attitude of the bus driver. Will we know if he gets an apology?

Driver's side; it is hard to see the biker when you are making a right turn. I have almost hit bikers myself. And as for pedestrians; one can actually sit through several lights waiting for the pedestrians to cross. They NEVER lighten up. They NEVER pause to give you a chance to sneak through. Even after waiting through several green lights.

Food for thought.

Can we all really fit on one street?

Posted by: An Asher Associate | August 10, 2008 1:10 AM | Report abuse

I think Asher Corson is a hero.

Posted by: Rob | August 11, 2008 5:11 PM | Report abuse

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