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Any suggestions on what to do when drivers ignore my polite request to shut their car door?

As I ride, I will occasionally ask a driver of a parked car who has their door wide open to "Watch the door, please." There are times when I look over my shoulder and the door is still wide open. One time I circled back and wrote down the plate number. Does anyone have suggestions on whether it is worth calling 311, for example, and reporting them?

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I think all of us don't have to imagine the circumstance you're talking about - we know it from first hand experience. The difference is this: nobody positioned in the left side of the lane in your scenario has to dodge an open door. The only way OP's scenario makes sense seems to be that she was riding into traffic, swerved to miss a door and somebody in a car came around the corner, not expecting to be facing oncoming (bike or otherwise) traffic.

Jeff Schneider said:

Drivers cut corners when they turn, that's how.

I had a guy in a giant SUV almost run me over at a stop light in this way.  I was standing in my lane and behind the white stripe at a stop light.  I was in the left side of my lane (preparing for a left turn).  He approached the intersection from my right, making a left turn.  He swore at me because the position of my bike prevented him from making a fast cut across my lane.  He had to slow down a bit, make a square corner, and stay in his lane.  So, I pretty much ruined his day, maybe his life.  I can see why he was angry...

Reboot Oxnard said:

Trying to figure out how this happened - unless you were salmoning...?

Anne Alt said:

Thank you!  Leaving a door open longer than necessary can be a hazard.  I had a crash last year when some dork was just sitting there with his door open - close to an intersection.  I had to swing wide to avoid the door - just as a car turned the corner and was coming right at me.  Fortunately her brakes and mine worked well, but I crashed trying to avoid the oncoming car.  If that dork hadn't left his door open, there wouldn't have been any near collision or crash.

Dunno... here's some of what I've tried...

... first, formost? i thank the motorist for allowing me to use their roads.

... give them cookies. bakery items always get attention.

... give them the can of beer that is leaky

... chain lube!!!!

... have a frank and earnest discussion about my needs and feelings. if frank and earnest are available, but i think they're out of town this week.

I wonder if, in Anne's case, the driver was double-parked.

Reboot Oxnard said:

I think all of us don't have to imagine the circumstance you're talking about - we know it from first hand experience. The difference is this: nobody positioned in the left side of the lane in your scenario has to dodge an open door. The only way OP's scenario makes sense seems to be that she was riding into traffic, swerved to miss a door and somebody in a car came around the corner, not expecting to be facing oncoming (bike or otherwise) traffic.

Jeff Schneider said:

Drivers cut corners when they turn, that's how.

I had a guy in a giant SUV almost run me over at a stop light in this way.  I was standing in my lane and behind the white stripe at a stop light.  I was in the left side of my lane (preparing for a left turn).  He approached the intersection from my right, making a left turn.  He swore at me because the position of my bike prevented him from making a fast cut across my lane.  He had to slow down a bit, make a square corner, and stay in his lane.  So, I pretty much ruined his day, maybe his life.  I can see why he was angry...

Reboot Oxnard said:

Trying to figure out how this happened - unless you were salmoning...?

Anne Alt said:

Thank you!  Leaving a door open longer than necessary can be a hazard.  I had a crash last year when some dork was just sitting there with his door open - close to an intersection.  I had to swing wide to avoid the door - just as a car turned the corner and was coming right at me.  Fortunately her brakes and mine worked well, but I crashed trying to avoid the oncoming car.  If that dork hadn't left his door open, there wouldn't have been any near collision or crash.

I suppose that anything is possible. As long as we're searching for alternatives to the probable, it could have been a Mini full of insane clowns looking to scatter bikers and pedestrians like skittles.

Alex Z said:

I wonder if, in Anne's case, the driver was double-parked.

Reboot Oxnard said:

I think all of us don't have to imagine the circumstance you're talking about - we know it from first hand experience. The difference is this: nobody positioned in the left side of the lane in your scenario has to dodge an open door. The only way OP's scenario makes sense seems to be that she was riding into traffic, swerved to miss a door and somebody in a car came around the corner, not expecting to be facing oncoming (bike or otherwise) traffic.

Jeff Schneider said:

Drivers cut corners when they turn, that's how.

I had a guy in a giant SUV almost run me over at a stop light in this way.  I was standing in my lane and behind the white stripe at a stop light.  I was in the left side of my lane (preparing for a left turn).  He approached the intersection from my right, making a left turn.  He swore at me because the position of my bike prevented him from making a fast cut across my lane.  He had to slow down a bit, make a square corner, and stay in his lane.  So, I pretty much ruined his day, maybe his life.  I can see why he was angry...

Reboot Oxnard said:

Trying to figure out how this happened - unless you were salmoning...?

Anne Alt said:

Thank you!  Leaving a door open longer than necessary can be a hazard.  I had a crash last year when some dork was just sitting there with his door open - close to an intersection.  I had to swing wide to avoid the door - just as a car turned the corner and was coming right at me.  Fortunately her brakes and mine worked well, but I crashed trying to avoid the oncoming car.  If that dork hadn't left his door open, there wouldn't have been any near collision or crash.

Oh! that explains the Uncle Tom reference. You want a term for one of our own who tirelessly defends the status quo. Does this include the uh, people who think it is necessary to stop at red light and wait for the green even when there is no other traffic?


h' 1.0 said:

OK, maybe I didn't frame that well.

Let's try.. "aggressively complacent cyclist who thinks everything we've gained just happened on its own."

Tony Adams 7 mi (dirtbag hipstr) said:

Kassholes?

h' 1.0 said:

So if we're going to label the Adam Hersteins of the world "complainers" for giving a damn, we need a nice loaded derogatory term for the folks that tirelessly defend the status quo.

"Uncle Tom" is already taken....

He was not. It was a narrow 2-way street, and he was parked at the curb, close to the intersection.  I was riding on the right side before swerving around the door. There were cars parked on both sides of the street, making the open traffic area about a lane and a half wide - not an unusual scenario in my 'hood.

I don't know that the turning driver looked very carefully or made a full stop at the stop sign before turning.  It was dark, and my bike was lit up like a Christmas tree. If she'd looked first, she should have seen me.  Too many drivers are only looking for car headlights and don't notice anything else at night.  That may have been the case with the turning driver.

There was NO salmoning involved.

Alex Z said:

I wonder if, in Anne's case, the driver was double-parked.

Reboot Oxnard said:

I think all of us don't have to imagine the circumstance you're talking about - we know it from first hand experience. The difference is this: nobody positioned in the left side of the lane in your scenario has to dodge an open door. The only way OP's scenario makes sense seems to be that she was riding into traffic, swerved to miss a door and somebody in a car came around the corner, not expecting to be facing oncoming (bike or otherwise) traffic.

Jeff Schneider said:

Drivers cut corners when they turn, that's how.

I had a guy in a giant SUV almost run me over at a stop light in this way.  I was standing in my lane and behind the white stripe at a stop light.  I was in the left side of my lane (preparing for a left turn).  He approached the intersection from my right, making a left turn.  He swore at me because the position of my bike prevented him from making a fast cut across my lane.  He had to slow down a bit, make a square corner, and stay in his lane.  So, I pretty much ruined his day, maybe his life.  I can see why he was angry...

Reboot Oxnard said:

Trying to figure out how this happened - unless you were salmoning...?

Anne Alt said:

Thank you!  Leaving a door open longer than necessary can be a hazard.  I had a crash last year when some dork was just sitting there with his door open - close to an intersection.  I had to swing wide to avoid the door - just as a car turned the corner and was coming right at me.  Fortunately her brakes and mine worked well, but I crashed trying to avoid the oncoming car.  If that dork hadn't left his door open, there wouldn't have been any near collision or crash.

Agree-- it definitely should be left to people like Dan who can get their message across without "scolding."

Tricolor said:

I don't really like the idea of scolding people even when they do something stupid, so if there was time to stop and ask someone to close their door there was time to just go around and forget about it.  If people are too self-absorbed to see they are causing other people trouble they probably aren't going to react well to criticism.  Then things escalate, and now thanks to CCW soon everyone will start shooting.

If you are up for it the original post seems to leave room for a teachable moment as we likely have a clueless rather than evil motorist.  "Hey, one of us could get killed if you leave that door open.  I saw it but you don't want the next biker to plow into you.  Be careful." "Thanks."

If you are not up for it or if you sense its one of those drivers who will not want to listen, keep peddling. You are on a bike so by definition, things are going well. Why ruin your ride? If you need to dwell on the incident, reach around pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for making a nice move around an obstacle.

More often than not, these situations are about cluelessness rather than malice.  That certainly seemed to be the case with my situation.  Opportunities abound for teachable moments if we're up to the task.

David Barish said:

If you are up for it the original post seems to leave room for a teachable moment as we likely have a clueless rather than evil motorist.  "Hey, one of us could get killed if you leave that door open.  I saw it but you don't want the next biker to plow into you.  Be careful." "Thanks."

If you are not up for it or if you sense its one of those drivers who will not want to listen, keep peddling. You are on a bike so by definition, things are going well. Why ruin your ride? If you need to dwell on the incident, reach around pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for making a nice move around an obstacle.

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