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The Uber/Lyft Effect - Getting Doored on the Passenger Side

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The Uber/Lyft Effect - Getting Doored on the Passenger Side

Old 09-24-15, 01:20 PM
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Dunbar
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The Uber/Lyft Effect - Getting Doored on the Passenger Side

This probably only affects city dwellers but of all the car doors I've seen opened I can count on one hand the number of times a passenger door opened into the bike lane. In the past two weeks I've had two passenger side (rear) doors open obstructing the bike lane. Door just flings open and somebody jumps right out. No safe way to position yourself with a line of parked cars on the right. Based on it being the rear door, and only one person getting out in front of a bar, I'm assuming it's Uber/Lyft. Just when you think you've seen it all a new threat comes along...

Edit, here's a picture of the road in question.


Last edited by Dunbar; 09-24-15 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:42 PM
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Take the lane? Stay out of the double door zone?
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Old 09-24-15, 01:44 PM
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I've never been doored by the driver's side, possibly because I'm very cautious, but I had a disturbing near miss a couple of weeks ago by a passenger-side exit from the third car back stopped at a red light.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:45 PM
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I wish I had such "issues"........





Yes Chris......we know......

Last edited by kickstart; 09-24-15 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 01:51 PM
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That photo seems to show a buffer between the bike lane and the parked area. Pretty sweet. Just ride in the middle of the bike lane, and you should be just about out of reach of most of the car doors, except perhaps those super long front doors for 2-door sedans.

The driver has a mirror, and SHOULD check it. The passenger doesn't. They should look back, and slowly open the door, but it is hard to remember to do that, and kids can be unpredictable.

I've never even come close to being "doored". 95% of my riding is not along parallel parked cars, and I try to be vigilant for that last 5%, watching for cars pulling in and out of parking, people inside of cars, and etc.
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Old 09-24-15, 02:18 PM
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Welcome to my life since forever in NYC! It sucks, but you will quickly learn what cars to be wary near.
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Old 09-24-15, 02:45 PM
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I just did a quick Google search and could not find if there was a safe cycling speed to survive being doored without any injury.

Many times when I am riding along any rows of parked cars, I'm mindful of the possibility even if there is only one car there. I am expecting the same thing with cars on my left but only if they have stopped. Usually people hopping out of their cars are locations with lots of store fronts and pedestrian traffic. So I tend to cycle a little more slowly than in roads in 60km/hr zones where traffic is as high as 75km/hr. In those streets - more like suburban highways, there is no chance of people hopping in and out of their cars. But being sideswiped is the other hazard.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
Edit, here's a picture of the road in question.

Looks a bit like Lower Queen Anne. There are a few strips with a lot of bars and restaurants and a few shops, they're all concentrated into a few places. I take the next street over, or the one after that.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Take the lane? Stay out of the double door zone?
The scenario is a row of stopped traffic on my left and parked cars on my right. If I could take the lane, there would be no cars on my left to door me. The bike lane on the right side of the photo isn't wide enough to position yourself to avoid being doored on both sides.

BTW, I've never been doored either but I can't say I've ever really considered a passenger door to be a threat before this. At least taxis are easy to spot, Uber can be any car. BTW, that's Main St. in Santa Monica, CA.

Last edited by Dunbar; 09-24-15 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
Take the lane? Stay out of the double door zone?
Absolutely take the lane, but what is the double door zone you are referring to?
Originally Posted by Transformer View Post
I've never been doored by the driver's side, possibly because I'm very cautious, but I had a disturbing near miss a couple of weeks ago by a passenger-side exit from the third car back stopped at a red light.
I have never been doored because of being cautious.
Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
I wish I had such "issues"........





Yes Chris......we know......
Take the lane
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
That photo seems to show a buffer between the bike lane and the parked area. Pretty sweet. Just ride in the middle of the bike lane, and you should be just about out of reach of most of the car doors, except perhaps those super long front doors for 2-door sedans.

The driver has a mirror, and SHOULD check it. The passenger doesn't. They should look back, and slowly open the door, but it is hard to remember to do that, and kids can be unpredictable.

I've never even come close to being "doored". 95% of my riding is not along parallel parked cars, and I try to be vigilant for that last 5%, watching for cars pulling in and out of parking, people inside of cars, and etc.
There is a buffer zone. So there is no need to be in the 'door zone'.
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Old 09-24-15, 05:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Absolutely take the lane, but what is the double door zone you are referring to?
Its supposedly "double" because he's encounter drivers stopping in the travel lane who discharged a passenger to the right into the bike lane.
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Old 09-24-15, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Transformer View Post
I've never been doored by the driver's side, possibly because I'm very cautious, but I had a disturbing near miss a couple of weeks ago by a passenger-side exit from the third car back stopped at a red light.
I frequently post this basic rule for me, ”Consider every stopped car like a weapon, loaded, with an occupant ready to exit, on either side." For example I think about that when filtering between cars stopped at a traffic light. When I have had doors opened directly before me, I have found a scream causes the person to immediately retract back into the car like a turtle into its shell.

For a real vicarious thrill of dooring, see this video.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 09-24-15 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 08:14 PM
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Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its supposedly "double" because he's encounter drivers stopping in the travel lane who discharged a passenger to the right into the bike lane.
Wow, That is bombastically stupid of the drivers'.
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Old 09-24-15, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I frequently post this basic rule for me, ”Consider every stopped car like a weapon, loaded, with an occupant ready to exit, on either side. For example I think about that when filtering between cars stopped at a traffic light. When I have had doors opened directly before me, I have found a scream causes the person to immediately retract back into the car like a turtle into its shell.

For a real vicarious thrill of dooring, see this video.
Absolutely!! This is a serious issue with me. I almost died from being doored. Riding up 4 lane street and looked back and 2 school buses coming in right hand lane, so I started to hustle it to get past a parked pickup truck pulling a trailer parked on the side. Pickup driver opened the door and I hit it, my head hit the edge of the door and I blacked out, woke up lying in the street to see the rear duel wheels of first school bus passing by my head less than a foot away, looked back and the second bus stopped short right behind me. The pickup door cut off part of my right ear, blood all over my shirt. Looked at my hands and legs to see it they were still there or smashed.
Now, every parked car is a loaded gun. Even filtering, drivers and passengers will open their door to throw out old coffee or spit or do something stupid.
Taxi and Uber drivers need to be responsible for not letting passengers exit when not safe.. and they need to pull over to the curb. And ya, I yell at them!!
There are some streets I won't ride on anymore.
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Old 09-24-15, 09:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
Wow, That is bombastically stupid of the drivers'.
Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Now, every parked car is a loaded gun. Even filtering, drivers and passengers will open their door to throw out old coffee or spit or do something stupid.
It only takes a momentary lapse in awareness, or judgment....

The closest I've come to being doored was when a driver opened their door at a stop light to dump a coffee when I was in a left turn lane.

Last edited by kickstart; 09-24-15 at 09:26 PM.
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Old 09-24-15, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Absolutely!! This is a serious issue with me. I almost died from being doored. Riding up 4 lane street and looked back and 2 school buses coming in right hand lane, so I started to hustle it to get past a parked pickup truck pulling a trailer parked on the side. Pickup driver opened the door and I hit it, my head hit the edge of the door and I blacked out, woke up lying in the street to see the rear duel wheels of first school bus passing by my head less than a foot away, looked back and the second bus stopped short right behind me. The pickup door cut off part of my right ear, blood all over my shirt. Looked at my hands and legs to see it they were still there or smashed.
Now, every parked car is a loaded gun. Even filtering, drivers and passengers will open their door to throw out old coffee or spit or do something stupid.
Taxi and Uber drivers need to be responsible for not letting passengers exit when not safe.. and they need to pull over to the curb. And ya, I yell at them!!
There are some streets I won't ride on anymore.
For me, every motorized vehicle, regardless of the number of wheels and axles' and the number of people on board, is a loaded weapon.
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Old 09-25-15, 04:09 PM
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Hunh. Not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to ride between a vehicle and a curb.

And sometimes you just can't win. A couple of years ago a 69-year-old woman was riding her bike along a town street, wearing her helmet and paying attention. The driver of a parked car decided that he needed to lean over to the passenger side to get something, and kicked his door open while lying down. Despite the helmet she received serious head injuries. And drivers have the nerve to be annoyed that I ride more than a door's-width away from parked cars.
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Old 09-25-15, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
I just did a quick Google search and could not find if there was a safe cycling speed to survive being doored without any injury.
What is the speed for stopping in about 3 feet (the length of a door)? 5 to 10 MPH? And, at what speed would a collision into a "wall" not cause serious injury?

There is also the risk of either swerving, or being knocked into a traffic lane.
Originally Posted by kickstart View Post
Its supposedly "double" because he's encounter drivers stopping in the travel lane who discharged a passenger to the right into the bike lane.
Ahhh... Double Parked Cars??? I suppose people could bail out at a stoplight or a stopsign. I would approach passing any mid-block double parked cars with extreme caution.

I must not be riding in the right cities, as I can't think of where I ever thought it was a problem or an issue.
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Old 09-25-15, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
Hunh. Not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to ride between a vehicle and a curb.

And sometimes you just can't win. A couple of years ago a 69-year-old woman was riding her bike along a town street, wearing her helmet and paying attention. The driver of a parked car decided that he needed to lean over to the passenger side to get something, and kicked his door open while lying down. Despite the helmet she received serious head injuries. And drivers have the nerve to be annoyed that I ride more than a door's-width away from parked cars.
They don't like bikes anywhere. Unless it is a bike-friendly community/town/city.
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Old 09-25-15, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post

I must not be riding in the right cities, as I can't think of where I ever thought it was a problem or an issue.
That's because Eugene threw a hissy fit when Uber came here. The politically connected owners of the (evil, poorly run) taxi companies called in some favors and the city banned Uber. The market here is too small for Uber to bother with a legal fight, so they left.
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Old 09-25-15, 10:21 PM
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Getting doored from the driver's side seems far more likely, but in situations like the OP brought up the cyclist is subjected to double jeopardy!

We were riding a bicycle trail along the Pacific coast that followed the Pacific Coast Highway. The trail would pass through parking lots, which are bad anyway, but I came within inches of being doored by a passenger side door flying open. Had it not been for quick reflexes, good brakes, slow speed and a little luck I am sure I would have hit the door. I literally stopped after skidding sideways with my right side up against the door.

The frightening thing for me is if you survive hitting the door there is a chance you may not survive traffic in lanes that you are thrown into.
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Old 09-28-15, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Chris516 View Post
They don't like bikes anywhere. Unless it is a bike-friendly community/town/city.
We are. We have a sign and everything. I think they just forgot to tell the drivers.
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