Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby ft_critical » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:40 am

Doored today. Hit my calf and bounced off the skewer. I stayed up.
I was doing a filter in an on-road bike lane which provided 1metre of space between the parked cars and the line of traffic slowly moving away from a crossing. I always slow right down, I was doing probably 20kmh. I looked in the mirrors of parked cars and at the drivers seats for occupants, but I must have missed him.
The driver had opened the door to the first stop. In this circumstance I probably would have been fine regardless of the timing. Second stop on his door and I would have been in the traffic.
So I was in a bike lane, he was at fault. But this is not the point of the post. I have some observations:
1. In general, filtering is a bad idea. Because the traffic was slowly moving away from a stop, drivers assume it is all clear to open there doors. If the traffic is moving, then they are more inclined to look before opening.
2. Filtering is a bad idea. You can’t actually ride at one metre when filtering. You can at best probably ride 80cm from the parked cars. When you ride in moving traffic you can sit just over that white line indicating the bike lane, so you are at 1.2 or 1.5m. This will save your life.
Now I know all this, so was the driver really at fault? Yes, but I was too. And I was more at fault because I should take better care of my own life. With that in mind when I went back to explain his responsibilities I was pretty friendly. Strangely, among his apologies, he informed me that he had been doored as a boy. I have grey paint on my skewer – this is why the handle is curved I guess and a good reason to run them forward facing as I do.
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by BNA » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:48 am

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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby Nate » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:48 am

ft_critical wrote:so was the driver really at fault? Yes, but I was too. And I was more at fault because I should take better care of my own life.


Glad you're OK & not too banged up.
ummm i wouldnt say its your own fault at all, you did everything you could - slowed down, looked for drivers...
he did... nothing.

The fact you're ok means it was purely through your actions that you're ok because you took the precautions - you're being a little hard on yourself.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:55 am

Very good advice.

Even though most drivers open their car door with some care, but there are many who like to fling their door wide open. It's frigging scary. Give wide berth!
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby goneriding » Wed Nov 24, 2010 8:57 am

Seems to be the season for it. I've had a couple of close calls over the last week and have been riding wider as a result and have been very cautious filtering doing head and mirror checks in addition to going slow.

Glad to hear you are still upright!
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby russellgarrard » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:04 am

I actually tell motorists NOT to look before opening their doors, I tell them to 'pop' their door, so the door sits just outside the body of the car (think 5cm's or so). I tell them to THEN look in their mirror THEN if completely clear THEN open it.

Turns out the local newspaper took this advice and re-prints it when they can. Reason being is, that cyclist doing 30km/ph in the bicycle lane, by the time you've looked in the mirror, checked, hit the handle, opened the door they are already there.

Of course the obvious solution to solving dooring's is to get everyone to ride bicycle's.... :D
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby im_no_pro » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:08 am

bendertiger wrote:I actually tell motorists NOT to look before opening their doors, I tell them to 'pop' their door, so the door sits just outside the body of the car (think 5cm's or so). I tell them to THEN look in their mirror THEN if completely clear THEN open it.

Turns out the local newspaper took this advice and re-prints it when they can. Reason being is, that cyclist doing 30km/ph in the bicycle lane, by the time you've looked in the mirror, checked, hit the handle, opened the door they are already there.

Of course the obvious solution to solving dooring's is to get everyone to ride bicycle's.... :D


Assuming the cyclist knows they are only popping the door instead of opening it. I have seen cyclists stain their knicks and swerve into traffic in this exact situation. Look then open IMO.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby Chanboy » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:09 am

It's that constant risk v's reward balance we take. Do I filter and save some time knowing that the risk of dooring is significant? or do I sit behind traffic in the middle of the lane - and take just as long to get to work as you would if you drove a car...
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:19 am

Chanboy wrote:It's that constant risk v's reward balance we take. Do I filter and save some time knowing that the risk of dooring is significant? or do I sit behind traffic in the middle of the lane - and take just as long to get to work as you would if you drove a car...

Well, there's always a balance. Filtering when safe and legal, hang back when not.

Whenever I drive through grid locked CBD, it really amazes me how many cyclists just aren't aware or are willingly taking risks. No sympathy there. Safety means acting to rule and acting to expectation. Surprising another road user may end up being a surprise on oneself.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:25 am

Its a bike lane. Drivers & pedestrians need to be aware that bikes travel in it (kinda obvious really). With more time and education it will get better. In the mean time there will be doorings.

Yes I use bike lanes next to stopped traffic, no I do do it at max speed when the lane is narrow.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby zero » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:39 am

Doorzone bicycle lanes don't work, and people will never get better at not dooring bicycles. Opening a door is something people do when they've switched off mentally, and the bicycle lane is the furtherest part round the scan area - which is the least well scanned.

The only thing that can change realistically is that more cyclists will refuse to use doorzone bicycle lanes, or councils will start removing them when they start to become co-defendents in lawsuits. If I rode in bicycle lanes whenever they were marked, I'd have had more than one dooring accident by now.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby human909 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:46 am

zero wrote:Doorzone bicycle lanes don't work, and people will never get better at not dooring bicycles. Opening a door is something people do when they've switched off mentally, and the bicycle lane is the furtherest part round the scan area - which is the least well scanned.

The only thing that can change realistically is that more cyclists will refuse to use doorzone bicycle lanes, or councils will start removing them when they start to become co-defendents in lawsuits. If I rode in bicycle lanes whenever they were marked, I'd have had more than one dooring accident by now.


I disagree, at least to some extend.

I don't see many people losing doors to cars. I don't see door swing open in heavy flowing traffic. So it seems that people to think before opening their doors. They just don't think BIKE.

I agree that on road bike lanes aren't ideal but I don't think that they are useless. Big wide on road bike lanes are the best thing short of dedicated cycleways (which pretty much don't exist here) That said most bike lanes aren't wide enough.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby zero » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:02 am

nah - in Balmain - I've seen 3 people door cars - because most of the roads are narrow and cars are in the door zones. Usual reason - driver is on the phone when they park - they don't get out of the car until they finish their phone conversation, or they get out of their car part way through the conversation - they completely forget about the road around them. Those are extremely unpredictable for anyone, because the car is parked before you get there - so you don't get the obvious clue.

In the same area, I've also seen someone fling a rear door to full extension without looking - had I been in the doorzone - I'd have struck it at 30. In that case the car had been parked for some time, and there was no front seat occupant.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby Christine Tham » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:04 am

human909 wrote:I don't see many people losing doors to cars.


Happens all the time. I've seen my fair share on busy multi lane roads. Sydney lanes are a lot narrower than Melbourne - if you park your car on the left lane and open the door without checking, you'll get swiped by a passing vehicle on the right lane. Doesn't stop people from doing it though.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby jet-ski » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:49 am

I don't understand what 'filtering' has to do with it? If you are in the bike lane why can't you overtake the slower (stopped) traffic on your right? Is it even really filtering when you are in your own lane?
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby trailgumby » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:54 am

jet-ski wrote:Is it even really filtering when you are in your own lane?


No, it isn't. It's using a designated lane. Doesn't make it safe, though.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby Chanboy » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:22 pm

The one's on West St, North Sydney and Cammeray really come to mind. Downhill and in peak hour - recipe for disaster, though I've never seen a disaster there yet. I will touch wood now. :-)
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby sogood » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:17 pm

zero wrote:Doorzone bicycle lanes don't work, and people will never get better at not dooring bicycles.

+1. It's a habit that can't be eradicated through education alone.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby mianos » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:37 pm

This happened to me time and time again going down Bourke St. I even got hit with a shopping bag once. They had gotten out of the car and were standing in the bike lane. When they took the bag out they swung it out into the car lane, hitting me as I tried to go around the door.

Soon, when I see a door knocked off, now they moved the bike lane off the road and reduced the space between the lane and the door zone, I'm going to stop and take photos so I can enjoy the picture when I am reminded of the times I have been hit. It *will* happen. I have seen mirrors knocked twice in the last month.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby il padrone » Wed Nov 24, 2010 5:42 pm

bendertiger wrote:Of course the obvious solution to solving dooring's is to get everyone to ride bicycle's.... :D

I know that not everyone's going to like riding a bike, so maybe some other solutions for the disabeld or lard-arsed

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Or maybe a convertible

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Classic style

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Modern version

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:mrgreen:
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby munga » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:41 am

years ago i got doored by a passenger alighting from a stopped car at the lights. never saw it coming. luckily i was doing about 20, so no harm done, although the driver had a good spray at me for almost killing his significant other. funnily, i don't remember it that way..
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby fatherofmany » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:03 pm

I was nearly doored a couple of years ago. It proved to me that it is impracticable to ride in doorzone bikelanes. The law says to ride in a marked cycle lane where practicable. Now I don't ride in doorzone bike lanes and I don't care about the cars in the lane behind me. I'll move over when it is safe to do so, otherwise... they can wait.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby jules21 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:42 pm

i only filter at speeds that will minimise the risk of injury if someone opens a door, when it's impractical to ride outside the door zone altogether. and don't blame me if you open your door and i stabilise myself by grabbing onto it as i go past, accidentally bending it back on its hinges :o
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:37 pm

sogood wrote:Very good advice.

Even though most drivers open their car door with some care, but there are many who like to fling their door wide open. It's frigging scary. Give wide berth!

I agree. It only takes one stupid (or inattentive) driver to ruin your ride.

On the subject of bike lanes taking riders into door zones... that's pretty irresponsible of whoever built them like that.
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Re: Doored again, 1metre – is not enough

Postby casual_cyclist » Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:39 pm

jules21 wrote:i only filter at speeds that will minimise the risk of injury if someone opens a door, when it's impractical to ride outside the door zone altogether. and don't blame me if you open your door and i stabilise myself by grabbing onto it as i go past, accidentally bending it back on its hinges :o

Mmm, that one is expensive to fix... such a shame! :wink:
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