Bicycle Diaries: Bike vs. Bus


Dear IndyGo Bus

Operator McElroy (Driver ID # 3897),

When you

came up behind me and honked your horn during my morning commute, it startled

me - so much in fact that I lost my shoe. I attempted to pedal (shoeless and rather

unsuccessfully) to the side of the road in the middle of the morning rush. When

the bus that you were driving came within inches of taking my life, it upset


When you continued

to honk your horn as I tried to recover my shoe from the middle of the street,

it infuriated me. When you allowed the flow of morning traffic to continue past

me as cars came flying around the sharp corner where Central Avenue forks into

Fort Wayne, I felt that you had a complete disregard for human life.

When I

recovered my shoe and hopped back on my bike, I knew I wasn't going to let you

ride off into the sunrise. When I chased you down Fort Wayne, the wind whipped

my face causing my eyes to burn and water. Adrenaline pulsed through my body as

I dismounted my bike at your bus stop on Alabama Street across from the


When I put

my foot in the bus door that was ajar, I hope you saw that I meant business. When I told you that bicycles have all the same rights to the road

as cars do and asked for your operator ID, you refused me. With a tone

of voice that made it clear to me just how unapologetic you were for nearly

killing me, you told me that the incident was all on video and that I was

in the wrong.

When I asked

again and again for your ID, I knew that in your heart you understood how wrong

you really were. Finally you relented and told me - ID 3897. I rode away from the

bus and felt a surge of anger I hope never to feel again.

I talked to

Suzanne Weir, an administrative assistant in operations at IndyGo.

Unfortunately, IndyGo director of operations Juan Battle, was out of town, or he too would have heard

from me. When service quality specialist Rod Williams and I spoke, he

assured me that interim vice president of operations Mike Birch was also aware of the situation. They reviewed

the video and saw your recklessness.

"We are

definitely going to talk with that operator and make sure that actions are

taken to correct him," Williams assured me. "He should never have honked that horn." And although, because of confidentiality policies, he couldn't tell me what actions

were being taken, he assured me that your boss, Dwight Benjamin, would speak

with you immediately.

Mr. McElroy, I sincerely hope that the team at IndyGo actually does follow through with you. No, I don't

wish for you to lose your job. Although I must admit, I don't think you are

very good at it. I just want you to understand the dire consequences of driving

like a maniac - the deathly possibilities of not treating a bicyclist, who has

every right to take the lane, like any other vehicle on the road.

As Williams

said, "They are a vehicle on the road. Whatever is in that lane, it is their


My hope is

that you correct your driving and that no other cyclist has to fear your rage-filled driving on Indy streets.


Katelyn Coyne


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