Video Shows How Brutal It Is To Be Doored While Biking
By Rachel Cromidas in News on May 23, 2017 7:45PM
Look before you open your car door. Look before you open your car door. Look before you open your car door.
That this mantra bears repeating ad nauseam is a sign of how frustrating and dangerous it can be for cyclists to slide past a car stopped in the street—yes, even when that street has a bike lane. Too often, cyclists in those situations can quickly find themselves in the direct path of a swinging car door.
The cyclist featured in the video above is one of the unlucky ones. Watch, four seconds into the video, as he careens into a car door and flips over it, banging into a parked car to his right and eating concrete. The video was captured on May 22 in Wicker Park by a Reddit user who says he was picking up a delivery when he caught the collision on video. The cyclist, wearing bright orange and a helmet, appears to have a brief exchange with someone in the street before getting back on his bike and riding off, checking his hand for cuts as he goes. The Redditor, who did not immediately respond to Chicagoist's request for comment, believes the car that doored the rider was an Uber.
It might feel absurd to say this cyclist actually ended up kind of lucky, but it's true—other dooring victims don't get to walk, let alone ride, away from the collision. The Illinois Department of Transportation released data last month showing that 302 cyclists were doored in Illinois in 2015, up from 202 in 2014.
While dooring is a regular danger for Chicago cyclists, the most obvious solution—staying inside a designated bike lane, staying away from parked cars—is almost never a practical reality. Take these recent examples that Twitter-using riders have shared of their commutes, featuring cars conveniently parked in the cyclist's paths:
Bike lane on Franklin Blvd is blocked by parents picking up students...a motorist asked why we didn't use bike lane pic.twitter.com/3PDRhk7mW4— Chicago Bike Guide (@bikechiguide) May 23, 2017
This is just one snapshot of the problem.