Streetsblog SF posts a nifty animation showing the doorzone danger in many of your typical bike lanes.
The doorzone is the area near a car where a cyclist can get whacked if a cyclist rides too near a parallel parked car and somebody in the car opens the door. Opening a door on the traffic side without checking for traffic is illegal in all 50 states (and opening a door on the passenger side in front of a filtering cyclist is illegal in California), but getting “doored” is still fairly common, and in several cases dooring is lethal to the cyclist. Often, the cyclist is hit by a door and knocked directly into adjacent traffic.
This animated GIF from Streetsblog SF shows the bike lane doorzone.
And, and there’s a story to go along with this graphic as well: The SF Municipal Transportation Agency is piloting some paint in the bike lanes to show cyclists where the doorzone lies.
I question how helpful trying to mark the doorzone would be, as it moves depending on how big vehicles are and how close they park to the curb.
If the markings are trying to be accurate within a foot or two, you’re right.
The bigger problem is that we shouldn’t be trying to shoehorn cyclists into such narrow spaces to begin with.
Why not eliminate the door zone by only permitting bicycles and motorcycles to park there?
While having lanes further away from the door zone helps (if there is enough right of way to accommodate it), it makes me wonder if auto manufacturers could add a light to the inside edge of the door that would shine towards the rear of the car and help warn anyone coming up that the door is opening. Wonder what forward thinking auto manufacturer would do that?
So you’re talking about the fraction of a second between when the door starts to swing open and when it’s fully open?
No matter how much technology we throw at the problem, no matter how much we admonish cyclists and car passengers to be vigilant, it’s fundamentally a horrible idea to travel at bike speeds within range of car doors.
If we can’t fit proper bike lanes outside the door zone, then we have to eliminate something else (travel lanes or parking or sidewalks). Or eliminate the crappy bike lane and take control of the outside lane, if those other things are too important.
We cyclists need to stop accepting crappy facilities squeezed into unusable spaces. Build it right, or don’t build it.