Another radio spot on cycling... We certainly can't complain about the lack of exposure lately from the national broadcaster. It'd just be good if more people around Sydney heard it....

Although it wasn't particularly Sydney related, I did find one comment very interesting: That the majority of accidents involving motorists and cyclists are the result of 'dooring'. Does anybody have any figures or comments relating to this?

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That is certainly my understanding, especially with the awesomely close to parked cars bike lanes we have in most of inner Sydney.
Also, when there is a serious injury, it's usually not from the door. It's from the car in the adjacent lane. When you hear a report of "the cyclist swerved in front of the car", or "the cyclist lost control and fell under a bus" it's often caused by an opening door.

The trick is, rather than following your insinct and moving away from the door, move in and run into the soft squishy leg that is stepping out of the car. Or so they say, I doubt I could bring myself to swerving into a definite collision to avoid a maybe. But I am pretty careful about car doors after a few close calls, when in doubt, take a lane.
I heard an add for the 'Life Matters' program (9am and repeated 9pm Weekdays, RN) - Another story on cycling. Not sure whether it will be tomorrow (Monday) or later in the week. Will keep an ear & an eye open......
For anyone interested, the interviewee on the 'Life Matters' program this morning was Chris Rissel. The interview can be heard at :
In the inner-city the bike lanes are nearly all in the door zone. I treat these bike lanes by imagining that the picture of the bicycle stenciled on the road is on the right of the white line, not the left.

How can councils keep creating these lanes (and allowing existing ones to remain)? Is there a legal issue when a council knowingly creates unsafe infrastructure thereby luring people into serious accidents?
How about another option:

d) Paint the bicycle stencil to the right of the white line instead of the left.

I reckon all those "potential" legal issues are satisfied. The councils have had people telling them of the danger of door zones for years - they know, but they prefer to cater to motorists, who are the real beneficiaries of door zone bike lanes.
you may want to have a look at the City of Sydney plan for Bourke Street. It separates a narrow 2.4m wide 2 lane cycleway - several parts of it on a hill - from passengers opening car doors with a row of 40cm wide concrete blocks. It means that every passenger door (kids included) opened along the cycleway will project into the path of cyclists.

This risky cycleway is also frequently crossed by intersections. It is a recipe for disaster
Not to mention Bourke st is a perfectly good road to ride on
For you and I, sure, Bourke Street is a perfectly good road to ride on. But I don't ride in the door zone lanes. And you and I make up just 1-2% of the traffic precisely because the majority will NOT ride on roads like Bourke Street. That's why the City is building separated cycleways - that's what people (in general, not the existing cyclists) are saying they want. Do you want more people cycling, or do you want to keep it to the 2%?

Doorings are currently 26% of police reported bike crashes on Bourke Street (over the last 5 years). According to the only study I know of that actually looks at hospital (not under-reported police) data, an Austroads report* found that doorings are 40.7% of all cyclist injuries in the Sydney CBD. That's massive and totally justifies always keeping out of the door zone for me.

With the separated cycleway, there is a 40cm (half a door width) concrete median buffer between you and parked cars. More would be nice, but then there would be loss of parking spaces. In addition to the buffer:
1) you're riding in the opposite direction, so you hit the blunt end and push it closed, not the sharp end of the door
2) it's the passenger door - less than 10% of car trips even have a passenger so it's much less likely than a driver door opening
3) you're riding in the oncoming direction, so you can see the passenger about to alight, and they are looking right at you - not like relying on the driver to remember to look in the mirror first before opening.

I don't ride in the door zone now - I ride in the traffic lane despite the objections of the traffic. When the separated lanes are in, I'll be using them and the car traffic will be happier.

* AP-R157, "Pedestrian and Cyclist Safety - Investigation of Accidents in Different Road Environments". Available for free download from: (requires you to register).
I'm really torn on this, on one hand I do agree with you - and i'd love more people riding. On the other, I really worry that big high profile infrastructure projects like this signal to motorists that we don't belong on the road. That's going to give us more hassle when we do ride on the road.
I know - I rode on Commonwealth Street in Canberra before it had bike lanes and saw what drivers can be like.

I've also ridden in Paris where they were rolling out bike lanes and separated facilities. Astounded by the tolerant attitude of the drivers, I spoke to the city official who was giving us a tour of bicycle facilities and he said that the attitude change was only recent - since the Mayor of Paris had started putting in bicycle facilties. Drivers were tolerant on roads without bike provision and through intersections.
June 2003, not concurrent with the Tour.


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