Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cyclist Dooring

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Imagine you are cycling along a roadway to your right you have a row of parked cars.  To your left you have an automobile lane.  You are whisking by when suddenly a car door has opened in front of you, a split second and your bike slams into the door flipping yourself head over heels.  You hit the ground and things go black.  Dooring is a common cause of injury and death for cyclists, and unfortunately when I Vancouver I had witnessed a poor lady get struck by an opening door.  Fortunately the lady was not thrown off her bike in this case. 

It is impossible to tell if the owners are still in their parked vehicle, and whether they have just parked their vehicle or if they are about to leave.  Dooring comes as a result of motor vehicles operators not properly shoulder checking before they start to open their doors and exit their vehicle.  Cyclists do not have many options in this case, if they try and evade to the left they run the risk of being hit by a travelling vehicle.

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The solution, its simple if you are parking please do your job to ensure everyone's safety and shoulder check before you attempt to exit your vehicle.  The best solution however would be for cities to provide the proper cycling infrastructure.  Provide a separated bike lane with clearly marked door zones.  In the above image you will notice the actual green bike lane on the left, to the right white diagonal lines indicating a door buffer zone between the cars and the bike lane.  So please encourage your cities to design and build your roads properly to guarantee the safety of every one.

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