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Old 04-30-07, 01:33 PM   #1
Helmet Head
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Changing culture and door zone cycling

This picture is from the June 2007 issue of Bicycling magazine, p. 37.

bicyclingJune07p37f.jpg

If you look carefully, you will see that it shows a "Bike Boulevard" with a cyclist riding in the door zone. If someone in that green VW Beetle suddenly opened the door, the cyclist would go down. Note how he is riding along the right edge of the big huge "Bike Boulevard" symbol.

I was just talking to a guy this weekend about yet another dooring incident. He had blood spurting out of his neck, lost over a liter and spent a few days in the hospital. If the injury had been slightly different, he would have been killed. Yet, when I suggested this is why it's important to stay out of the door zone, he immediately replied that he was out of the door zone. He started talking about how far he was from the cars, but stopped when I said five feet. Even after his crash, he had no idea he had to be that far to be safe. When I explained it to him he was genuinely surprised. He had never done the math (door opens 3.5', your right side is 1 foot to the left of your tire, and add 6" buffer/margin of error, and your tire must be at least five feet from parked cars). When most cyclists reading Bicycling look at this image, they will probably not think that the cyclist is too far right. It won't occur to them. And it won't occur to them when they themselves are riding that close to parked cars.

What can we do change bicycling culture to understand this better?
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Old 04-30-07, 01:36 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
If someone in that green VW Beetle suddenly opened the door, the cyclist would go down.

What can we do change bicycling culture to understand this better?
Get your eyes examined.
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Old 04-30-07, 01:40 PM   #3
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Oh I know!

How about a campaign of ridicule, with phony psychological disorders and "syndromes"?

Or what about we just throw out all the cycling-specific infrastructure and see if that improves the lane positioning of ordinary cyclists?

Maybe we can thump 30-year-old bibles that could crack the average skull?

Or direct people to web sites full of shamelessly phony data and a kind of Internet crank-ish style.

Yeah. That ought to work.
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Old 04-30-07, 01:41 PM   #4
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Buddy, the way I see it, everything that can be done has already been done. Every piece of bicycle literature I have read addresses this. Come to think of it though, they never really get into distances, they just say something to the effect of "be far enough from the car that the door won't hit you if opened". Maybe you could write to the places that print this literature and have them be more specific.
But you're not going to reach every cyclist. Those of us that give as much thought as we (we = the BF community) do, already know how far to stay away to be safe. The rest of the people on bikes out there don't seem to have the inclination to learn the basic rules. that's why we have all seen nijas, wrong-wayers, scofflaws, etc.
But more power to you if you decide to ink every place that prints the literature.
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Old 04-30-07, 01:53 PM   #5
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Hey gang, let's pass a law! We can set some arbitrary distance, decided upon by a convention of safety nannies, as the door zone, as well as a safe passing zone, then require all motor vehicle manufacturers to have sensors that detect the proximity of bicycles - one setting for when parked, one for when moving. When moving, if the car comes to close to a bike, BLAMMO, we blow the driver's head off with a steering column mounted 12 gauge. When parked, if the sensor detects a cyclist within the door zone, BLAMMO, nail the cyclist up-side-the-head with a rubber bullet, teaching him/her a lesson he won't soon forget. As an added bonus, if the cyclist isn't wearing a helmet, the rubber bullet will probably cause death...aiding Darwin as no law ever could. Yeah, yeah, let's pass a law!
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Old 04-30-07, 01:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pj7
Buddy, the way I see it, everything that can be done has already been done. Every piece of bicycle literature I have read addresses this. Come to think of it though, they never really get into distances, they just say something to the effect of "be far enough from the car that the door won't hit you if opened". Maybe you could write to the places that print this literature and have them be more specific.
But you're not going to reach every cyclist. Those of us that give as much thought as we (we = the BF community) do, already know how far to stay away to be safe. The rest of the people on bikes out there don't seem to have the inclination to learn the basic rules. that's why we have all seen nijas, wrong-wayers, scofflaws, etc.
But more power to you if you decide to ink every place that prints the literature.
Even Hurst writes 3 1/2 feet. He doesn't explain that your tire needs to be tracking another foot to the left of that, 4 1/2 feet, to avoid the door zone, with no margin for error.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by sbhikes
Oh I know!

How about a campaign of ridicule, with phony psychological disorders and "syndromes"?

Or what about we just throw out all the cycling-specific infrastructure and see if that improves the lane positioning of ordinary cyclists?

Maybe we can thump 30-year-old bibles that could crack the average skull?

Or direct people to web sites full of shamelessly phony data and a kind of Internet crank-ish style.

Yeah. That ought to work.
Is this supposed to be helpful?
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Old 04-30-07, 02:00 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by chipcom
Get your eyes examined.
Are you saying that cyclist is not in the door zone?
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Old 04-30-07, 02:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Even Hurst writes 3 1/2 feet. He doesn't explain that your tire needs to be tracking another foot to the left of that, 4 1/2 feet, to avoid the door zone, with no margin for error.
I've never read his book, nor anyones book that has been mentioned on here. Maybe someone should ask him to clarify because if he meant 3.5 feet from the car to the right most tip of the handlebar then his advice would seem sound.
But yeah, some people don't take things into consideration properly. Actually, there are alot of times that I ride in the door zone, though I'm riding with a very high alertness, or to use a word to resurrect an old thread, I'm riding with vigilence.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
This picture is from the June 2007 issue of Bicycling magazine, p. 37.

Attachment 43527

If you look carefully, you will see that it shows a "Bike Boulevard" with a cyclist riding in the door zone. If someone in that green VW Beetle suddenly opened the door, the cyclist would go down. Note how he is riding along the right edge of the big huge "Bike Boulevard" symbol...
If you'll look closely, you're looking at the wrong car. The cyclist is adjascent to the car closer to the bike blvd sign than the other one. The cyclist is not in the door zone.

John
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Old 04-30-07, 02:22 PM   #11
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If you'll look closely, you're looking at the wrong car. The cyclist is adjascent to the car closer to the bike blvd sign than the other one. The cyclist is not in the door zone.

John
C'mon John, don't let the facts get in the way of advocacy/analysis....
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Old 04-30-07, 02:35 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Is this supposed to be helpful?
Are you?
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Old 04-30-07, 02:38 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
If you'll look closely, you're looking at the wrong car. The cyclist is adjascent to the car closer to the bike blvd sign than the other one. The cyclist is not in the door zone.

John
I'm not looking at the wrong car. Even if he's moving only 12 mph, that's 17 fps. He's maybe 10 feet behind the VW door. If it opens right now, he'll have about 1/2 a second to avoid it.

About how many feet do you think there are from the left side of the green Accord to the right side of the cyclist?

About how many feet do you think there are from the center yellow stripe to the right side of the small silver SUV?
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Old 04-30-07, 02:40 PM   #14
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C'mon John, don't let the facts get in the way of advocacy/analysis....
Snide remarks are not helpful.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
Are you saying that cyclist is not in the door zone?
Looks like a good 5 feet to me - and next to the car behind your green vw...clean your glasses.
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Last edited by chipcom; 04-30-07 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 04-30-07, 02:41 PM   #16
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Are you?
I'm trying to be helpful.

Are you?
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Old 04-30-07, 02:46 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John C. Ratliff
If you'll look closely, you're looking at the wrong car. The cyclist is adjascent to the car closer to the bike blvd sign than the other one. The cyclist is not in the door zone.
This is my interpretation of the image as well.

-Steve Goodridge (who develops forensic video technology for law enforcement applications, and has studied photogrammetry a bit)
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Old 04-30-07, 02:52 PM   #18
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-Steve Goodridge (who develops forensic video technology for law enforcement applications, and has studied photogrammetry a bit)
Now there's a man I'd like to have a beer with and chat for a while
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Old 04-30-07, 02:54 PM   #19
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maybe a snappy catch phrase would help.
like:
"hit a door, die in Gore."
"ride in Door Zone, break your Head bone"
"doors Kill".
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Old 04-30-07, 02:58 PM   #20
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Goooooo Team!
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"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
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Old 04-30-07, 03:04 PM   #21
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Maybe some good fear-mongering would help -- perhaps a dooring death thread that we could bump up every time a cyclist gets hit by a drunk anywhere within a half a mile of a car door.
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Old 04-30-07, 03:13 PM   #22
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See, JRA is thinking like a good neocon now. Fear-mongering speeches and media stories is just the ticket to push through my new law noted above, now called the Patriotic Cycling Act. I love you guys...I'm thinking I'll make JRA the next president of the World Bank!
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"Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey
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Old 04-30-07, 03:15 PM   #23
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ooh, ooh, can I be minister of propaganda?
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Old 04-30-07, 03:18 PM   #24
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Looks like a good 5 feet to me - and next to the car behind your green vw...clean your glasses.
5 feet from what to what? The bike tire to the side of the Accord?

The entire lane is probably 12 feet from the yellow stripe to the side of the parked car. The BLVD symbol is probably about 8' wide (with about 2' of space on each side). To be 5 feet from the Accord, he would have to be a foot to the right of the center of the lane. He's way to the right of the that. I'd say his tire is no more than 3 feet from Accord.
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Old 04-30-07, 03:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmet Head
I'm not looking at the wrong car. Even if he's moving only 12 mph, that's 17 fps. He's maybe 10 feet behind the VW door. If it opens right now, he'll have about 1/2 a second to avoid it.

About how many feet do you think there are from the left side of the green Accord to the right side of the cyclist?

About how many feet do you think there are from the center yellow stripe to the right side of the small silver SUV?
Helmet Head,

If you look closely, you'll see that the cyclist is riding on the Bike Blvd sign. He looks like he's about on the straight edge of the "D" in the sign. If you look at the near sign (opposite side, but close to the photographer), you'll see that the "D" is quite far into the middle of the road. The Volkswagon door could not get to this cyclist, even if it opened suddenly, as the cyclist is not in the door zone.

The place that is a problem is that trailer in the background, on the near side of the roadway. But how many people will open a trailer door and come out into the road? There are several other trailers parked along side the road in the background, but sticking quite far into the road.
John
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