A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 01, 2005
Bicycle “Dooring”
A cyclist gets "doored" when riding down the street and a vehicle (usually parked) suddenly opens a door and obstructs the bike path. The term appears to have been first used in San Francisco in 1994.


Google Groups: rec.bicycles.misc
Mike DeMicco
8/18/94
I just got this message from my cycling club about a cyclist who got "doored" in SF. In this case, the cyclist was killed:

San Francisco Bicycle Coalition
1095 Market Street, Suite 215
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 751-BIKE
Promoting the bicycle for everyday transportation
AUGUST 17, 1994
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: DAVE SNYDER 415-431-BIKE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
PRESS CONFERENCE: FRIDAY, AUGUST 19, 9:30 a.m.
A bicyclist died from injuries sustained in a collision with a car door earlier this month. The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition (SFBC) this week launched an intensive safety campaign to improve the chances that a bike rider will stay out of the door zone -- and survive riding "out in traffic."

According to a report recently prepared for San Francisco's Department of Parking and Traffic, a car door being opened into traffic is the most common source of motorist-caused injury to bicyclists in San Francisco.

The Coalition's goal is to teach both cyclists and motorists that real safety means slow traffic -- including bikes -- must be respected as part of the flow of traffic. "Unfortunately, the usual safety message given to cyclists is to ride to the right, near the parked cars, and watch out for opening doors. That's the wrong message," says the group's Executive Director David Snyder. "What do you do if a door pops open? Swerve into
traffic or hit the door? The correct safety message is stay out of the door zone."

"Our safety suggestions shouldn't be surprising," explains Snyder. "Dealing safely with slow vehicles is nothing new to anyone who has taken a California Driver's Exam. Yet drivers regularly use their horns and other means to compel cyclists to stay all the way to the right, directly endangering the cyclists' lives. We simply need to get the word out so drivers will have more presence of mind when encountering cyclists and cyclists will know that they are legitimate traffic and can behave accordingly." The California Vehicle code permits cyclists to take the whole lane when the lane is too narrow to share.

The SFBC kicks off the campaign with a press conference at the site of the fatal crash. The press conference is being held Friday morning, August 19 at 9:30 a.m. at 25th Avenue and Judah, where on August 5 San Francisco resident and bicycle commuter Eugene Chang was killed on Judah Street near 25th Avenue when a car door was suddenly opened in his path. The top of the
door primarily impacted Chang's neck.

The former chair of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors' Bicycle Advisory Committee, Marilyn Smulyan, will be on hand to speak with the press. Also present will be Rachel Robbins, a recent victim of "dooring," Lisbet Engberg of the Department of Parking and Traffic, and the Bicycle Coalition's David Snyder.

The SFBC does not plan to call for charges against the motorist who opened the door in front of Chang. "Opening a door without looking for bikes is an ingrained habit," says Snyder. "Our real success at addressing this problem will be measured by a reduction in the number of dooring incidents, not by an increase in legal action against violators."

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition is working to promote cycling and make the streets safer for people who bike. A 1994 Harris poll commissioned by Bicycling magazine found that nearly half of Americans own bikes, and that half of these would commute who work by bike if there were safe routes. With more than half of the trips in San Francisco under five miles, and the city's mild climate, transportation activists consider bicycling a viable transportation option. Unlike bus service, providing safe biking conditions requires more education than money and technology, an important consideration in this cash-strapped city.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Wednesday, June 01, 2005 • Permalink


This is one of my biggest fears when riding a bike.. happened to me once.

I was riding real fast, someone opened their door and stepped out of their car without looking (into the street, quite dumb on their part) I slammed into them and their door.  Fortunatelly no one got hurt badly, except my bike.  bent the front rim and messed up the brakes.

Posted by jeff  on  06/27  at  04:28 PM

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