...or this could happen to you:

http://www.cyclelicio.us/2011/bicycle-dooring-video/

Click that link to watch a graphic video of somebody who gets doored and is flung into the path of oncoming traffic.

And now a question for those in local councils, including the otherwise bike-friendly City of Sydney - what are your plans for removing all door-zone bike lanes? It is a cheap thing to do as it requires only paint, and so should be able to be achieved very quickly.

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By the way - that Booth St treatment of the no door zone going down the hill and a large door lane/cycle lane going up the hill also occurs on Glebe Pt Rd - i think its an awesome design. Maybe that would be the template for any street with up and down hill areas - but on the flat I don't know.

They have that on Marion St heading west towards Balmain Rd in Leichhardt. At least, I think they do, it is definitely a car door lane going up the hill, going down the speed limit would only be 40 so I would take it in the middle of the road even if there was a lane on the other side..

 

I was almost doored going uphill in it a couple of weeks ago. I was probably going a touch under 20km/h, which I figured was slow enough to risk the door zone for the short hill rather than have cars impatiently hovering up my arse. I was very nearly wrong, fortunately the lane there is reasonably wide and there wasn't a car next to me. Next time I'm going that way I think traffic is just going to have to be patient for me.

I agree that a blanket statement is likely to be wrong in some circumstances, but in this case not many. For example, if the car traffic is not moving I feel comfortable to use the door zone as long as I go slowly, as the slow speed reduces the chances of a major impact with a car door, and the stopped traffic on the right prevents the possibility of going under the wheels of a car if I was unlucky enough to make slow speed contact with an opening car-door. Once the cars start moving I merge in with them, even if they are going very slowly.

I don't ever ride in the door zone when there is a possibility of moving traffic to my right. Even uphill on Lilyfield Rd I move out into the general traffic lane. What happened in the video could happen there, even at slower hill-climbing speed.

I suspect that councils are reluctant to remove the lanes because they feel that logos of bikes on the road are a "good thing", even if they're not the "best thing". Those logos pad out their statistics for "kilometres of bike infrastructure" that they greenwash themselves with.

So I suggest moving the bike logos from the left of the white line to the right of the white lane. The "kilometres of bike infrastructure" will be maintained, and both cyclists and motorists will be shown the safe place for cyclists to be riding (assuming that there are no separated cycleways).

If the councils wanted to really fix the problem they could move the car parking inwards right up to the edge of that white line, and then shift the bike lane(s) between the parked cars and the footpath. No need to build fancy big kerbs like the City of Sydney has been doing - just use paint as New York mostly does. Hey presto, cheap separated cycleways. It's easy, and most streets have enough width without losing any precious car parking. Bourke St is a perfect example, as Llewster mentions.

If the councils wanted to really fix the problem they could move the car parking inwards right up to the edge of that white line, and then shift the bike lane(s) between the parked cars and the footpath.

 

Doesn't solve the problem, as passengers open doors too (although most cars are occupied by a single driver) and they would eb even less likely to look for bicycles on the side of the car away from traffic.

Moving the lane to the left of the parked cars removes virtually all of the risk from dooring. Here's how:
  • The passenger door becomes the danger door, and most cars do not have passengers. This factor alone cuts the risk by about 90%.
  • If the lane is made bidirectional, as the City of Sydney does it, the cyclist in the range of those passenger doors is riding towards the car, and so any exiting passengers are likely to see the cyclist before opening the door. I'd estimate that the remaining 10% is reduced by another 90%, so now we're down to 1% of the original risk.
  • If the lane is bidirectional, an opening door presents an angled face to the cyclist that closes back onto the exiting passenger rather than a sharp edge that sticks firm.
  • Most importantly, if a door is opened, and the cyclist either collides with it, or swerves to avoid it, there is no way for the cyclist to be flung into oncoming traffic. Instead they'll be thrown onto the footpath, which is 100 times better than being thrown into the middle of the road.
  • And if the whole thing is done properly, the general road lanes can each be narrowed a little, and that space used a buffer zone between the parked cars and the cycleway. Now the cycleway isn't even in range of car doors any more. Again, this is exactly how the City of Sydney do it, although they go to the trouble and expense of building kerbs and planters and landscaping, whereas you could get 99% of the benefit by just using paint, as New York does.

Even your “really fix the problem…” moves the door zone to somewhere else. How is that compatible with “Don’t ride in the door-zone”? 

Such emotive statements sound good, but what exactly do you want? 

“Don’t ride in the door-zone”

“Don’t ride in the door-zone if cars are moving on the right” 

“Move the door zone to the left side of the car” 

“Remove the painted lane with the bicycle logo” 

All these are different things. 

 

Take a road like Missenden Road (going towards King Street):

 

“Don’t ride in the door zone” means sticking to position or c all the time, even at the lights. 

“Don’t ride in the door-zone if cars are moving on the right” means moving to position a when cars are static, and then to b (or stopping) when cars are moving. 

“Remove the painted lane with the bicycle logo” means we prefer Crown Street to look like this. 

 

Personally, I don’t mind a lane with a bicycle logo when climbing up hills. I don’t mind a lane without logos when going on the flat, even if I may not ride in it. But riding in the door zone is a reality, otherwise “safety maximisation” just means I’ll be staying at home. Just like riding in the wet or in the dark, it’s something I avoid, but if I do, it’s just part of riding to conditions. People should consider carefully what they mean by “Don’t ride in the door-zone”, because usually, that’s not what they mean. If you really mean “Don’t ride in the door-zone”, then to make a difference volunteers should go to Missenden Road, stop cyclists and ask them to join traffic, because most people ride in position a

There's an excellent book on vehicular cycling called 'Cyclecraft'. Not sure if it's readily available in Aus, but it's used as the basis for cycle training in the UK. Maybe have a look on Amazon?

 

There are basically two positions that cyclists should use in traffic. The 'primary' position is in the middle of the traffic lane - your 'b' in the photo. If you are in a situation where you are at risk (eg, a narrow road where there isn't room for a car to safely pass you) then this is where you should ride.

 

The 'secondary' position is effectively where a car's left hand side wheels run - ie, still in the traffic lane but not at 'a' in your photo. This position is NOT the car door zone, but can be used where there is sufficient space for cars to safely pass with a wider lane.

 

There is some evidence from a few studies that passing cars tend to leave as much space between you and the car as you have left to the kerb. Ride in the gutter and you'll get cut up, ride further out in traffic and cars tend to give you more space (or you've at least got somewhere to go when they don't).

There's an excellent book on vehicular cycling called 'Cyclecraft'. Not sure if it's readily available in Aus, but it's used as the basis for cycle training in the UK. Maybe have a look on Amazon?

 

these are the two you're after:

 

Cyclecraft by John Franklin, and

Effective Cycling by John Foresteer

Yep, the John Franklin one is good. Not read the Foresteer one.

 

Vehicular cycling is not a replacement for investment in good cycling infrastructure, but it is a way of trying to stay safe on the roads we have now.

City of Sydney council has been removing the bike (door) lanes and moving the bike symbols into the centre of the road lanes at the start of each block, redrawing the lane edge line to indicate the "parking" lane but is a slow process

Which road is that? Is it really an example where the CoS has redrawn the white line to hug the parked cars and put the bike logo in the middle, or are those bike logos new and not a replacement of a previous door-zone bike-lane? I ask because I'm a CoS local, and I haven't seen any removal of door-zone bike lanes, although I have seen streets like the one you show - Riley St north of Oxford St for example, but no door-zone bike lanes were removed in that case.

Dont necessarily look at those lanes as a "MUST ride here" type of thing...

 

If there's a line & bicycle painted on the road then it gives us visibility & helps ensure drivers are aware of our presence.

It also gives us some space on the road - not necessarily to ride in, but drivers are less likely to say "get off my road" when its painted on the road that we're allowed to be there.

 

So i guess they're good to have in terms of being seen, but close to unusable in practical terms - so leave them there & dont use them ;)

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