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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 10-09-21, 05:50 AM
  #76  
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livedarklions I think we share the same views about rideshares, so I support anything that holds those companies more accountable, but now that I see the guy is on a bikeshare ebike I'm even less sympathetic. Those things are a much bigger hazard than rideshares will ever be in a city that paints bikes on the street and calls them bike lanes.
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Old 10-09-21, 07:52 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Point I'm making with this story is that for all of the talk on bf about it being our job to stay out of the door zone
For purposes of this thread, that the pre-incident lane position was chosen in the door zone is almost a footnote - a background concern (albeit a serious one, as the rider was cruising along in the high door probability zone)
​​​​​​
The main issue is not responding to a fact that a vehicle immediately in ones path of travel has stopped.

You keep describing infrequent things against which we have no defense. And yes, those are an issue, and raising other road users awareness of them will indeed help with those.

But this thread is an example of the type of dangerous situation a cyclist enters by their own actions, which it is in our own power to avoid, and which likely every participant in this thread has the road smarts to avoid.

Last edited by UniChris; 10-09-21 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 10-09-21, 08:57 AM
  #78  
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The issue for this incident is NOT that the car (or bicycle) involved was a ride share vehicle, or that timeshare companies have a lot to answer for in their business practices.

The issue is a bicyclist passing closely on the right of a car with passengers that is slowing down, pulling over towards the curb/parking lane and coming to a stop. This should be a clear warning/red flag to any bicyclist to use caution in passing. The scenario of cars pulling over to the right to discharge passengers is a FREQUENT occurrence on city streets, especially in dense residential and business districts. This was not a vehicle slowing down and coming to a stop as a result of the traffic conditions.

Yes, any vehicle that is stopped anywhere and has any occupants, including the driver could be a door hazard for any bicyclist passing closely, but the scenario as described above has far more likelihood of a sudden door opening and a cognizant bicyclist should recognize it and react appropriately.

Does anyone believe that only timeshare vehicles discharge passengers anywhere in the city, or that passengers in regular, licensed or medallion taxicabs donít fling doors open exactly as seen in the OP?

Does anyone believe that many passengers being dropped off by their friends or relatives in privately owned vehicles donít behave in exactly the same manner as seen in the OP. Any bicyclist who ignores an obviously increased hazardous condition may suffer serious consequences that a lawyer or councilman will not be able fix for him.

Legality and expectations of courtesy shouldnít trump a bicyclistís awareness of his environment and appropriate response to obvious heightened hazard.
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Old 10-09-21, 11:27 AM
  #79  
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OK. Let me explain this in real simple terms, I don't give a crap about this particular rider's habits. It will have absolutely no effect on me or anyone else on this thread. And y'all are delusional if you think anyone is reading these threads to take riding technique lessons from you. What I'm concerned about and what I think is worth talking about is ride share services being set up with corporate policies that encourage drivers to act illegally and to shield the companies from liability. That's an issue that quite possibly could affect all of our safety as cyclists.
So go ahead and prattle on about how this would never happen to you, live in your fool's paradise, and good luck.
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Old 10-09-21, 11:59 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
OK. Let me explain this in real simple terms, I don't give a crap about this particular rider's habits. It will have absolutely no effect on me or anyone else on this thread. And y'all are delusional if you think anyone is reading these threads to take riding technique lessons from you. What I'm concerned about and what I think is worth talking about is ride share services being set up with corporate policies that encourage drivers to act illegally and to shield the companies from liability. That's an issue that quite possibly could affect all of our safety as cyclists.
So go ahead and prattle on about how this would never happen to you, live in your fool's paradise, and good luck.
Every issue is a bicycle safety issue if you try hard enough. I suggest you take your concerns about ride share corporate policies to the P&R or perhaps FOO discussion list. Those policies have zilch to do with this incident and nothing to do with what bicyclists should do when facing a similar scenario as seen in the OP.

The only connection appears to be the same lawyer is representing the bicyclist and an organization oppossed to some ride share company poilcies.

Last edited by I-Like-To-Bike; 10-09-21 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 10-09-21, 02:07 PM
  #81  
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livedarklions You’ve seen the video. Would you have shot that gap?
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Old 10-09-21, 02:28 PM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Nonsense, watch the video. The car and the bike are basically parallel, then the car "pulls over" onto the bike lane with the bike already next to him and the door flies open. .
False. That is not remotely what happened.

What actually happened is that the cyclist ignored the fact that a vehicle was stopping directly ahead of them in the very same shared lane (not "bike lane") they were operating in.

If that cyclist had been a driver exhibiting the same lack of attention to other road users, they'd have squarely rammed the rear bumper.

But they thought being a bike-ish thing made them exempt from basic principles off traffic.

They thought wrong.
​​​​​
Far from being exempt from need to note and understand what other road users are doing, operating a bicycle on or interacting with a road actually requires a more sophisticated understanding of traffic and deeper insight into what others are doing than driving a car does.
​​​​​

Last edited by UniChris; 10-09-21 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 10-09-21, 05:43 PM
  #83  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
False. That is not remotely what happened.

What actually happened is that the cyclist ignored the fact that a vehicle was stopping directly ahead of them in the very same shared lane (not "bike lane") they were operating in.

If that cyclist had been a driver exhibiting the same lack of attention to other road users, they'd have squarely rammed the rear bumper.

But they thought being a bike-ish thing made them exempt from basic principles off traffic.

They thought wrong.
​​​​​
Far from being exempt from need to note and understand what other road users are doing, operating a bicycle on or interacting with a road actually requires a more sophisticated understanding of traffic and deeper insight into what others are doing than driving a car does.
​​​​​
Who/what are going to believe about this collision scenario, your own eyes and the video, or, lawyers talking about non existant bike lanes and irrelevant corporate responsibilities?
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Old 10-09-21, 07:06 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
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.
Nonsense, watch the video. The car and the bike are basically parallel, then the car "pulls over" onto the bike lane with the bike already next to him and the door flies open. The bicyclist is going what appears to be a normal bike lane speed when the car cuts him off. You're just trying to take credit for 20/20 hindsight, there was no real warning to the bicyclist. But hey, congrats on not being the bicyclist, it obviously makes you feel better about yourself.
Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Tell me exactly how fast he was going from that jerky motion video. Then tell me exactly when he was supposed to slow down. There's no real warning.
Ok, here is the Youtube video:

I will say that it is a mighty rude move to pass someone then slam on the brakes in front of them.

Is that an E-Bike? And NO HELMET.

The car is clearly decelerating as soon as it comes into sight, at least by midway through the intersection. No signs of an emergency stop. I can't discern brake lights, but I assume they're working properly.

What I don't see is any attempt of the bicycle/e-bike to decelerate.

That also doesn't appear to be a bike path. Rather it appears to be a designated buffer for the parking lane (to prevent exactly what happened, but from the other side).

In general in driving, the person that hits another vehicle from the rear is the one that is liable.

In this case, the E-Bike was apparently trying to cut into the narrow space between the stopped car and the nearby parked car. And not in a legal lane of any type.,

Now, I won't say to NEVER pass on the right. But, pay attention to road conditions.

A few things might happen when a car is stopping.

  1. A line of traffic is slowing down. Perhaps a traffic light ahead.
    This might be one time when a person could cautiously pass on the right (IN A LEGAL BIKE LANE).
  2. One or two cars are stopping for a unseen road hazard ahead. Perhaps a pedestrian crossing the road. Doing what the cyclist did could seriously injure the pedestrian.
  3. Someone getting in or out.
  4. Making a left hand turn. Watch turn signals, road positioning, etc.
    This might be another case when passing on the right is OK, and in some cases one can even pass on the right in a vehicle
  5. Making a right hand turn. Again, watch brake lights, turn signals, road positioning, etc. Also, is there a road or driveway for the car to turn into?
  6. Parking. Road positioning and turn signals, and a valid parking spot should be obvious. Some vehicles might wait for an approaching bike, but use extreme caution when passing. And, if possible, pass on the left side.

I do think the driver and the passenger should have stopped and shared information. But, this would have been 100% preventable by an astute rider, and the cyclist may well be considered at fault (and should pay for the broken door and/or any injuries to the passenger).

A good helmet likely would have prevented the broken nose, and perhaps a concussion.

"TAXI" vs Uber/Lyft/Rideshare was mentioned above.

It is less likely the cyclist would have passed a well marked yellow taxi with the light on top in this manner.

That is one thing regulations might help with. Uber/Lyft could at least put on a large sign on the back of the vehicles indicating that it is a Uber/Lyft vehicle, and to be aware of sudden stops and deboarding passengers.
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Old 10-09-21, 07:55 PM
  #85  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And NO HELMET.

A good helmet likely would have prevented the broken nose, and perhaps a concussion.

It is less likely the cyclist would have passed a well marked yellow taxi with the light on top in this manner.
Helmet may or may not have reduced the severity of the injutries but is irrelevant as to cause of collision as well as the preventive actions the cyclist should have taken in this passing scenario.

It is only conjuring to think that a cyclist who ignores brake lights on a vehicle right in front of him in order to speed by in a narrow gap would pay more attention to taxi marking.

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Old 10-10-21, 10:05 AM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It doesn't look like the cyclist is going dangerously fast. He seems going around 15 kph which is slow enough to make emergency stops without issues.

His only mistake is going to the right of a vehicle that just pulled over and stopped and did not slow down. I'm a daily urban rider and I never do that. My first instinct is to slow down look back and see if I can safely pass the stopped vehicle to the left outside the door zone. If I cannot safely pass, I stop and wait until it's safe to pass or start moving again.
Thatís funny, you quote me then say the same thing I did. You see he was not going slow enough to make an emergency stop or else he would not have crashed. So he was going to fast as I stated.
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Old 10-10-21, 10:42 AM
  #87  
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He was clearly going faster than 15 kph. Maybe 15 mph, though I wouldn't be surprised if faster than that. 15 kph is pretty casual for adult pedal cycling, while people seem to think this guy was on an e-bike.

But that's nearly irrelevant as the problem wasn't the initial speed.

The problem was the complete lack of any reaction to what was happening in front of him. The "that doesn't have relevance to me" approach of carrying clear-lane speed into an obstructed situation. There's no reaction at all.

​​​​​​If you're riding in an ordinary lane on a road visibly away from parked cars and want to by default ride the speed limit or even the traditional five over it, there's no fundamental problem with that. The actual issue is needing to respond to changing conditions just as any other road user is obligated to.

(It's a place like an occupied/limited visibilty MUP or a sidewalk with pedestrians or drive cuts that you don't get to do 15 or 20 or 25 mph.)

And if you are going to go through a gap like that pictured rather than find an opening to go around on the passing side, it needs to be essentially at a walking speed so you can react to what tends to happen when a car is pulled over to within an open door's width of the limits of the clear road surface.

Last edited by UniChris; 10-10-21 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 10-10-21, 11:02 AM
  #88  
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
It doesn't look like the cyclist is going dangerously fast. He seems going around 15 kph which is slow enough to make emergency stops without issues.
It is hard to judge the speed, but my interpretation is that he is on an E-Bike, and riding somewhat faster, in the 15 MPH to 20 MPH range.

Could that be a Lyft Divvy bike share E-Bike?



Oh... what are the odds, a Lyft bicycle runs into a Lyft car?

The door may have appeared to open suddenly. But, the cyclist had plenty of opportunity to adjust speed and lane positioning to the vehicle that had stopped.
;.
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Old 10-10-21, 03:38 PM
  #89  
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My take: As "driver" and passenger you both saw the overtaken vehicle (cyclist) and failed your duty to another human. Then you turned it into a hit and run, further exacerbating injuries and dodging responsibilities and laws. Their karma is wicked, to say the least.
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Old 10-11-21, 11:16 AM
  #90  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
My take: As "driver" and passenger you both saw the overtaken vehicle (cyclist)
You're making a guess unsupported by any evidence about what happened before either came in frame. It's possible the SUV passed the cyclist quite a while ago, or just enough out of frame that they were already in a pulled right position as they enter the frame, it's also very possible the SUV was ahead the entire time that both were on that roadway. Cyclists catching up to traffic is not at all unusual in an urban setting - it might be argued it's half the point.

But even if the SUV passed the cyclist, and even if you want to postulate they did so recently enough that the cyclist could not have fully stopped, that still leaves one overwhelming failure applicable to any set of preceding events:

The cyclist didn't use the non trivial amount of time they did have to react at all.

​​​​​​Not only does reasonable intensity braking lesson the chance of an incident in a suddenly complex situation, it means bringing exponentially less energy into any crash that does happen.

Other people are going to do dangerous things. We can try to educate them, we can prosecute them when these things are also illegal (or when they run away). There are going to be situations where there is nothing a cyclist could do. But one thing we know makes an overall difference and can individually do is paying attention to what other road users are doing, and doing what it is within our power to do to respond to, avoid, moderate, and survive those "oh *****" moments.

Cruising along ignorant of others is simply not an option, no matter how good or bad the infrastructure, or how aware or ignorant the others.

In the video we're seeing the lowest grade of bike infrastructure (sharrows, basically just a reminder of our legitimacy to be present) being used as if it were a physically separated and somehow pedestrian-proof cycle track. Ironically, one of the problems with actual fancy bike infrastructure is that it encourages ignorance of other traffic. Being out there in the ordinary vehicle lanes, moving smoothly and skillfully between them to pass obstacles on the traffic side, etc, is not without danger, but it also brings real understanding. Someone with that background understands when a designated bike route brings safety and when it hides danger, while someone who's been lead to believe there is a path reserved for them often has little understanding of the gauntlet of risks they're obliviously shooting every time they use it.

Last edited by UniChris; 10-11-21 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 10-11-21, 01:23 PM
  #91  
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I donít even see a bike lane.
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Old 10-11-21, 01:37 PM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by AlanO View Post
I donít even see a bike lane.
That is because there isn't one at the location of the incident. However facts and evidence did not appear to prevent a lawyer from a law firm specializing in bringing cases against ride share organizations from contacting the news media spouting off about ride share vehicles in general, and this vehicle in specific violating bike lane laws not applicable to this collision. As this thread indicates, even people educated in the law are capable of ignoring the evidence for reasons that they presumably can justify to themselves.
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Old 10-11-21, 01:54 PM
  #93  
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The false bike lane argument is a red herring that really impeaches the whole case. As, ironically, does fleeing the scene for any arguments the vehicle side might otherwise make.

There are more general laws against opening a door into traffic without checking, but it's pretty clear the position of that SUV is intended to facilitate passing on the left, and not to leave any space for through traffic to its right. To a pedestrian being picked up rather than discharged that probably would feel like the driver had created a space sheltered from traffic.
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Old 10-11-21, 02:36 PM
  #94  
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Accident occurred at Lincoln & Wisconsin. Which is real different from “urban environment” or “Chicago” and even “Lincoln Park” does not tell much. If anyone wants to be at Lincoln &Wisconsin at all it will be helpful to have a high level of situational awareness. If anyone wants to be in traffic and in motion at that location you just ain’t getting far if you ain’t good.

I lived and worked in a variety of locations near there and have been at the exact spot of the accident thousands of times on a bicycle. You could not pay me to be there now. Comparisons with Boston or NYC or New Orleans are moot.

Illinois law says the person opening the door is at fault. Period. Judge is to disallow any testimony about mitigating circumstances. Do judges follow that law? Ask a lawyer.

Leaving the scene is illegal everywhere.

Taxicabs are few in Chicago. Pro taxi drivers that we used to have are long gone. Lyft & Uber drivers know more about traffic in Vilnius or Zaporozhye than they know about Lincoln & Wisconsin. It’s a nuthouse out there.
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Old 10-11-21, 03:38 PM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Illinois law says the person opening the door is at fault. Period. Judge is to disallow any testimony about mitigating circumstances. Do judges follow that law? Ask a lawyer.
Illinois (625 ILCS 5/11-1407)
Sec. 11-1407. Opening and closing vehicle doors. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

In the case above, the car DID NOT open the car door on the side available to moving traffic. There was not a bike lane, and the door was opened on the right side of the car into a protected "door zone".

I have no doubt the driver could be identified. LYFT likely knows exactly which driver was involved (assuming it is accurately attributed to LYFT), and a simple subpoena will get the data.

Yet, if this goes to court, I don't believe the results will be simple, especially if the case was to go to a jury, and had a half decent defense legal team.

Originally Posted by 63rickert View Post
Leaving the scene is illegal everywhere.
True, although we don't know what transpired between the time the car stopped and it left. The cyclist appeared to be standing up. But, would have clearly been injured. The cyclist may have been dazed and may not have a good recollection of what he was told, or he actually said to the driver.
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Old 10-11-21, 04:13 PM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by UniChris View Post
The false bike lane argument is a red herring that really impeaches the whole case. As, ironically, does fleeing the scene for any arguments the vehicle side might otherwise make.

There are more general laws against opening a door into traffic without checking, but it's pretty clear the position of that SUV is intended to facilitate passing on the left, and not to leave any space for through traffic to its right. To a pedestrian being picked up rather than discharged that probably would feel like the driver had created a space sheltered from traffic.
The driver leaving the scene after the collision without rendering appropriate aid may very well be a criminal act, but it does not bear on the cause of the collsion or the fault of the parties involved.

I agree that the passenger apparently did NOT open a door on the traffic side of the car, and the cited ILL regulation does not seem to apply.

I am curious as whose insurance company or which policy would cover the cyclist's medical expenses especially if the cyclist or his lawyer try to make a case against Lyft. Assuming the driver can be identified, would his personal auto liability insurance cover damage caused while he was using the car for commercial work? Of course so far we only have the word of the lawyer from a law firm that specializes in suing ride share companies that this was a Lyft taxi dropping off a passenger.
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Old 10-11-21, 05:53 PM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike View Post
"unlicensed taxi driver" ?

What "proper training" would that be?

Sounds like a job for a "Sleazy Lawyer" and apparently the victims chose otherwise.
Better call Saul.
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Old 10-11-21, 06:25 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by relrrt View Post
better call saul.
1-800-1-go-free
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Old 10-11-21, 07:50 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by relrrt View Post
Better call Saul.
Saul Goodman is an entertaing character based on the stereotype of the sleazy ambulance chasing lawyer. Same applies to the sterotype of the backwoods bumpkin law officer. Most intelligent people can tell fact from fiction and don't think they are clever when they rely on movie and TV show stereotypes to explain away their own biased statements.

Have to admit that I have heard of law practices that are negatively portrayed as stereotypes of ambulance chasing lawyers, but I never previously heard of a law practice that specialized in "chasing" after incidents that may involve rideshare companies.
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Old 10-11-21, 07:53 PM
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