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by Bryan Goebel
Apparently we need a campaign to educate at least cops and journalists that opening your door into traffic without looking is illegal. This fact still fails to make it into the article, and I assume into the police investigation into this terrible crash. A lot of people read these articles. If they were to read the article because they care a human life has been lost, and they are freaked out about running into cyclists or injuring them, then seeing the words “the person responsible for opening the door is also being cited for an illegal action” could be a real learning moment. The only reason I know that this is an illegal thing to do and not just a perverse thing to do is because I am an everyday, politically conscious cyclist. Laws such as this one need to be brought out of the darkness of the CVC catacombs. None of the articles published on Erik’s death have bothered to do so.
Does anyone have any figures or stats on doorings and how often people are actually cited? How culpable can the doorer be found, and to what degree?
One more thing: How does our responsibility to ride outside the door zone work in legal terms when the law determines a ‘doorers’ culpability? Even as a very conscious rider, I’m sure I am at least a few inches into the door zones about 10% or a little more of the time when I am on the road. I imagine that is a much higher percentage for other riders. What is the best solution? More education? Better infrastructure? (We all know all standard bike lanes are terrible on this, suggesting that riders can and should often ride right up next to a car’s left side….)
I hope they got the door openers details for prosecution by the family. I’d like to see it across the major headlines about the doorer and his insurance having to pay out millons.
@Justin cyclists don’t have a legal responsibility to ride outside the door zone (motorists are always liable for opening their doors into traffic), but do have a responsibility to their own safety.
I think it’s largely an education and engineering issue. The problem is that it’s counterintuitive: when you’re riding, the fast moving cars seem much more dangerous than the stationary parked cars, so people tend to ride farther to the right than they should. You have to show them the statistics that show that actually, the chance of getting sideswiped by a car is tiny, while those parked cars are extremely dangerous!
Sharrows and better designed bike lanes are supposed to help with this, and separated bike paths are the best solution that we need to be moving towards, but people will always be sharing the road at least on neighborhood streets, so education will always be important too.
It is May 21. Is there still a hearing for the Bike Plan EIR scheduled for June 1?
“Apparently we must build freeways with shoulders on the left AND right sides, to ensure that when one car breaks down or crashes, it does not delay any other car. Imagine if we designed our transit systems the same way!”
In response to ""Not a Freeway" -- Re-Branding the Excesses of the $1.4B Presidio Parkway"