Doored – v. to crash into and/or over a driver’s side door(of a vehicle) while riding your bike. A painful biking experience where two conflicting world-views collide.
Not surprisingly, this is a growing problem. There are more bikes and cars sharing urban roads than ever before. How big a problem is this? A young Toronto web developer wants to find out. He has created a website enabling cyclists to record their experiences. Have a look – www.doored.ca.
Here are 5 things I do to prevent being “doored”.
- I cycle on the city’s bikeways, bike lanes and separated cycle paths whenever possible, even if it means taking a longer route.
- I cycle in the middle of the road, except when there is oncoming traffic, providing able clearance from the parked cars to my right.
- I carefully watch the parked cars looking for backup lights and any movement inside.
- In low light conditions, I turn my lights on and make them flicker.
- I stop at all stop streets and red lights. Yes. I am an anomaly. Intersections can be dangerous and I want every opportunity to be seen.
I have had several close calls. I hope it never happens. Urban planners could do a better job of separating bike lanes from park cars. Too often they run tight beside the parking lane. There are alternatives. Put the lane on the other side of the cars closest to the sidewalk or, better still, install a dividing barrier.
Have you been “doored”?