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John Yaskowich
12-12-2008, 10:34
Ottawa is currently experiencing a strike by our bus drivers and mechanics. Today is day three and the two sides are not even talking to each other. So we have about 100,000+ people who depend on the transit system having to make alternate arrangements. As you can imagine, there are many more cars on the roads during rush hour (mine is one of them). Add this to a good snowfall on Wednesday and cold temperatures and we have a wonderful recipe for snarled traffic.

Some reminders for my fellow drivers:
- The light is red for you, too. You do not have special dispensation from God to run the red light just because you normally donít drive to work.
- Red lights follow yellow lights as surely as night follows day. If there is not enough room for your car beyond the intersection when the light turns yellow, donít enter the intersection. You will just to get stranded and block the cross traffic. (This also applies to entering the intersection on a green light, but to a slightly lesser degree.)
- One parking spot per car. We have thousands of extra drivers trying to find parking and you taking a couple of spots doesnít help. Similarly, get as close to the curb as you can so traffic can get around you. I know there are snowbanks beside the road Ė get some boots so you can walk over them.
- It snowed. That white blanket on your windows needs to be totally removed before you drive off. Donít just scrape a hand-sized hole and peer out of it. Same thing with frost inside or out. It would be a courtesy if you removed the snow from the rest of your car too, so it doesnít blow off into the face of other drivers.

gNats
12-12-2008, 13:11
Ottawa is currently experiencing a strike by our bus drivers and mechanics. Today is day three and the two sides are not even talking to each other. So we have about 100,000+ people who depend on the transit system having to make alternate arrangements. As you can imagine, there are many more cars on the roads during rush hour (mine is one of them). Add this to a good snowfall on Wednesday and cold temperatures and we have a wonderful recipe for snarled traffic.

Some reminders for my fellow drivers:
- The light is red for you, too. You do not have special dispensation from God to run the red light just because you normally don’t drive to work.
- Red lights follow yellow lights as surely as night follows day. If there is not enough room for your car beyond the intersection when the light turns yellow, don’t enter the intersection. You will just to get stranded and block the cross traffic. (This also applies to entering the intersection on a green light, but to a slightly lesser degree.)
- One parking spot per car. We have thousands of extra drivers trying to find parking and you taking a couple of spots doesn’t help. Similarly, get as close to the curb as you can so traffic can get around you. I know there are snowbanks beside the road – get some boots so you can walk over them.
- It snowed. That white blanket on your windows needs to be totally removed before you drive off. Don’t just scrape a hand-sized hole and peer out of it. Same thing with frost inside or out. It would be a courtesy if you removed the snow from the rest of your car too, so it doesn’t blow off into the face of other drivers.




Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

John Yaskowich
12-12-2008, 13:30
Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

That reminds me of another one - your turn signal has a purpose other than keeping time to the music. Use it to show your intentions but turn it off when you are finished your lane change or turn.

mm2002
12-12-2008, 21:22
Ah yes, turn signals. If you're planning to turn, or change lanes, use them. If you're not planning to turn, or change lanes, please remember to turn them off. If you're turn signal is on, you do not turn, or change lanes, and I pull out in front of you, please use your brakes, not your horn or finger.

John Yaskowich
12-22-2008, 07:29
Just a quick update - Day 13 of the transit strike and no end in sight. At least the two sides are talking (under a media black-out!) so it might get resolved before the warm weather sets in.

It is interesting to note the difference between this strike and the transit strike in Toronto (another big Ontario city). The provincial govt legislated an end to the last Toronto transit strike after 36 hours, calling it an essential service. Here in Ottawa, because some of the buses cross into Quebec (another province), it would be the Federal govt that would have to legislate them back. We haven't heard anything official recently but one politico said they wanted to "give the collective bargining process a chance to work". Meanwhile we live with chaos.

John Yaskowich
12-30-2008, 18:56
For those keeping score, Ottawa has now endured Day 21 of the bus strike. The two sides have not even talked since Christmas Eve! The federal poltico who would make any difference has (finally!!) asked the Union management "Why have you not put the latest offer from the City to a vote by your members?"
And we are getting reports that even after they settle it will be 5-7 days before the buses roll again - safety inspections and all that.
We are not amused!!!

mm2002
12-30-2008, 19:05
We are not amused!!!

Man I feel your pain. No, wait a minute...actually I don't. I wish I did though. No, wait a minute....actually I don't.
Screw it, I'm going to go water my palm trees.

wmcyow
12-31-2008, 06:56
Not to mention - usually up to 20,000 people use the OC Transpo free New Year's eve service - tonight - no such luck. Let's all hope people either take a taxi or stay home!

Zeagle Eagle
12-31-2008, 12:27
[/quote]

Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.[/quote]

No you may not add that. Whether you like it or not I am speeding up. Deal with it.

Diver Kat
12-31-2008, 13:16
Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

No you may not add that. Whether you like it or not I am speeding up. Deal with it.

Having lived in a number of states, it does seem that TEXAS has it's own rules .... of which the above 'speed up' rule is highly recognized.

:smiley2: A few more ...

IF you use your turn signal, you can't actually use it until you're turning. Giving anyone advance notice of your intent is strictly forbidden!
Yield means floor it ... and everyone better get out of your way! (Texans yield to no one!)
Highway shoulders are always used for passing on the right ... we don't need no stinking passing left lanes!I'm sure everyone has a few 'favorites' to add to the list ....


..

cummings66
12-31-2008, 18:58
Actually people tend to do that speeding up bit without even thinking about it. It's I'm sure not done on purpose, unless I know you.

As for your turn signal to enter my lane giving you permission, it most certainly does not give you permission. Your turn signal is your signal showing your intent on moving over. If it meant you can just move into my lane at will chaos would result. Imagine driving in St. Louis where you have bumper to bumper traffic, all I'd need to do is stay in the fast lane until I get to my exit and then signal and move over without even looking. LMAO. That is the most discourteous thing I've ever seen a person do, signal and move without looking. Hit somebody and the law will say you failed to yield the right of way, you're in the wrong if you think it's how it works. You must wait until you have room to move over safely and then do so.

Drive defensively not offensively which is what you're doing if you think your signal gives you the right to cut me off. Wait your turn, I did and so can you.

PS, in towns which are busy such as Branson I will often wave drivers into traffic in front of me because they'd be there forever if I didn't do it. That's how you do it the right way, turn the signal on and wait for another driver to either give you an opening or merge when you can. This business of your signal means I must give you the spot is BS. I'll give it to you if I feel like it and that's how it works in our Republic.

Did I ever mention when I was younger I used to get real bad road rage. Now I flow with the traffic most of the time saving the anger for things which really deserve it. I've mellowed out as I've aged, like a fine wine. Perhaps not...

mm2002
12-31-2008, 21:01
Did I ever mention when I was younger I used to get real bad road rage. Now I flow with the traffic most of the time saving the anger for things which really deserve it. I've mellowed out as I've aged, like a fine wine. Perhaps not...


I can definitely relate with that statement my brother! :smiley20:

Kinda like, I don't try and kick as many peoples asses now days, which results in me getting my ass kicked a lot less. Amazing how things just kinda work out huh! :smiley36:

RnSdiver
01-01-2009, 08:40
My only tips for Driving

If the weather is bad enough that the Semi's are not driving 5-7 mph over the limit, you really don't want to be going faster than they are. Also the same truck is NOT required to move out of your way at the end of the Ramp. If they can, they will, but they will not run a car on their left side off the road to make room for you.

fire diver
01-01-2009, 11:03
Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

I'd like to add one thing here....

When the lane closer signs are posted for 2 miles ahead, I merge early while it's easy FOR EVERYONE. If you think you are just going to zip 2 miles ahead of everyone and jump in when the lane finally ends, it's NOT happening in front of ME. I WILL speed up and stop you from jumping in. Quit being a lazy road hog and trampling the good nature of other drivers, merge when the signs tell you it's coming!

OK, rant over. So hows the public transit strike going?

BarbadosSlim93
01-01-2009, 13:20
Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

I'd like to add one thing here....

When the lane closer signs are posted for 2 miles ahead, I merge early while it's easy FOR EVERYONE. If you think you are just going to zip 2 miles ahead of everyone and jump in when the lane finally ends, it's NOT happening in front of ME. I WILL speed up and stop you from jumping in. Quit being a lazy road hog and trampling the good nature of other drivers, merge when the signs tell you it's coming!

OK, rant over. So hows the public transit strike going?

Oh man, that is my absolute worst pet peeve when it comes to driving. People need to learn to MERGE before the lane does, and not try riding the shoulder afterward to cut in. Once the lane starts to merge I physically put my car in both lanes to keep people from dinking in and cutting in front of every one else. I hate jerk drivers!

John Yaskowich
01-02-2009, 09:12
[quote=fire diver;258539
OK, rant over. So hows the public transit strike going?[/quote]
Day 24 and the sides are still not talking and no talks are scheduled. The only development is that the Union has been ordered (by the Federal Labour Minister) to put the last offer from the city before their members - by Jan 9th!!! So we have at least 1 more week of this before the members even vote, and we all know that no-one is going to do didly until the vote happens. So at least another week, then 5-7 days of safety inspections before the buses roll. At this rate the drivers will need a couple of weeks to relearn how to drive!
The city has now "saved" most of the cost of the raises that were in the last offer, the drivers and mechanics are worse off financially than if they had not gone on strike. And the city suffers on.

It is the unintended consequences that make me want to cry - things like the Salvation Army's Christmas Kettle Campaign (the mall "bell ringers") fell short because many of the volunteers use the bus to get to their posts and couldn't be there to accept donations. So the poor and needy will suffer twice because many of them rely on buses to get around, and now the Sally Ann will have to cut some services.
My wife is a nurse with Canadian Blood Services (blood donation agency). Some surgeries have had to be postponed / canceled because donors can't get in to donate and supplies are down. In a couple of cases CBS has had to pay for taxis both ways for a donor to come in for an emergency donation of a rare blood type.

John Yaskowich
01-09-2009, 06:49
Day 31 and counting.
For those following along in their hymn books, the union members voted last night on the latest offer from the city. Rejected by about 65%. The 2 sides have not had any discussions since before Christmas so maybe they can get back to talking.
The latest offer included a retroactive (to Mar 1 2008) pay increase of 3% and 2% in each of the next 2 years. That part seems to be accepted (with the usual grumbling by the Union).
The main sticking point seems to be the issue of scheduling. Drivers currently control the scheduling of their shifts. Senior members are able to cherry-pick shifts so that they can get paid for 8 hours while only driving for 4 hours and 1 minute (the rest of the time they get paid to ride as a passenger from one bus drop point to another to pick up another bus, or drink coffee in a holding area waiting for the next run to start). Junior drivers get stuck with all the split shifts, weekends, late nights, early mornings, etc. The city wants to take back control of scheduling and use it to bundle work packets to better utilze the buses and even out the workload of drivers. Seniority will still be respected in selecting the plum shifts, just the plums won't be quite as big.
In the mean time, bus riders have to find alternate ways to get around in the middle of winter, parking lots are full and traffic is a nightmare.

fire diver
01-09-2009, 07:10
I think it's time to start whacking some heads up there! Sounds like people are just being freaking lazy at the expense of the citizens.

gNats
01-09-2009, 07:31
Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now.

I'd like to add one thing here....

When the lane closer signs are posted for 2 miles ahead, I merge early while it's easy FOR EVERYONE. If you think you are just going to zip 2 miles ahead of everyone and jump in when the lane finally ends, it's NOT happening in front of ME. I WILL speed up and stop you from jumping in. Quit being a lazy road hog and trampling the good nature of other drivers, merge when the signs tell you it's coming!

OK, rant over. So hows the public transit strike going?

Oh man, that is my absolute worst pet peeve when it comes to driving. People need to learn to MERGE before the lane does, and not try riding the shoulder afterward to cut in. Once the lane starts to merge I physically put my car in both lanes to keep people from dinking in and cutting in front of every one else. I hate jerk drivers!

I completely agree Fire Diver and Barbados. My original post did not mean to indicate that I would cut you off for a better spot. Actually, I was referring to situations where I see my exit is a mile ahead and I do need to get over to get off the freeway. I am trying to merge over with enough time to make my exit, but the ind-u-vidual (from Dilbert) next to me thinks I will prevent him from reaching his destination.

grrrrr....

shawnwill36
01-11-2009, 07:47
you forgot one more. the left lane is the slow lane, the right is the fast lane in texas

John Yaskowich
01-14-2009, 07:35
Day 36 - Lather, Rinse, Repeat
Still no serious talks (at least none reported in the media). A federal mediator has been brought in and has met with the City but the Union seems reluctant to talk.
My weekly gas bill has at least tripled and I am always tired these days - I get up at 5:15, I'm on the road by 6:00 and (on a good day) at my desk by 6:45. On a bad day it could be 8:00 or even later before I make it in. I tried leaving at 6:30 one time but got so stuck in traffic I crept along at a walking pace for most of the trip in. Plus if I am late, my favorite parking lot is full and I have to hunt for a spot (one co-worker got downtown at 8:30 and took an hour and a half to find parking! And ended up walking about 1.5 miles). I leave work at about 2:45 and I am usually home by 3:15. Tues, Wed and Thurs my wife works until 8pm so she doesn't get home until pushing 9. If we want to have any time together I end up cutting my sleep short so I can spend time with her. Which leaves me short on sleep the next morning and punchy through the day. If I catch a nap after work, I sometimes have trouble falling asleep at night.

thagar
01-14-2009, 15:08
Having lived in the Detriot metro area and now travel from metro Baltimore to DC every day let me add this.

That half mile gap you leave does no good when we are only going 5-10 MPH during rush hour. If your reaction time sucks that bad then you need to stay home.

If I am trying to get over and you speed up I will cut you off, however if you maintain speed I will have plenty of room.

Don't get in front of me just to slow down. Here in wonderful DC people have a habbit of changing lanes for no reason at all.

Yes, I know it is raining, but that isn't a good reason to do 30 in a 65, nor is it a good reason to start weaving in and out of traffic cutting people off.

John Yaskowich
01-21-2009, 08:34
Day 43 of the strike. Someone, please confirm that Ottawa is actually supposed to have a Transit System. Riding the bus is a very dim memory. I miss the swaying along in a packed to the gills bus, being overpowered by some womanís perfume (Lady, dab it - donít bathe in it!) and having a cold wind blow through an ill-fitting window.
I am spending more each WEEK on gas and parking than I spent in a MONTH on a bus pass and gas, driving to the bus terminal. Luckily my budget can absorb the increase but there are thousands who canít afford to drive or take taxis. There are stories in the paper of people walking a couple of hours or more to get to work in -20C weather with the windchill driving it down to -30C or worse.
A coworker was mentioning that there are going to be a lot of leased cars either turned in early because of higher than forecast milage, or lots of people paying for extra milage because of the strike.
The scary thing is that the city figures it will be up to 14 weeks after they settle before full bus service is restored. Normally there are almost 1100 buses on the road each day. The city estimates it will take a week to get the first 400 recertified as safe and on the road for the very high volume runs. The rest of the fleet will be brought into service in phases over the next 3 months. In the mean time there will be a lot of (junior) drivers laid off because there are no buses for them to drive. At least they can start collecting Unemployment Insurance once they are laid off, something they canít do while on strike. Of course the Union disputes the 14 week figure (but wonít say how long they think it will take), blames the whole delay on the City and calls it a scare/pressure tactic in the negotiations.
A pox on both their houses!

georoc01
01-21-2009, 09:04
Wow..I have been through a couple of transit strikes (one in SF, one in Denver) and had nothing that lasted no more than a week max. I can't imagine 6 weeks with no progress. Must be complete heck for those that are dependent on mass transit for their day to day needs.

John Yaskowich
01-27-2009, 11:54
Bus Strike - Day 49
Seven weeks in and a glimmer of hope flickers. The Union and City are in talks via a Federal Mediator (again). The news blackout is still in effect, although the leaks are coming fast and furious and the bad-mouthing continues unabated. There are reports that the City has made some substantial changes to its offer (as opposed to cosmetic rewording of the same old Ė same old). Plus the city is in talks with the Federal Transport Minister to have the Ottawa bus drivers covered by the same regulations (length of shifts, time between shifts and consecutive days worked) as apply to every bus system in Canada except Ottawa, Gatineau and Windsor (all of which cross some sort of border).

It has been brutally cold the past week or so, and much the same since the strike started. There have been a few days when the temperature has been almost bearable but not many. It is currently -14C (about 10F). Last week we had a couple of days when the high for the day was -28C (about -19F), then a windchill on top of that. Thankfully there have been only a couple of heavy snowfalls, which really gum up the traffic works.

See my previous comments about sleep deprivation, bleeding money, idiot drivers, and all-round chaos in the city. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Zeagle Eagle
01-28-2009, 00:50
"Can I add?

When I turn my turn signal on, indicating a need to merge into your lane, I am NOT asking for your permission. Whether you like it or not, I am coming over. I was curteous enough to indicate the need to move over a lane, be equally curteous and back off your speed 1 fricking mile (kilometer) per hour.

Speeding up and pretending you don't have peripheal vision does not work with me.

Wow. Great post. I feel better now."



------ Why don't you "back off your speed 1 fricking mile per hour" and drop in behind me. You are aware that I do have the right of way don't you? How is your inability to change lanes properly my problem?

John Yaskowich
01-30-2009, 07:54
It's Over!!!!!!
After 51 days on strike both the city and union have agreed to send any outstanding issues to Binding Arbitration. All it took was the Federal Govt to start drafting Back-To-Work legislation.
Now we see how long it takes for the buses to actually start to roll. It will be a minimum of a week before even partial service is restored. Full service might take a month or up to 3 (depends on who you listen to - I think it will be somewhere in the middle). Those first buses are going to be JAMMED!

IMO that back to work legislation should have been ready to go before the strike started. If I ran the universe, the drivers would have been allowed to go on strike, then ordered back after 48 hours. "You have made your protest public; now there is no way you are going to hold the entire city hostage while the city and union thump their chests and argue over petty issues."

The cost of this strike is huge and will echo through the city's economy for years. That it happened in the dead of winter and spanned the Christmas shopping season just added to the cost. And the drivers and mechanics must be really hurting. Could you manage 51 days without a paycheck?

I am just glad it is over and things will eventually get back to normal. For varying values of normal.

kjvander
01-30-2009, 08:54
glad that this is over for you guys john.....hope things get back to normal soon

Monkeylemon
02-02-2009, 14:37
Blame Canada!

John Yaskowich
02-09-2009, 07:53
Buses are no longer just a theory. I actually rode on one this morning!

They have about 67% of the buses back on the road this morning for the early commute to work. As predicted, buses are crowded. It is a good thing I caught mine at the first stop - there were no seats and very little standing room by the time it left that first stop, and none after the second. The problem is that they have the buses on the main routes back but not many Express buses that are more community based (ie fill up in a fairly small suburb district then get on the highway for an express trip to a transit hub or downtown). So all the Express riders drove to the Park and Ride lots to catch the buses that are running. Oh, well, we have to expect a bit of chaos for a few weeks while the full fleet is brought back into service (estimates range to 2 months). At least they are back and things can start to get back to normal. I will experiment over the next few days to find the relationship between sleep and parking spaces in the P&R lot.

fanatique
02-11-2009, 19:54
Wow, it's been quite a chronicle. While it has undoubtedly inconvenienced lots of people, you're blessed to live in a country where you can dissent if wages / hours aren't satisfactory. Just glad that at least services are partially resumed for you.