Driving in Montreal offers a unique set of challenges. In addition to the usual task of not crashing into other cars, you get the added bonus of having to keep an eye out for pedestrians, cyclists, squeegee kids standing in the middle of traffic and of course, pot-holes. Those are all to be expected, but when did buses become part of the problem?
Being stuck behind a bus is the worst. You can't see ahead of you, you have no idea if the light turned green and the bus isn't moving because it's letting people on and off or if it's just sitting there parked while the driver grabs a coffee. Plus, don't ever try to pull around the bus, because for some reason they always decide to start driving again just as you start to go. Now that may be annoying but it's no one's fault really.
But then there are problems like what you see in the picture below. This was taken at the corner of Parc and Mount-Royal. As you can see the bus has a stop on the right, even though the right lane is meant only for the vehicles who want to turn right. What happens is that the bus basically has to stop in the lane, blocking all other vehicles behind it. Now that's not too much of a problem, more of an inconvenience. However when the bus leaves it has to keep going straight on Parc, that means it has to pull out into the center lane, cross a double solid line and cut in front of whoever is in that lane.
This is incredibly poorly planned, especially considering the bus has a stop at the very next corner. This means that in order to avoid having to make a pedestrian walk an extra block, they are making a bus do two illegal maneuvers that the rest of us drivers just have to magically predict. Of course the city assumes the problem can be solved simply by adding that little black sign "Excepte autobus," but the problem is that when the bus is parked in that lane letting people on and off, you wouldn't be able to see the sign whether you're behind the bus or on the left of it.
Don't get me wrong I'm all for pedestrian convenience and walking an extra block definitely sucks, but should we really be sacrificing safety to avoid a slight inconvenience?