dooring

Subscriber Post: The Defensive Rider and dooring

John Liu by on September 12th, 2017 at 10:08 am

Sketch by John Liu for BikePortland.

This is BP subscriber John Liu’s second article. The first one was about right-hooks.

This series of posts is meant to share riding skills for people who want to take extra precautions against drivers who are distracted, careless, aggressive, inexperienced, or simply fallible humans and for drivers who don’t ever want to hurt or kill a cyclist through poor driving.

Don’t read this post if you want to know a cyclist’s or driver’s “legal responsibility” or you want to know what cycling “should be” like in an ideal world. As bicycle operators, we can ignore everything I write about here, and we may still be legally “in the right”. And dead.

About me: 40+ years of riding bikes in cities, 30+ years of driving in cities, 10 years year-round bike commuting in Portland, licensed driver with motorcycle endorsement, zero bicycle-car collisions as either a cyclist or a driver.
[Read more…]

Man says he was doored intentionally on NE Tillamook this morning

by on April 28th, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Riding on Alberta-1

(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

There’s a reason bicycle operators are legally defined in Oregon as “vulnerable roadway users.” We use the streets without all the steel and glass that protects others. And that’s why we take harassment and road rage so seriously. Even when people think they’re just pulling what they think is a harmless stunt like revving an engine or “rolling coal,” they often have no idea just how much their actions hurt and scare us.

BikePortland reader Reed Andrews says he was the victim of a “prank” last night that left him trembling with fear and the aggressors laughing in delight.

Here’s his story: [Read more…]

Get Legal: Doored? The law is on your side (but that might not be enough)

by on April 22nd, 2014 at 9:20 am

door zone warning stencil-10

(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you ever have the unfortunate luck of coming into conflict with another road user, it’s always a pleasure to find out the law is in your favor.

Usually, conflicts on the road relate to the question of who has the right to the same space at the same time. Having someone open their car door into you — a.k.a. getting “doored” — falls into this category. Usually a motor vehicle operator fails to see a bicycle rider and opens a door so close to their path that a collision or near-miss occurs. While defensive riding can go a long way toward avoiding this sometimes painful encounter, sometimes there is just nothing a rider can do — everything happens too fast.

Fortunately, this is one of those areas where the law is on the side of the bicycle rider. Here’s the relevant section of Oregon’s Vehicle Code (remember bicycles are “vehicles” too) that prohibits opening the door of any vehicle unless it is reasonably safe to do so:[Read more…]