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Don't ride in the door zone


By Scott - Posted on 28 September 2011

I'm glad we have them, but I really don't like a lot of the bike lanes in Seattle because they put the cyclist right in the way of opening doors. I often feel safer on a street without bike lanes so I can ride a good 5-6 feet away from the parked cars. I've never had a driver be agressive towards me when I'm riding like that.  I wonder if it's because I am being treated more like another car than a cyclist?

Have a look at what happens when a driver opens their door onto a cyclist and you'll understand why I get scared:

 

And now watch a training video showing you just how far you should ride from cars: 

The one thing the instructor doesn't say (at least on the video) is "don't weave in & out of the line of parked cars." If you weave, parked drivers are less likely to see you as they check their door mirror, and moving cars won't see you till you pop out into their lane.

Of course dedicated cycling lanes, "Greenways", and just lots of signs pointing out less busy streets that cyclists could use would help most of all.

Stay visible & safe out there, especially now it's getting dark during our commute times.

I wish more people were aware of this. I get frustrated trying to explain to beginning cyclists and newbie commuters that it's OK to take the lane if that's the safe decision. After my sister in law almost got doored in Anacortes a couple of years back, she hung her bike up and hasn't ridden it since. That's a bummer.

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