"Beginning on January 1, 2019 the 'Dutch Reach' will be taught in drivers ed."

I still prefer the old-fashioned 'look-in-the-mirror-for-oncoming-traffic-and -opening-the-car-door-slowly' effective. If others find the 'Dutch Reach' as helpful, ok. 

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Most motorists seem to believe it's the responsibility of moving traffic to avoid their open doors. Anything that teaches them about the need to look for and avoid traffic (cars or bikes) is a huge step in the right direction.



The other day I was riding up Lincoln.  A guy was standing next to his parked car, looked me right in the eye, and then proceeded to open his car door right in front of me just as I approached.

I was riding up to the intersection of Lincoln and Ashland last year and a motorist passed me (on the left), then pulled over to the curb directly in front of me, then quickly stopped and popped their drivers side door open as I was riding past. I (thankfully) had already slowed down to avoid them right hooking me and was able to stop in time to avoid being doored.

The person exiting the car then proceeded to yell at me about how I almost hit their door and how cyclists need to pay more attention.  I'm guessing the concept of "Dutch Reach" would be interesting information for him to learn. 

  • Unfortunately I’m skeptical of it. People are taught to look left and right before crossing steeets and they don’t. Same thing with turn signal usage.

Maybe in 40 years as it'll have been taught to all of the drivers on the road by then. 

There are people on the road today that haven't been to a driver's ed course since the Nixon administration. Just teaching it in high school driver's ed means it'll take decades to trickle down, and even then, it's not like having it taught to you once means you'll actually follow it the rest of your life (see: turn signals, mirror usage, speed limits, stopping at a stop line, distracted driving, any of the host of offenses committed by motorists by the minute).

Enforcement and infrastructure design first. Bike lanes should just not be in the door zone, full stop, nor should any cyclist be expected to ride in the door zone, ever. Make biking calm and fast and easy and more and more people will ride, and that means more and more sometimes-drivers-sometimes-cyclists who are more likely to remember to check their mirrors before getting out, and enforcement of the oft-not enforced Chicago dooring ordinance, and publicizing it, will make the never-cyclists think twice. 

We don't have time to wait around. People are dying. 

It doesn't have to be an either or. You can do enforcement and put in infrastructure AND also educate people.


Sure, I'm not *unhappy* or anything that the law was passed, but I just don't think it rates very high on the effectiveness charts for stopping doorings that are happening now. I'm not going to get all worked up over what amounts to effective, but ultimately small fry table scraps. 

Something way smaller that would actually do something, mandate any Chicago ride-share vehicle or taxi to have "watch for bikes before opening door" stickers on the window in the lower left, actually reminding people right now to keep an eye out. 

Not a bad idea.  Every bit helps.  I have been trying to practice the Dutch Reach since I read about it.  It doesn't cost anything and causes my head to turn so I look at the mirror, which reminds me about cyclists.  Drivers are preoccupied.  Any habit that helps them become more aware is welcome by me, as both a cyclist and driver.

Actually all Taxis all have "Look for Bikes" stickers on their passenger windows in Chicago. These little "wins" do add up, in fact, they are huge when you get anyone who wasn't thinking about bikes before to now notice and look out for bikes, even if they are annoyed or think something is silly.

Interesting. I've not been in a Chicago cab in years, but back in April we were in D.C. and took a couple cabs to places that had that sticker inside the doors. 


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