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Bike lanes and getting "door'd"

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Bike lanes and getting "door'd"

Old 03-03-18, 08:30 PM
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kap 7
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Bike lanes and getting "door'd"

I rarely use them because they aren't in my usual direction of going somewhere but when I do the bike lanes give me little space between cars traveling and parked cars which make me nervous if one of these parked cars would throw their door open on me. Anyway, just curious if this has happened to anyone. I try my best to look but many cars have factory tinted windows dark to the point its hard to see whats going on in the car.
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Old 03-03-18, 08:58 PM
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Regardless if I'm in a bike lane or a regular traffic lane when there are no bike lanes, I keep clear of the door zone and my finger on my horn.

Some bike lanes in Toronto are between the sidewalk and parked cars with bollards or planters as additional barriers. So dooring from the passenger side is much less of an occurrence - but it's still a risk.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Regardless if I'm in a bike lane or a regular traffic lane when there are no bike lanes, I keep clear of the door zone and my finger on my horn.

Some bike lanes in Toronto are between the sidewalk and parked cars with bollards or planters as additional barriers. So dooring from the passenger side is much less of an occurrence - but it's still a risk.
Sounds like Canada has my idea in mind but they don't put any barriers around here.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:42 PM
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I simply refuse to ride in the door zone. My state is a mandatory use state, which means that cyclists have to use bike lanes if they are present. However, one of the reasons one is allowed to not ride in the bike lane is if there is a hazardous condition. Door zones are a fairly obvious hazardous condition, so I don't ride in door-zone bike lanes. Over the many decades and hundreds of thousands of miles I have ridden, hundreds of doors have swung open as I passed them. If I had made a habit of riding within range, some of them would have certainly rung me up.

Admittedly, this does annoy some motorists. I figure that if someone is strung so tightly that they would out and out murder me for riding in a travel lane next to a DZBL, they are almost as likely to run me down no matter where I ride; they simply not sane.

I did have an interesting encounter with a motorist a few years ago over this issue. He honked his horn as I took the lane next to a DZBL. When I finally cleared all the parked cars, I happily moved over to the bike lane. He pulled alongside me and rolled down his window to ask what I was doing. I explained the door zone issue to him. He nodded agreement, thanked me and drove on. His young son was sitting in the passenger seat, so I was glad that when he honked I didn't make any rude gestures.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:43 PM
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Most bike lanes around here are wide enough to allow you to stay clear of doors if you ride to one side of the lane.
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Old 03-03-18, 09:55 PM
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I got doored in 1987, commuting to work in San Francisco, going down the Hayes St. hill at high speed. I was not even very close to the parked cars - a guy in a pick-up truck with a long door threw it open and clipped the side of bike just as I was passing by. (Pretty sure it was unintentional.) I went flying down the hill, fractured wrist and some scrapes, amazing it was not worse. My Schwinn Continental was fine and I was able to ride in to work. It was great being young and invincible. Anyway, I think you are right to be worried about parked cars. If you cannot avoid the door zone (which can be larger than you might expect), it's probably best to ride slowly near parked cars.
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Old 03-03-18, 10:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
Most bike lanes around here are wide enough to allow you to stay clear of doors if you ride to one side of the lane.
I'm lucky in that when i do most long distance riding i have wide bike trails.
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Old 03-03-18, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by GailT View Post
I got doored in 1987, commuting to work in San Francisco, going down the Hayes St. hill at high speed. I was not even very close to the parked cars - a guy in a pick-up truck with a long door threw it open and clipped the side of bike just as I was passing by. (Pretty sure it was unintentional.) I went flying down the hill, fractured wrist and some scrapes, amazing it was not worse. My Schwinn Continental was fine and I was able to ride in to work. It was great being young and invincible. Anyway, I think you are right to be worried about parked cars. If you cannot avoid the door zone (which can be larger than you might expect), it's probably best to ride slowly near parked cars.
hope ur wrist got better!
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Old 03-03-18, 11:08 PM
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Looking for drivers to anticipate them opening doors is difficult and unreliable. However, folks opening doors isn't a random thing whereby they sit around then open the door at random.

So a helpful technique is to keep a weather eye well ahead down the road for cars parking. Those newly parked cars are the ones that will have a driver or passenger exiting momentarily. Of course, this isn't bulletproof, since someone may park, and sit around getting stuff together before exiting. However, it's another tool which can be helpful in predicting open doors before they open.
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Old 03-03-18, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Looking for drivers to anticipate them opening doors is difficult and unreliable. However, folks opening doors isn't a random thing whereby they sit around then open the door at random.

So a helpful technique is to keep a weather eye well ahead down the road for cars parking. Those newly parked cars are the ones that will have a driver or passenger exiting momentarily. Of course, this isn't bulletproof, since someone may park, and sit around getting stuff together before exiting. However, it's another tool which can be helpful in predicting open doors before they open.

yes, common sense i use
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Old 03-04-18, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I simply refuse to ride in the door zone.
Yes. Me too.
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Old 03-04-18, 02:27 AM
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The closest I've come to being doored are passengers getting out on the right from cars in line at an intersection, FYI.
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Old 03-04-18, 05:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
The closest I've come to being doored are passengers getting out on the right from cars in line at an intersection, FYI.
I live by the aphorism, "Like a weapon, assume every stopped car is loaded, with an occupant ready to exit from either side."
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Old 03-04-18, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Looking for drivers to anticipate them opening doors is difficult and unreliable. However, folks opening doors isn't a random thing whereby they sit around then open the door at random.

So a helpful technique is to keep a weather eye well ahead down the road for cars parking. Those newly parked cars are the ones that will have a driver or passenger exiting momentarily. Of course, this isn't bulletproof, since someone may park, and sit around getting stuff together before exiting. However, it's another tool which can be helpful in predicting open doors before they open.
Or they may have sat there a few minutes finishing up a phone call. That's what happened on my one close call with a door.




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Old 03-04-18, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by B. Carfree View Post
I simply refuse to ride in the door zone. My state is a mandatory use state, which means that cyclists have to use bike lanes if they are present. However, one of the reasons one is allowed to not ride in the bike lane is if there is a hazardous condition. Door zones are a fairly obvious hazardous condition, so I don't ride in door-zone bike lanes. Over the many decades and hundreds of thousands of miles I have ridden, hundreds of doors have swung open as I passed them. If I had made a habit of riding within range, some of them would have certainly rung me up.

Admittedly, this does annoy some motorists. I figure that if someone is strung so tightly that they would out and out murder me for riding in a travel lane next to a DZBL, they are almost as likely to run me down no matter where I ride; they simply not sane.

I did have an interesting encounter with a motorist a few years ago over this issue. He honked his horn as I took the lane next to a DZBL. When I finally cleared all the parked cars, I happily moved over to the bike lane. He pulled alongside me and rolled down his window to ask what I was doing. I explained the door zone issue to him. He nodded agreement, thanked me and drove on. His young son was sitting in the passenger seat, so I was glad that when he honked I didn't make any rude gestures.
Interesting post... i've always considered myself a pretty safe driver in a car (and prob everyone does) but after cycling for many years i've kind of come to a new understanding of what to look out for - wish the motorists had the same insight
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Old 03-04-18, 06:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Kontact View Post
The closest I've come to being doored are passengers getting out on the right from cars in line at an intersection, FYI.
wow! that would really piss me off
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Old 03-04-18, 07:12 AM
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The past summer, I was in Portland and Salem, Oregon for the solar eclipse. I was studying the public transit system and the bike lanes.

Even though Portland has a reputation of being the most bike-friendly city in North America, the bike lanes didn't look that impressive.

Then it occurred to me. In Salem, I noticed car parking was angled, not parallel. This eliminated dooring of cyclists. Not only that, when drivers pull out, they have no other choice but to look carefully as they proceed.
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Old 03-04-18, 07:32 AM
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I try to look into the vehicle's side mirror to catch a glimpse of someone in the driver's seat.
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Old 03-04-18, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by kap 7 View Post
I rarely use them because they aren't in my usual direction of going somewhere but when I do the bike lanes give me little space between cars traveling and parked cars which make me nervous if one of these parked cars would throw their door open on me. Anyway, just curious if this has happened to anyone. I try my best to look but many cars have factory tinted windows dark to the point its hard to see whats going on in the car.
I am lucky that on the few lengths of street of my commute routes, where I must ride in the door zone, the sight lines go for blocks and it is easy to see in advance if a car has just pulled in, making an opening door a possibility, and also seeing if people have entered a car, making a "pull-out" more imminent.

Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Regardless if I'm in a bike lane or a regular traffic lane when there are no bike lanes, I keep clear of the door zone and my finger on my horn.
That's what I do. And when I do honk, it's usually effective...but not always. (AirZound Airhorn)
Originally Posted by IndianaRecRider View Post
Or they may have sat there a few minutes finishing up a phone call. That's what happened on my one close call with a door.
That happened to me a few years ago on a long, slow uphill I had the van in my site for at least 2 minutes. A car came up behind me, just as a car came from the opposite direction which forced me a little closer to the line of parked cars than I like. When I came up even with the rear tire, the driver door opened. Luckily I was going only 3-4 mph as it was a steep, uphill. The driver, a 30-something mom on her way into the church across the street, was more upset over not looking than I was.
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Old 03-04-18, 10:32 AM
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Stay out of the door zone. If that happens to put you in the bike lane, fine. If not, also fine.
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Old 03-04-18, 03:45 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...bicycle+doored

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Old 03-04-18, 04:10 PM
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That stressed me out.
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Old 03-04-18, 04:32 PM
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I have never felt I was ever close to being doored. Either lucky, or perhaps taking actions to minimize it. I am, however, very aware of the potential issues.

I divide bike paths into two categories:
Residential neighborhoods: Cars enter and exit from parking areas infrequently. Often quite a bit of space between parked cars.

Business districts: Cars in and out frequently.
Also, not all vehicles are the same. So, delivery vehicles often have someone getting in or out. Even if they have a sliding door, give them some space.

Anyway, in the residential neighborhoods, I believe that one can pay attention to people around cars, perhaps people in cars, and cars parking, or other signs of activity that can give a good estimate of when something is going to happen. I am often riding in the parking lane, then look back, signal, and move over into the bike lane when I approach a parked car... and thus am also aware of traffic around me during potential conflict times.

In a business district, one has to be just that much more aware of one's surroundings. Although there are few bike lanes in door zone commercial areas where I ride.

One commercial area that I'm frequently riding through, the bike lane ends at the beginning of the commercial area. I still ride to the right a bit, but can often keep up with traffic. However, without the protected bike lane, car occupants are more likely to check before flinging their door open into the middle of traffic.

During parades, or event parking, I assume someone is going to do something stupid, and give all the cars a wide berth. People shouldn't be driving very fast during those times anyway.
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Old 03-04-18, 04:38 PM
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i'm not sure who mods these forums but the above video while probably appropriate to the topic might be noted in the title as not safe for work/kids etc (use of cuss words/violence)
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Old 03-04-18, 04:50 PM
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that is some scary stuff in video above
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