‘I was shocked’: Montreal cyclist furious after close encounter with STM bus

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Cyclist voicing concern after close encounter with STM bus
WATCH ABOVE: A recent video showing an incident involving an STM bus driver narrowly passing a cyclist on a downtown Montreal street has sparked a conversation about road sharing and patience. Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports – Apr 14, 2018

Stefan Popovic could have touched the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) bus as it flew past him on Wednesday, while he rode his bike on Sherbrooke Street West.

“I was shocked, I was upset and I mean, I couldn’t believe it just happened,” he said.

But even more shocking, he said, was the driver’s response when he confronted him about the incident.

READ MORE: Montreal unveils new measures to help protect cyclists on Mount Royal

“Take the bike path down there,” the driver said, referring to the path on De Maisonneuve Boulevard.

Popovic, who filmed the incident on a camera that he installed on his helmet, has gone viral online.

He said what happened to him is an example of road rage and impatience.

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“Waiting for a bicycle, you’re going to wait five seconds, 10 seconds,” he said. “And let’s say you miss your light because of a bicycle — and then what, you have to wait one minute? What is one minute in your life compared to the safety of someone or maybe the life of someone?”

READ MORE: Debating ways to make Montreal streets safer for cyclists

According to the Highway Safety Code, a vehicle may pass a cyclist driving in the same lane as them where the speed is less than 50 km/h, but there needs to be at least one metre of space between them.

Popovic insists that wasn’t the case with him.

READ MORE: Montreal and bike groups fume at increased fines for cyclists in new highway code

In a statement to Global News, Philippe Déry, an STM spokesperson, said it was investigating the incident.

“We are taking this incident seriously, since the safety and respect of all of those using the road are among the basic principles for our drivers, even if the coexistence of buses, cyclists, pedestrians, and vehicles can sometimes be complex. We have met with the employee and appropriate measures will be taken.”

Vélo Québec calls the incident scary and disappointing.

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“In this case, it’s even less of a sharing the road problem than it is one of bullying,” said Magali Bebronne. “It’s basically somebody not agreeing on what you’re doing without any basis – deciding that he’s gonna give you less and than threaten you, and it’s just not acceptable.”

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