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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I wrote a blog piece about the issue in a non-bike forum and got some positive responses from non-cyclists.  We need to continue doing outreach to increase awareness.  Grassroots efforts can make a difference - the "tell 2 friends" approach can help.

David Barish said:

The conversation about doorings has come up multiple times this past week with non-bike people. That's a good thing.  No question that this is not a statistical sample and I am not going to extrapolate any conclusions other than the topic is alive; people seem to get that it can happen to any of us on either the door or bike end of the equation; more awareness is needed; bad things can happen to well meaning people.  All good things.  Solution? No. Start? Perhaps.


I am speaking to the fact that so many people seem to think that the protected lanes are some kind of magic bullet to make cycling safe.  They are not, you still have to deal with cross traffic, possible dooring, pedestrians walking into you and all form of other hazard. 

h' said:

What people? Who are you talking about here?  Are you arguing that cyclist injuries and deaths per rider/mile ridden have increased since the proliferation of bike lanes? If you are, I seriously doubt that whatever data is available backs you up.

notoriousDUG said:

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.

If all vehicles were made like a mini vans side door sliding parallel to the car body it would reduce doorings and parking space needed. 

Riding out of the bike lane or "dooring zone" is not possible on routes like Clark, Milwaukee/Division in Wicker.

Yeah, and another thing to consider is the really problematic drivers don't even respect their fellow motorists. 

Oh, if I had a dollar for every motorist I've seen floor it to pass traffic in the oncoming, or illegally on the right, or to turn in front of a stopped bus, etc.  The list is really endless... cyclists aren't even a blip on the severely-impaired radar of people like that.   I agree with Dug that cyclists should always be aware of the fact that our safety is ethereal at best, no bike infrastructure is a match for a massive vehicle with a distracted (cell phone using), intoxicated or just downright aggressively obnoxious driver behind the wheel. 

The main value of bike lanes IMO is at least they convey to society that cyclists do belong on the streets.  One very encouraging change I've seen since the 90s is a slow but steady decrease in the number of jerks who scream out their car windows to "get back on the sidewalk!"  Not even the most tone-deaf driver can argue that you don't belongon the street when there's a bike lane marked on it.

James BlackHeron said:

It is good that doorings have become a hot topic with the general public at the moment.   That it is even being talked about is a good thing to get the public's awareness on the subject up.  I think a lot of folks think that it is the responsibility of bicyclists to watch out for them and their car doors -rather than the other way around.    Anything that changes this has to be a step in the right direction.

And the awareness of the problem of dooring can only help with understanding of why we are not hugging the parked cars and "getting out of their way."  Again, I think a lot of folks think we should be moving over for them and don't even realize how dangerous the door zone is to us.  They just see a slower-moving road user IN THEIR WAY.   Many get pissed and impatient and decide to buzz rather than wait for a safe place to pass because it is our fault for being "jerks" and not moving over for them.    If more of them realize just how dangerous it is for us to be in the door zone perhaps they will realize why we are not in it.

A dooring PSA/campaign would be a good focus for the city spin machine.  Maybe after the elections are over and all the money that is driving up ad time costs is gone there might be an effort to make some PSA's to air on TV and radio to get the word out about dooring and why bikes avoid the door zone and why they should be checking extra-carefully before opening up a door onto the road.

One very encouraging change I've seen since the 90s is a slow but steady decrease in the number of jerks who scream out their car windows to "get back on the sidewalk!"  Not even the most tone-deaf driver can argue that you don't belong on the street when there's a bike lane marked on it.

That's certainly one of the most encouraging changes I've seen in recent years.  I'm hearing that very infrequently these days.  If I never hear it again, that would be fine with me.

Did anybody see the Letter to the Editor in the Trib yesterday where a guy suggested that drivers be instructed to open their door with their right hand? I found this fascinating. It forces the driver to look backwards. As a lefty the thought never came to me but the idea makes sense. If drivers used their right hand to open their door they would be more likely to see something coming up behind them before they opened the door. I am going to try to employ this and pass it on.

These are great, and cheap!  but primarily gone.

Worn to gatherings with non-cyclists, the conversation-piece statement could facilitate word-of-mouth education to great success.

They do have a "Request a reprint" button so with increased interest from the community, could easily get them back in stock, so spread the word to "request a reprint."

Jenn_W said:

I own and it's on sale at Threadless, for VERY limited size(s):



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