Stephen Ellison

After Near Miss With Bus on Mount Diablo, Cyclists Want Protection

A school bus filled with children from a Pleasanton summer camp nearly collided with several bicyclists traveling in the opposite direction on Mount Diablo last week, and the cyclists are now demanding better protections on the road.

The 40-foot-long bus tried to maneuver the twists and turns on Mount Diablo. On one curve, the bus driver was unable to make the turn without crossing the double yellow line and narrowly missed several cyclists. Rosie Sipes was one of those on a bike.

"The bus was clearly over the yellow lines and in my lane, so I had very little room to make the turn," she said.

Sipes considers herself lucky that she’s was able to talk about it afterward and wants something done to keep buses off the mountain. Even the bus driver told a man who captured the incident on video that he doesn’t think it’s safe to drive buses on Mount Diablo.

Hundreds of bicyclists climb the mountain every day, and on the weekends, the numbers could reach more than 700, all trying to share the narrow road with cars, trucks and buses.

"It’s just too dangerous," said cyclist Brad Roberts, who has pedaled up and coasted down Mount Diablo for 10 years and says there should be size limits for vehicles on the road. "If you go over the yellow line, it’s so twisty, you just don’t know what’s coming up on the other side."

Fortunately for Sipes, someone warned her the bus was coming around the curve.

"Thank goodness somebody warned me to stay to the right, because if I had not done that on that morning, it definitely would have been a tragedy, I believe," she said.

One of the founders of the Mount Diablo Cyclists Group, which shot the video, says his group wants the State Parks Department to analyze collision reports and other data and consider limiting the size of vehicles on the roads.

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