When riding in the road you’ll sometimes find yourself riding past parked cars (thankfully most of the on-street car parking on campus is now gone, but now and then you’ll pass a delivery vehicle or someone dropping off a friend, etc), and sometimes you’ll feel you need to ride close to them to avoid getting in the way of or slowing down motor vehicle traffic. Well, there’s a very dangerous area near parked cars called the “Door zone” which is where many bicyclists have been seriously hurt or killed, either by the door itself or by getting knocked off their bikes and sent flying out into the travel lane.
Watch this new video that captures such a moment by a taxi’s dash-cam; fortunately for this bicyclist the taxi was able to stop before causing the bicyclist serious injury:
The door zone extends out a lot further than you might think and, unfortunately, a lot further than most road agencies even realize, so sometimes bike lanes will even be marked way too close to parked cars encouraging riding in the “door zone”.
This short video (courtesy of the League of American Bicyclists) is an excellent instructional which clearly shows where you should ride.
So, next time you’re going to pass a parked vehicle be sure you get over far enough in advance (after shoulder-checking for a gap in traffic) to avoid the “Door prize you don’t want”.