Danger of Doorings
After several near-misses in the last year, it finally happened - I got doored. The driver caught me square on the handlebars as I passed, flipping me onto the street and puncturing my right hand. Seven stitches. Fortunately, I was actually on my way to see my doctor! (I also needed to replace a bent front wheel.)
Getting doored is my number one fear in general, but in this particular instance I think I may not have been as vigilant as I should have been about keeping clear of the parked cars. I was riding in the Valencia Street bike lane, down the middle of that lane. But, looking at it now, I wonder: is down the middle of the bike lane safe, with respect to the parking lane (and feisty doors) to the rider's right?
I am a firm supporter of bike lanes (and this incident has spurred me to get my SFBC membership renewal in; sorry for the lapse!), but I hope that the SFBC will continue to work on studying how they affect safety issues, such as dooring. Although the lanes are a great boon to riders, it seems like there's potential for bad side-effects. Perhaps there should be signs near the bike lanes, reminding people in parked cars that bike traffic should be expected in bike lanes? And should bicyclists stay to the left (traffic) side of bike lanes?
FROM THE EDITOR - Thanks for raising these important issues. Many people do seem to show a false sense of security in bike lanes. You are right that people should stay to the left side in bike lanes. Stay tuned for a longer article on this issue in an upcoming Tube Times.
Thanks to S.F. Cycling Community
Dear Tube Times:
The Robertson Family would like to express our sincere gratitude to the cycling community of San Francisco, especially the SFBC and its members. We lost a most precious son and brother, Chris Robertson, on November 17, 2000. We know that the circumstances and suddenness of his death were traumatic for everyone who knew Chris. It has been especially challenging, as his family, to deal with this while living so far away from Chris' adopted home. However, the actions of the SFBC, the cycling community, and all of Chris' friends have provided us with necessary peace of mind. The SFBC website has allowed us and dozens of Chris' friends and family across the country to receive constant updates about the incident and the pursuit of justice following.
Chris always wanted to "make a difference," and with all of your help, we hope that driver and cycling awareness and safety will improve, and lives will be saved.
We would like to give a special thanks to Joe Speaks and Nicole McMorrow for writing wonderful articles in the February Tube Times, and to Leah Shahum for not giving up. We are lucky to be able to feel the love and support that Chris felt from the cycling community in San Francisco. We hope it never ends.
The Robertson Family
I joined the SFBC several years ago because I like bicycles and want to see conditions for bikers in San Francisco improve and to make the general public more aware of cyclists.
It bothers me that even a penny of my dues would go toward the printing and mailing of your personal views on the Presidential election, sexual orientation, and abortion.
If you are planning to give your views on Bill Clinton"s lies, stealing, and pardons in the next "Chain of Events," please forget it. Let us read about it somewhere else.
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