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?

Views: 2002

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

The Sticker Campaign sounds like a good idea.  If some designed a nice sticker that fit a standard Avery Label (say the 5 by 2) and put it up, we could all print it out on color printers and hit any unhit box that we happened to see.    I know that I am pushing my local elementary school to send out a flyer to parents warning them of the dangers of doors generally and more particularly when they pick up and drop off their children.

I think it's good to rely on one's instincts. Of course, anti-dooring education can help.
But this has given me good results, and in 6 years of riding in the city(knock on wood), I've yet to be doored). I've had some close calls as well, but I always try to learn from that experience if I escape injury.  A lot of this has been said already, but I think repetition is a good thing.


1. Always try to ride at least 5 feet left of parked cars. That's about the width of a door.

2. If traffic is heavy, and the street/space is narrow (i.e SE of Milwaukee/Damen/North), and you don't want to hold up traffic by taking the lane, slow down significantly in case a door opens in your path. Chances are they won't, but always assume all doors will open simultaneously. Also, look for signs (heads) of people inside the car to give you an idea whether there's a chance a door may pop open.

3. If you decide to take the lane, fine, but always try to move to the right as soon as you have a safe chance, especially if there are no cars parked to your right.  I think this helps establish mutual respect between cyclist and driver.

4. If for some reason, you got a little distracted about 1 and 2 (above), and are going too fast or too close to a door and you see a glimpse of a door opening, or any type door-related noise, yell as loud as you can. If you can avoid expletives, better.  I think "CLOSE THE DOOR!" works. I've had good results with this, but it's not good to rely on.

Once again,  if you feel like you have no breathing room between moving traffic, and parked cars. SLOW DOWN! It seems like common sense. But I see people riding all the time too fast and too close to parked cars, and it's a matter of time and bad luck until they get doored.

Like I said, I'm all for education, and push for better infrastructure. While all of this happening, it's a good idea to protect yourself and be aware. Also, headphones could impair your ability to carry out my suggestions. I can think of more things, but this is what I know so far.

I am a slow rider under all circumstances.  I try to ride outside the "door zone".  I try to pay attention to all of the warning signs of a door opening (or a car pulling away from a curb!).  Bad things can always happen, but isn't that always true?  Advocate for better infrastructure!  Be careful and observant! Educate other users of the road!  And keep your fingers crossed or pray to whomever or whatever you pray to.  I always say: I could get hit by a bus crossing the street, but I do everything I can to prevent it.

I think the money would be better spent on infrastructure that actually works to protect us. Some examples:

Berlin - http://sf.streetsblog.org/2011/10/13/berlins-striking-cycling-renai...

Copenhagen - http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/healthy-life-cy...

Amsterdam - http://infrastructuration.blogspot.com/2007/06/bicycles-in-amsterda...

and Portland in the US - http://www.delmarvanow.com/article/20120910/NEWS01/120910006/NATION...

And a couple great articles about bicycle infrastructure in general:

http://grist.org/biking/virtuous-cycle-10-lessons-from-the-worlds-g...

http://bicycling.com/blogs/roadrights/2010/07/07/adding-bicycle-inf...

And I agree with others here, in the meantime: ride outside the door zone, take the lane - it's your right, and voice your opinion to those that make decisions (and everyone else :-)). We can start our own grassroots campaign to raise awareness about dooring. There are a few flyers extant here, one of which would be perfect for decals.

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.

Can the funds for bike lanes be reallocated?  If they're being funded through grants, I don't think the money can be redirected at all.  In any case, why should it be an either/or choice.  Why not advocate for both?  If you have an issue with the current bike lanes, advocate for a better design that works. 

The Kinzie Protected bike lane is the best part of my daily commute. Everyday when I get to that section of my commute I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders. So, it's hard for me to understand why, exactly, people, especially other bicyclists, take such issue with them. Can someone please explain why the protected bike lanes are so bad? I'm truly curious.

There's currently nothing at the IL DMV that about-to-be-licensed auto drivers can read or be tested on about how to "share the road" with cyclists. I agree with what others have suggested (here and elsewhere) that anti-dooring and roadsharing education has to start with new and re-licensing drivers.

But advocating for better drivers' education should not preclude us from also making gains in infrastructure that supports cycling in this (otherwise) perfect-for-cycling city. Do both. Do more.

I've been watching the discussion unfold on various fora including other cities in the aftermath of Neill's death last week, and it's been frustrating to see the anti-bike lane folks seize the moment to push their agenda (not just referring to this thread). The worst part is the assumption that being 'trapped' in a bike lane made Neill unable to avoid the door. It's clear to anyone who has really followed this story that Neill was an experienced cyclist and very unlikely to have not been flexible enough in his riding to have left the bike lane whenever necessary to proceed safely.

I am also in the camp of attributing this tragedy to a planning and infrastructure failure that can hopefully be corrected.  It is an absolute disgrace that we've relegated our most vulnerable traffic participants to the same space as the deadliest.

Educating drivers about opening car doors is a losing battle, IMO, unless you accept it's something you can improve incrementally but never fully. Even with 100% penetration of education to the driving population, what percentage of compliance can you hope for-- 70%?  80%?   I would love to see more drivers think about this, but it's =always= going to be on the cyclist to be aware and ready.

spencewine said:

The Kinzie Protected bike lane is the best part of my daily commute. Everyday when I get to that section of my commute I feel like a ton of weight has been lifted from my shoulders. So, it's hard for me to understand why, exactly, people, especially other bicyclists, take such issue with them. Can someone please explain why the protected bike lanes are so bad? I'm truly curious.

Exactly.   What percentage of drivers are  you going to reach and have the message REALLY sink in?   All it takes is one time, on moment of forgetfulness and even someone who is a bicyclist themselves could make this fatal error.   Look at autos driving on the street and they make serious errors all the time -usually they get away with it but the problem is these are extremely dangerous machines that are unsafe at any speed.    

They can't be made safe -the issue is too much speed, too much mass, and not enough brainpower in the puny human head to handle it.   The slightest mistake can cause a collision.  They have come a long way with making crumple zones, air-bags, and other armored strategies to mitigate the damage when these mistakes happen but this ONLY helps those who are IN the cars.

Those of us on the streets who aren't in padded, armored tanks, and strapped in and protected by airbags can never benefit from these advances.  In fact, the safer they make cars the faster people drive as they feel more safe themselves. 

The issue is that there are cars in the first place, and way too many of them, and going way too fast -and that there isn't a dedicated place on the road for us to ride rather than "sharing a lane" which is only going to inevitably lead to collisions between soft bodies and armored speed machines. 

I'm all for education of drivers about dooring.  But we have to realize that, like Howard said, we can never get the message to everyone and without 100% participation there will be doorings.   I would rather see education that spreads the message about WHY WE ARE RIDING IN "THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD" rather than hugging the cars and staying "out of their way."

I actually ride most every day on real streets.  I use my bike as my main transportation even though I do own a car too and I get all sorts of angry, entitled, hurried, can't-slow-down-for-your-safety, selfish drivers who like to scream at anyone who gets in their way.   Many of them honk, or scream out their windows to, "get out of the middle of the road!!!!!111!!!"  and they just don't understand WHY we don't ride 12" from the parked cars.   Education is needed about dooring so that these idiots understand WHY we are not riding 12" from the parked cars and why we need at least 3 feet and 4+ is better.    

Education about WHY we are riding further from parked cars and our need to stay out of the DOOR ZONE would go a lot further than simply reminding drivers to look as they open the doors.   We should not be in the door zone in the first place and such a campaign is only going to perpetuate the stupid idea that we SHOULD be riding in it.   Instead we need to educate as to why the DOOR ZONE is a NO-NO and why we are not riding in it and NEED room outside of it to ride safely.  Once they get this, then not opening up doors will start to make sense on its own.

The simple fact is that if you don't want to get doored then don't drive in the door zone.  This is isn't always possible as traffic will just push you into it and punish you for trying to keep a safe door zone buffer.  If it isn't possible to stay out of the door zone then one must SLOW DOWN a LOT to ride in the zone.   Slow enough to process searching every single car/truck you pass and evaluate if there is someone in there, slow enough to stop if the door IS flung open, slow enough so that if you DO get doored that it won't be as bad/deadly.  And yes, one might have to REALLY slow down in some situation if you can't see into the vehicle and a car is parked really far out and it isn't possible to get far enough left for a reasonable buffer.   

Any door can be flung open.  Best to stay OUT of the door zone.  And education that makes this more possible is the key -not trying to depend on THEM to not open the doors.  That is a loosing bet.  All it takes is ONE. 



h' said:

Educating drivers about opening car doors is a losing battle, IMO, unless you accept it's something you can improve incrementally but never fully. Even with 100% penetration of education to the driving population, what percentage of compliance can you hope for-- 70%?  80%?   I would love to see more drivers think about this, but it's =always= going to be on the cyclist to be aware and ready.


I've almost been doored repeatedly on Kedzie and Elston's alleged protected bike lanes by people getting out of the passenger side of their newly parked cars.  Unless we stumble onto a few billion dollars to redesign the city's entire infrastructure from the ground up, these half-@ssed "protected" lanes are not much better than striped lanes.

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 agree that better infrastructure would help.   That, however, is not going to happen in the current political climate.  Insisting on unrealistic goals, such as the Blackthorn's apparent goal to eliminate virtually all cars, and refusing to accept anything less is ultimately counterproductive.   Idealism often defeats actual progress.  (For example, the well-meaning dupes that voted for the Green Party rather than Melissa Bean gave us Joe Walsh.   Was Bean perfect?  No.  But she was a LOT better than Joe Walsh.)  The Stickers and an education campaign, while likely NOT as effective as significantly improved infrastructure, will likely produce some positive impact.  Not a perfect solution, but at least some help in addressing the problem.  And more importantly, in the current political climate about as much as can be done.   But, no doubt, these ideas will fall victim to the normal liberal failings....    its not a utopian solution and thus it will not be supported.  And this is why the Tea Party and the Republicans are successful.   They have been willing to pursue half and quarter solutions which enable them to slowly move toward their goals and place them in position where they can make a major grab.   This year's election, for example, is actually about the Supreme Court for the next 20 years.   They know that if Mitt wins, they have essentially won because they will have the Supreme Court. 



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.

RSS

Groups

© 2008-2016   The Chainlink Community, L.L.C.   Powered by

Disclaimer  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service