The Chainlink

Sacrificing future Bikes Lanes for Anti-Dooring Campaign from the City

How many miles of future Bike Lanes would be acceptable to sacrifice for a proper Anti-Dooring campaign from the City of Chicago?

The funds will have to come from somewhere. Why not money that was already ear marked for bike infrastructure?

How much does each Bicycle Lane cost to build? How much would a Anti-Dooring Campaign cost? Stickers are cheap. Web pages can be cheaply added to existing pages on the City site. How much does it cost to add signs to existing street poles? Would Alderman's offices take part for maximum saturation of the message?

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Remember many of the people living in Chicago did not learn to drive here and are not used to living in a world where they have to check traffic before opening their door after parking.

This is exactly why we need to push for STATEWIDE education on dooring and other bike-related laws.

I'm all for an anti-dooring campaign, but I also agree that it will be limited in effect.  I ride almost everyday, but I caught myself opening a car door today without checking the mirror.  I didn't fling it wide open, but nevertheless I spaced out on bikes.  It seems to me that you can be hyper-aware of bicyclist concerns when you're riding, but then get into the car driver frame of mind when you're driving.

8-80 infrastructure.

The Bold riders will ride no matter what.  But until you can get the no-way/no-how riders out on the road we might as well just hang it up if we ever want to change the amount of people riding bicycles. 

Your reaction explains why this will take a long time.  Even cyclists can forget about doors.  When we are on bikes we can forget to look for the cars that might door us. When we are in cars we may forget to look before opening the door.  Its going to be worse for people who are not riders or who are not on this forum. All I can say is there is a generation of people who have a hard time figuring out what to do with a seat belt.  Most of them are in their 70's or older. Younger  people use seat belts as a second nature.  However, I don't see the resources thrown at anti-dooring that were thrown at getting people to wear seat belts.  I guess when somebody puts some   money behind a scary PSA that the general public sees it may change a few habits but its going to be a while before most habits are changed.

I have  mixed feelings on bike lanes.  I tend to ride the outer edge of marked lanes or even past it because I want to be a door away from harm.  I like the streets without a marked lane but with a sharrow. It lets the cars know to expect us but does not box us in and make people angry when we are straying from the lines. 

Joe Lyons said:

I'm all for an anti-dooring campaign, but I also agree that it will be limited in effect.  I ride almost everyday, but I caught myself opening a car door today without checking the mirror.  I didn't fling it wide open, but nevertheless I spaced out on bikes.  It seems to me that you can be hyper-aware of bicyclist concerns when you're riding, but then get into the car driver frame of mind when you're driving.

Are you kidding me?

Not checking for oncoming traffic, not just bikes but traffic in general, does not show you in 'the car driver frame of mind' but that you are a crappy driver.  When you open a door into traffic you are not just at risk of dooring a cyclist but you are at risk of opening your door into the path of a car or truck at which point harming another person will be the least of your worries.  The fact that it is not second nature to check a mirror or look back before opening a door when parked on a road way represents a failure on the part of our driver education programs and license testing. 

A driver should be no less aware than a cyclist.  In fact I think the driver should be much more aware than they cyclist because they are driving something much heavier, much faster and that requires more time and space to stop or maneuver and often has large blind spots.  If you find yourself paying less attention to what is around you behind the wheel vs. on two wheels you should probably not be behind the wheel of a car.

Joe Lyons said:

I'm all for an anti-dooring campaign, but I also agree that it will be limited in effect.  I ride almost everyday, but I caught myself opening a car door today without checking the mirror.  I didn't fling it wide open, but nevertheless I spaced out on bikes.  It seems to me that you can be hyper-aware of bicyclist concerns when you're riding, but then get into the car driver frame of mind when you're driving.

I'd love to schedule a meeting of interested folks to talk through public education opportunities and funding. Perhaps a kick starter on this could work?
I have been in touch with the Illinois DMV about opportunities and am trying to get in touch with CPS to discuss education for parents and school children. DMV said the following "The Secretary of State offers a wide variety of educational materials on bicycle safety for both the bicycle rider and the motor vehicle driver.  We also provide information and test questions in the Illinois Rules of the Road.  Unfortunately, we do not have the funds to provide any other type of education campaign at this time."

4 feet from parked cars would put me in the middle of Damen Ave (which is a bike lane most of the way from Lincoln Sq in.) I'm not opposed to doing this, but it does not allow cars to pass me with both safe distance from me and oncoming traffic. This solution doesn't let everyone coexist on the same road.

I'm +1 for notoriousDUG's suggestion of giving up all bike lanes--which do little without corresponding education for how to use them--in exchange for both drivers and cyclists getting some rules widely distributed for how to interact on the same road. Including the DMV would also be helpful. Seems like learning how to drive should include learning how to drive with bike lanes and cyclists. 

If only the city could figure out how to make money doing this.. it would already be done.

Also.. love the idea of guerilla stickering parking pay boxes. Andre the Giant accomplishes nothing and is everywhere. Certainly we could promote safe practice to drivers.

Ah yes! Anecdotal evidence used to prove a point. "I know a guy that got doored in a PBL, therefore PBLs are unsafe"

I see this type of reasoning all the time in my work. Doesn't make it right though. The right thing to do would be to come up a a number representing doorings/mile ridden that can be sorted on bike lane type

notoriousDUG said:

I just ordered a replacement for for a customer who was doored by a car passenger while ina protected bike lane...

Bike lanes are not the answer; we cannot put lanes on all the roads in Chicago therefore a education campaign does more good than bike lanes.  Remember many of the people living in Chicago did not learn to drive here and are not used to living in a world where they have to check traffic before opening their door after parking.  People who have lived and driven in a city for a long time do it as second nature but those from the suburbs have to acquire the habit.

Allen Wrench said:

Oh, come on! Of all the counterproductive foolish things to try to do! It's wonderful to stick stickers on parking meters saying please don't hit me with your door, but if you have a protected bike lane that's designed well the opportunity shouldn't arise! Chicago needs a bit more work on designing good bike lanes, but as someone who's lived in many other countries that have good ones, I can only support building more. Instead of stickers think CONCRETE. Barriers, planters, divided lanes. Make 2-way streets one way for cars and have bikes on the other side. Give bikes preferential green traffic signals. THAT's how you avoid dooring.

Hope your sticker saves your butt - I'll be pushing for more cement.

I think  that in the long term technology will provide a solution.

I had to drive to one of our plants in Michigan earlier this week and had gotten a 2013 Ford Edge loaded with safety features, one of them being a signal to indicate that somebody is to your left or right. On the highway it does so by showing a little orange light in the mirror. In fact it was so subtle that you could miss it if you did not look directly at the mirror

But when I was in my car standing parked on Clark, a young woman on a bike passed my car well within the dooring zone. She was followed in close distance (estimated to be less than 30 feet) by a #22 bus. If I had opened my door, we would likely have had another dead cyclist to mourn.

Interestingly enough the light did not just light up, but it started blinking in a vertigo inducing pattern accompanied by a loud beeping signal. There is no way I could miss this signal, even if I wasn’t looking in the mirror. Clearly the sensors can tell the difference between a car in the lane next to me, and an object really close.

From this current functionality it is only a small step to even more active safety features, like temporary disabling the door: A driver cannot open the door when the alarm is going off.

As far as I am concerned  cars that help the driver avoid conflicts may be the best option to increase safety on the road, especially when governments (DMV) are unwilling to adapt to changing safety issues

I am not saying anything about protected bike lanes beyond the fact that you CAN be doored in them.  People treated bike lanes like they are some kind of magic bullet of safety when they are not; you can get hurt in one just as easily as on a regular street.


Duppie said:

Ah yes! Anecdotal evidence used to prove a point. "I know a guy that got doored in a PBL, therefore PBLs are unsafe"

I see this type of reasoning all the time in my work. Doesn't make it right though. The right thing to do would be to come up a a number representing doorings/mile ridden that can be sorted on bike lane type

notoriousDUG said:

I just ordered a replacement for for a customer who was doored by a car passenger while ina protected bike lane...

Bike lanes are not the answer; we cannot put lanes on all the roads in Chicago therefore a education campaign does more good than bike lanes.  Remember many of the people living in Chicago did not learn to drive here and are not used to living in a world where they have to check traffic before opening their door after parking.  People who have lived and driven in a city for a long time do it as second nature but those from the suburbs have to acquire the habit.

Allen Wrench said:

Oh, come on! Of all the counterproductive foolish things to try to do! It's wonderful to stick stickers on parking meters saying please don't hit me with your door, but if you have a protected bike lane that's designed well the opportunity shouldn't arise! Chicago needs a bit more work on designing good bike lanes, but as someone who's lived in many other countries that have good ones, I can only support building more. Instead of stickers think CONCRETE. Barriers, planters, divided lanes. Make 2-way streets one way for cars and have bikes on the other side. Give bikes preferential green traffic signals. THAT's how you avoid dooring.

Hope your sticker saves your butt - I'll be pushing for more cement.

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