Sunday, May 19, 2013

Three Feet Is Not Enough to Avoid a Dooring

Relevant to our one door zone bike lane in Bombtown.

My old Porsche 944 Turbo, a two door coupe, had almost four feet of door if fully opened.
Here, the centerline of Neale's bike is about 40" from the side of the car. 
Old North Road bike lane configuration shown, and was entirely in the door zone.

Editor, Bicycling

In the June issue, Susi Wunsch ("Square One", pg 21) tells prospective riders to "Keep at least three feet between your bike and parked cars to avoid opening doors...".  This is not adequate distance.

Our 4 door Subaru Impreza driver's door projects 37.5 inches from the side of the car when open. A truck or coupe can have even larger doors.

A rider, to avoid hitting a door or suffering a loss of control due to grazing handlebar contact, must be sure his or her right handlebar tip clears an opened car door.  Elsewhere, on**, Bob Mionske tells cyclists to avoid "...the 3- to 5-foot area next to a parked car." I would personally choose the larger number as a minimum, as do many other experienced cyclists, to make sure you have a margin of error.

 In this video, Preston Tyree coaches students through a good door zone avoidance drill.Thanks to Ian for reminding me of this video.

1 comment:

Ian Brett Cooper said...

Here's a video on Youtube that shows that, in order to avoid a dooring, the very least a cyclists should leave between themselves and a parked car is 6 feet: