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Chicago Lyft Passenger Opens Door in Bike Lane

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Chicago Lyft Passenger Opens Door in Bike Lane

Old 10-07-21, 06:19 AM
  #26  
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livedarklions , we see it differently. I've been riding bikes in those neighborhoods for over 30 years, and that accident looked avoidable to me. I saw the car pull over (you can see a huge gap between the driver side door and the yellow lines), and I saw plenty of time for the cyclist to either stop or go around the driver side (which would have also been risky). I also know from experience that the the rideshare either passed the bike or was already ahead of the bike, so the bike knew it was there, and he knew it was a rideshare because they all have stickers in the rear window in Chicago. Rideshares don't just pop out of nowhere. I'm not defending the driver/passenger or blaming the victim because I think it's irrelevant. The cyclist is in the hospital with a broken face and the people in the car are totally fine, nowhere to be found. It's possible to ride in such a way that you can really minimize your chances of getting doored. This guy wasn't riding like that, which is fine, it just comes with more risk. The police may be able to track down the rideshare passenger, Lyft can match that with the time and location of the video. The guy has a lawyer so he may be able to go that route. It will be interesting to see if anything happens to the driver or passenger. I doubt any Chicago judge will interpret that as "the side available to moving traffic". Everyone always blames the bikes. It's just the way it is. Anyone who drives a car in Lincoln Park thinks the people on bikes are idiots. Chicago cyclists have been whining about it for years and now we have sharrows everywhere. Thanks.
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Old 10-07-21, 08:25 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
livedarklions , we see it differently. I've been riding bikes in those neighborhoods for over 30 years, and that accident looked avoidable to me. I saw the car pull over (you can see a huge gap between the driver side door and the yellow lines), and I saw plenty of time for the cyclist to either stop or go around the driver side (which would have also been risky). I also know from experience that the the rideshare either passed the bike or was already ahead of the bike, so the bike knew it was there, and he knew it was a rideshare because they all have stickers in the rear window in Chicago. Rideshares don't just pop out of nowhere. I'm not defending the driver/passenger or blaming the victim because I think it's irrelevant. The cyclist is in the hospital with a broken face and the people in the car are totally fine, nowhere to be found. It's possible to ride in such a way that you can really minimize your chances of getting doored. This guy wasn't riding like that, which is fine, it just comes with more risk. The police may be able to track down the rideshare passenger, Lyft can match that with the time and location of the video. The guy has a lawyer so he may be able to go that route. It will be interesting to see if anything happens to the driver or passenger. I doubt any Chicago judge will interpret that as "the side available to moving traffic". Everyone always blames the bikes. It's just the way it is. Anyone who drives a car in Lincoln Park thinks the people on bikes are idiots. Chicago cyclists have been whining about it for years and now we have sharrows everywhere. Thanks.

In hindsight, all accidents are avoidable. Just don't ride that day or don't ride in that neighborhood ever. That's meaningless. I haven't ridden that neighborhood or city, but it doesn't look much different from hundreds of urban roads I have ridden on. There's no way that was a legal stop and drop off, and I believe the cyclist is riding as the law would have him do.

None of us were there, and none of us can say with certainty that the way we would have handled it wouldn't have resulted in a similar outcome or anther accident--one suggested riding in the middle of the lane would have avoided an accident, but that would've required a brake slam that could have resulted in getting rear ended.
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Old 10-07-21, 08:41 AM
  #28  
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I don't really care what the law says. It's irrelevant to me. I have never heard of a Chicago cop giving a rideshare driver a ticket for dropping off a passenger in Lincoln Park. If that's a law, and I'm skeptical of that claim, they would have to write an awful lot of tickets if they enforced it. I might have tried to shoot that gap and I might have been doored by that passenger, then I'd be the one sitting in a hospital bed whining about it on the local news while the driver/passenger walked away unharmed. I'm sure it would make me feel a lot better knowing that the driver/passenger broke a law that nobody knows about or enforces.

Last edited by kingston; 10-07-21 at 08:58 AM.
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Old 10-07-21, 08:41 AM
  #29  
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I have seen videos of motorists trying to squeeze by cyclists to avoid slowing down. Some of them result in collisions.

I have seen videos of cyclists trying to squeeze by motorists to avoid slowing down. Some of them result in collisions.

There is a common thread here. Many of us value speed over safety.
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Old 10-07-21, 08:42 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
Other than leaving the scene of an accident, I didn't see anything illegal. Cars are allowed to pull over and let people out. That happens thousands of times a day in Lincoln Park. The news guy called it a bike lane, but it's the same street it's always been, it just has a bike painted on it now. Maybe the cyclist could have avoided that accident and maybe he couldn't have, but he definitely wouldn't have gotten doored if he didnít try to squeeze through that gap.
Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the opening of car doors if itís unsafe to do so. I pointed that out to the last driver who nearly doored me.
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Old 10-07-21, 09:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by flangehead View Post
I have seen videos of motorists trying to squeeze by cyclists to avoid slowing down. Some of them result in collisions.

I have seen videos of cyclists trying to squeeze by motorists to avoid slowing down. Some of them result in collisions.

There is a common thread here. Many of us value speed over safety.
I learned many decades ago riding my bike on the streets of Philadelphia that riding close to parked and/or moving cars always required caution, especially if I observed that a car just arrived in a parking spot along the street and the driver is still inside. A car with passenger(s) moving to the right while slowing down as if to stop in mid block is another big red flag. Under either circumstance the odds that a car door is about to open is quite high regardless of what training or legal requirements are in place. A sensible bicyclist would use caution and adjust speed accordingly and be prepared to stop if traffic conditions doesn't allow changing lanes.
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Old 10-07-21, 10:04 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
...None of us were there, and none of us can say with certainty that the way we would have handled it wouldn't have resulted in a similar outcome or anther accident--one suggested riding in the middle of the lane would have avoided an accident, but that would've required a brake slam that could have resulted in getting rear ended.
True, I wasn't there, but there is enough in the video for me to know that I would NOT have gone between those cars at that speed. My gut reaction is to go out into the lane and pass on the lyft car's driver side. However, I agree that the video can't show how fluid that move would have been, but at any rate I definitely would have slowed way down. That much I know from the video.
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Old 10-07-21, 10:38 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the opening of car doors if itís unsafe to do so. I pointed that out to the last driver who nearly doored me.

I already posted a link to the Illinois statute.
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Old 10-07-21, 10:42 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
True, I wasn't there, but there is enough in the video for me to know that I would NOT have gone between those cars at that speed. My gut reaction is to go out into the lane and pass on the lyft car's driver side. However, I agree that the video can't show how fluid that move would have been, but at any rate I definitely would have slowed way down. That much I know from the video.
If you watch that video, you will see that the motion jumps from frame to frame There simply is no way to tell from that video how fast anyone is going as it is clearly not showing the motion in real time. The only thing that is clear is that the van is still moving when the bicyclist begins the pass. This was stop and fling open the door without pause.

Go ahead, tell me what speed he's going, and when he should have known he needed to slow down.

Last edited by livedarklions; 10-07-21 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 10-07-21, 10:54 AM
  #35  
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Now I will point out another reason the cyclist shares blame in this video. We have established that Sharrows mean share the road. The cyclist is riding in what is called a buffer. In this case the cyclist should be riding to the LEFT of this buffer. The purpose of this buffer is to protect the cyclist from getting doored by the cars parked along the curb. If he was where he belonged he would be taking the lane and there is a good chance this never would have happened.

Funny how some cyclist don’t even know what road markings are and how they can help to protect us.
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Old 10-07-21, 11:17 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
If you watch that video, you will see that the motion jumps from frame to frame There simply is no way to tell from that video how fast anyone is going as it is clearly not showing the motion in real time. The only thing that is clear is that the van is still moving when the bicyclist begins the pass. This was stop and fling open the door without pause.

Go ahead, tell me what speed he's going, and when he should have known he needed to slow down.
I don't see much of a jump in the video. The cyclist should have been just like any other vehicle when he saw the vehicle in front slowing down, he should have also slowed down. If he was in a car, he would have stopped, it's not like the lyft car came to a screeching halt.

And as Bmach said above, this was a Sharrow, so the passenger never opened the door into a bike lane.


.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:13 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I don't see much of a jump in the video. The cyclist should have been just like any other vehicle when he saw the vehicle in front slowing down, he should have also slowed down. If he was in a car, he would have stopped, it's not like the lyft car came to a screeching halt.

And as Bmach said above, this was a Sharrow, so the passenger never opened the door into a bike lane.


.

Yes, I realized that there was two versions of the video included in the link, and one of them didn't include the jump so I edited it after I had posted it.

Nonetheless, it is not at all clear how "fast" the rider is going, but it is quite clear that the vehicle is still going forward as the cyclist is passing it, and the stop and opening of the door IN A CLEARLY MARKED SHARED TRAFFIC LANE is nearly simultaneous. I'm just going to say it's bizarre that anyone thinks there's any safe position on that road with people acting as lawlessly as that. Equally bizarre is the shift from "he was pulled over" to "he wasn't in a bike lane" without noticing you've entirely contradicted yourselves.

And I've already posted the link to the Illinois statute that makes opening a door in this traffic lane illegal.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:24 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Bmach View Post
Now I will point out another reason the cyclist shares blame in this video. We have established that Sharrows mean share the road. The cyclist is riding in what is called a buffer. In this case the cyclist should be riding to the LEFT of this buffer. The purpose of this buffer is to protect the cyclist from getting doored by the cars parked along the curb. If he was where he belonged he would be taking the lane and there is a good chance this never would have happened.

Funny how some cyclist donít even know what road markings are and how they can help to protect us.

Nonsense, he's very clearly on the correct (left) side of the line marking off the buffer as he passes the car and is knocked to the right into the buffer by the car door as he's hit. Keep making stuff up if you want, but this one kinda sucks.

Again, if he had taken the lane, there's no telling whether he might have gotten rear-ended when he had to stop for the van.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:25 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I don't see much of a jump in the video.
.
Perhaps on different type of displays the video is too jumpy to draw a conclusion, but the video on my monitor appears smooth enough to compare the relative speeds of the involved vehicles prior to the bicycle actually reaching the rear of car. Note the pedestrians walking in the background, their gait does not appear very jumpy video at all. The car did not appear to come from nowhere.

None of the above excuses the post collision behavior of the car driver or passenger, nor the alleged stonewalling by Lyft in providing information abut the driver and presumably its available info about the passenger.

The lawyer quoted in the news piece may have more on his plate with this case than just representing the bicyclist, as he appears to also have an agenda with Lyft and other ride share companies. Do not know how the NBC news reporter or the lawyer determined that the bicyclist was riding in a bike lane or that the motorist pulled into a bike lane, or why the article/lawyer are discussing parking violations involving cars in bike lanes.
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Old 10-07-21, 12:38 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
Perhaps on different type of displays the video is too jumpy to draw a conclusion, but the video on my monitor appears smooth enough to compare the relative speeds of the involved vehicles prior to the bicycle actually reaching the rear of car. Note the pedestrians walking in the background, their gait does not appear very jumpy video at all. The car did not appear to come from nowhere.

None of the above excuses the post collision behavior of the car driver or passenger, nor the alleged stonewalling by Lyft in providing information abut the driver and presumably its available info about the passenger.

The lawyer quoted in the news piece may have more on his plate with this case than just representing the bicyclist, as he appears to also have an agenda with Lyft and other ride share companies. Do not know how the NBC news reporter or the lawyer determined that the bicyclist was riding in a bike lane or that the motorist pulled into a bike lane, or why the article/lawyer are discussing parking violations involving cars in bike lanes.

I was wrong about the jumpy video, there's two versions of it contained in the news report, one very slowed down that resulted in it being jumpy. When I rewatched the linked news report, I saw the error and deleted the bit about the jump, but not before it had been quoted. Livedarklions regrets the error.

There is a comparison between the walker and the cyclist, but people walk at different paces and the cyclist is not in frame long enough to accurately gauge his speed. Also, the distances between the cyclist, pedestrian and the camera are different, which makes the comparison at an angle like this extremely difficult. If I had to guess, the cyclist appears to be going in the low teens, but I'm pretty sure we'd all have different guesses based on that really poor evidence.

This was a car parking abruptly in a traffic lane that was marked with a sharrow. I have no idea why the story gets this so obviously wrong.

Lyft and Uber were designed to get around regulation and licensing of taxicabs and to hide behind the drivers' status as non-employees to avoid minimum pay requirements and liability. I don't think it's at all surprising that lawyers would be employed to pierce that shield.

Last edited by livedarklions; 10-07-21 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 10-07-21, 01:04 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
This was a car parking abruptly in a traffic lane that was marked with a sharrow. I have no idea why the story gets this so obviously wrong.
This one's easy. If you asked a hundred people in Chicago what a sharrow is, zero people would know the answer. I myself had to google it and I'm a bike nerd. The city is promoting them as bike lanes so that's what they call them on the local news.
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Old 10-07-21, 01:49 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Nonetheless, it is not at all clear how "fast" the rider is going, but it is quite clear that the vehicle is still going forward as the cyclist is passing it, and the stop and opening of the door IN A CLEARLY MARKED SHARED TRAFFIC LANE is nearly simultaneous. I'm just going to say it's bizarre that anyone thinks there's any safe position on that road with people acting as lawlessly as that. Equally bizarre is the shift from "he was pulled over" to "he wasn't in a bike lane" without noticing you've entirely contradicted yourselves.
What that rideshare did isn't some rare event that hardly ever happens. Lincoln Park is the trendiest neighborhood in the city with a population density about double the city average. Rideshares are the primary source of transportation for many (the majority?) of the 70k people who live there. I work downtown, used to live in Lincoln Park and still have family there so I'm in the neighborhood a lot. If I counted the number of times I saw a rideshare pull over and drop someone off like that, I'd run out of fingers in about five minutes. You also seem fixated on the laws driver/passenger violated, but who cares when the guy's in the hospital. I guarantee the Chicago cops don't care. One thing I do like about CPD is that they have real crime to fight and don't concern themselves with dipstick stuff like rideshare drop-off violations in Lincoln Park, which I'm still skeptical are even a thing.

If you are riding your bike in Lincoln Park and you either get passed by or come up on the back end of a rideshare, which again are clearly marked with a giant sticker in the back window, be careful because they're about ready to stop and pick someone up or drop someone off. While that seems obvious to me, I realize this takes experience for people to learn. This guy learned the hard way, and I bet he never tries to do that again. The only thing complaining about the drivers has done is get bikes painted on the street. If a cyclist gets in an accident, it's the cyclist who pays the price, so it's our responsibility to stay out of harms way.
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Old 10-07-21, 01:59 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Yes, I realized that there was two versions of the video included in the link, and one of them didn't include the jump so I edited it after I had posted it.

Nonetheless, it is not at all clear how "fast" the rider is going, but it is quite clear that the vehicle is still going forward as the cyclist is passing it, and the stop and opening of the door IN A CLEARLY MARKED SHARED TRAFFIC LANE is nearly simultaneous. I'm just going to say it's bizarre that anyone thinks there's any safe position on that road with people acting as lawlessly as that. Equally bizarre is the shift from "he was pulled over" to "he wasn't in a bike lane" without noticing you've entirely contradicted yourselves.

And I've already posted the link to the Illinois statute that makes opening a door in this traffic lane illegal.
I agree, it's difficult to determine the speed of the cyclist, but I can clearly see the car slowing down and the cyclist never slowed down and the car was at a complete stop when the cyclist hit the open door.

When I said the cyclist was going too fast, I didn't mean he was speeding, rather that he was going too fast for the circumstances. The moment he saw that the car was slowing down, he should have slowed down and definitely not put himself between the car and parked cars, that's just crazy, regardless if the car is moving or not, but in this case the car clearly came to a complete stop -- you can actually see the effect of the car "bounce" a little as it stops. He clearly was going faster than the car (and quickly gaining ground) for the entire length of the video.

If I were to go between those two cars, it would have been at no more than walking speed. The only safe place to pass is on the outside of the car, but granted he may have had to stop, to be perfectly safe, can't tell by the video. I've had on several occasions had to leave a bike lane in go out into traffic traveling well over 45-mph, because a work truck or some other obstruction was in my way. In many cases I had to slow down first to make sure I could do this safely. And on a couple occasions I actually had to come to a stop.

Nothing special about this case, except the cyclist decided to do a stupid pass which is quite dangerous; I'd never dream of doing anywhere near that speed.


.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:12 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
This one's easy. If you asked a hundred people in Chicago what a sharrow is, zero people would know the answer. I myself had to google it and I'm a bike nerd. The city is promoting them as bike lanes so that's what they call them on the local news.

OK, Chicago does suck, then! They're blurring two very different concepts.

My experience with sharrows, and I've ridden on them in a lot of places in New England, is they do work as people get familiar with them. I like them in Boston, but they suck out in the suburbs and in Nashua where I live, where there's a couple of them randomly placed, and people just don't get the concept.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:13 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by work4bike View Post
I agree, it's difficult to determine the speed of the cyclist, but I can clearly see the car slowing down and the cyclist never slowed down and the car was at a complete stop when the cyclist hit the open door.

When I said the cyclist was going too fast, I didn't mean he was speeding, rather that he was going too fast for the circumstances. The moment he saw that the car was slowing down, he should have slowed down and definitely not put himself between the car and parked cars, that's just crazy, regardless if the car is moving or not, but in this case the car clearly came to a complete stop -- you can actually see the effect of the car "bounce" a little as it stops. He clearly was going faster than the car (and quickly gaining ground) for the entire length of the video.

If I were to go between those two cars, it would have been at no more than walking speed. The only safe place to pass is on the outside of the car, but granted he may have had to stop, to be perfectly safe, can't tell by the video. I've had on several occasions had to leave a bike lane in go out into traffic traveling well over 45-mph, because a work truck or some other obstruction was in my way. In many cases I had to slow down first to make sure I could do this safely. And on a couple occasions I actually had to come to a stop.

Nothing special about this case, except the cyclist decided to do a stupid pass which is quite dangerous; I'd never dream of doing anywhere near that speed.


.

Must be nice to be as perfect as you.

Sorry, just not buying this "I would have" crap. You weren't there, you're just guessing with hindsight.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:27 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
OK, Chicago does suck, then! They're blurring two very different concepts.

My experience with sharrows, and I've ridden on them in a lot of places in New England, is they do work as people get familiar with them. I like them in Boston, but they suck out in the suburbs and in Nashua where I live, where there's a couple of them randomly placed, and people just don't get the concept.
I worked in Cambridge and Back Bay for a while, so I've ridden the ride share bikes in Boston a lot. It's infinitely better for bikes than Chicago. It almost not even the same thing. Your perspective makes a lot more sense to me with that context.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Nonsense, he's very clearly on the correct (left) side of the line marking off the buffer as he passes the car and is knocked to the right into the buffer by the car door as he's hit. Keep making stuff up if you want, but this one kinda sucks.

Again, if he had taken the lane, there's no telling whether he might have gotten rear-ended when he had to stop for the van.
must be your jumpy video but he is CLEARLY in the buffer zone. Seems you are the only one seeing this. Sorry but you are biased towards cyclists and only seeing what you want to see.

Goodbye
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Old 10-07-21, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by kingston View Post
I worked in Cambridge and Back Bay for a while, so I've ridden the ride share bikes in Boston a lot. It's infinitely better for bikes than Chicago. It almost not even the same thing. Your perspective makes a lot more sense to me with that context.
Sounds like you've ridden the bike-friendly parts of the Boston area, there's some truly crappy ones. Try Charlestown. I've ridden extensively in SF, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Silicon Valley and pretty much all over New England. I have never seen hostility towards bicyclists like I have in New Hampshire, terrorizing cyclists is a bit of a sport around here.

I lived on Magazine Street in New Orleans and bike commuted on it. Sorry, but I don't think Lincoln Park has anything that didn't have.
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Old 10-07-21, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Sounds like you've ridden the bike-friendly parts of the Boston area, there's some truly crappy ones. Try Charlestown. I've ridden extensively in SF, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Silicon Valley and pretty much all over New England. I have never seen hostility towards bicyclists like I have in New Hampshire, terrorizing cyclists is a bit of a sport around here.

I lived on Magazine Street in New Orleans and bike commuted on it. Sorry, but I don't think Lincoln Park has anything that didn't have.
Then I don't understand how you think that accident was unavoidable. You must get in a lot of accidents.
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Old 10-07-21, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mdarnton View Post
This definitely is not a case of someone "randomly" opening a door in traffic. It's a case of a car pulling over. That's about as good of a clue as you are ever going to get that the next thing to happen is that a door is going to open on one side or the other.
Amusingly, today, riding home, in Chicago, in the Loop, a Lyft pulled in ahead of me, blocking the bike lane. I immediately swung wide out into the traffic lanes, passing just as the passenger flung the door wide open at me (and into the traffic lane). Because I was paying attention, I did not get doored.

By the way, in 35 years of living in Chicago, riding on and off as a commuter, I've only been nearly doored once before this and cut off twice. One of those times was probably my fault My personal experience here is that drivers are actually very careful of bikes. Probably more accurately: scared ****less. They mostly go out of their way to avoid being anywhere near me. But perhaps some of that is that I'm a polite and consistent biker, not some wild thing, like a huge percentage of the bikers I see. Really, the bikers here are MUCH WORSE than the car drivers, and often incredibly reckless and just plain dumb, so if there's a high incidence of bike/car accidents, it doesn't surprise me at all.

Last edited by mdarnton; 10-07-21 at 06:33 PM.
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