Vienna has 51 km of Mehrzweckstreifen which are normally narrow and along the side park cars, and many cyclists have a dooring or near miss dooring story to tell.
Cyclists develop strategies to cope with these uncomfortable types of road. My strategy is to ride out away from parked cars for 2 reasons. One I try to give myself space to react to pedestrians who step out or opening car doors. The other reason is to slow overtaking traffic down so that they have to do a proper overtake rather than speed on past with no reaction time to my obstacle avoiding swerves. This technique is not understood or very appreciated by some drivers who use their horn and punishment passes to bully me out the way. It is also of questionable legality although cyclists do have the right to leave a safe distance to dangerous objects which is what I am trying to do.
I do use these zones to filter through stationary traffic but I do so at very low speed to give me reaction time. The faster I ride the further out I ride, and I try not to swerve in and out as parking bays change as that can confuse car drivers. This judgement comes with age and is easier if your ride fast to minimise the inconvenience to potentially overtaking cars.
Here is a video of a cyclist in Vienna using these kind of Mehrzweckstreifen (or rather not being able to use these kind of Mehrzweckstreifen. Note that the diagonally parked cars do not have the door problem but there is still a danger from pedestrians stepping out.)
Certainly being doored or worried about being doored does not contribute to the pleasant, convenient and comfortable design criteria for good quality cycling infrastructure. As cycling becomes a more common and
This is the Austrian non-solution:
The Americans are developing solutions:
How would the Dutch Solve this issue?
Thanks Doug for this article! As always, very valuable information. Dooring certainly is a serious issue for cyclists.ReplyDelete
So here's my first dooring experience:
I was about 12 or 13 years old, cycling home through a small town in the middle of the Tyrolean Alps, during summertime so there was nothing going on, hardly any traffic. One single car on the road and it was parked. I was using my grandmothers bicycle which worked amazingly well, so I was probably riding at about 20-25 km/h... until the car door opened, just when I was about to pass by. It sent me flying and rolling all the way to the other side of the road. Fortunately there was no other traffic or I would have been squashed. I ended up at the doctor's with a huge hole in my right upper arm which had to be stitched. I had to stay at home for 2 weeks and couldn't attend the summer camp I had been so looking forward to :(
This is how my door-paranoia began....
This happened to me twice. It always takes me twice to learn. The fist time:ReplyDelete
It was in the early 90ies in Vienna when I was about 12 or 13 years old. I was riding a cross style BMX home from school. I had a cycling license since I was 10 because one of my teachers insisted and I cycled most of the days 5-6 km to school. I guess I was going 20 km/h when a driver opened the door of his car very abrupt only a few meters in front of me. I couldn't even react in these few meters and crashed in the (nearly?) fully open door. After the crash I felt dizzy but I had no wounds. Only some parts of my body hurted for 1-2 days (and maybe some minor scratches).
The second time I was thrown off my road bike. I was slightly older and going approx. 30 km/h. This was on Taborstraße between Schmelzgasse and Glockengasse where the road is wide. I don't even know what exactly happend. The door must have hit me from the side. I had luck (again). I was rolling quit a few meters and stopped rolling on the tram rails. Only a few scratches. Nothing to mention. But at least 10 maybe 15 meters away from my bicyle. Cars came and honk. Typically Vienna. Must be a stupid cyclist!
Dooring is not only an issue of Mehrzweckstreifen. Also on Radwegen you can get doored since there is usually only a narrow strip between parking cars and the Radweg. I was doored on the two-way cycle path in the Operngasse. In the early morning there is usually nobody around so I cycled on the right side of the cycle path next to the parking cars but on the other side of the white marking, when suddenly on car door opened right beside me an hit me in the lower. The driver had sat some time in his car and played with his cellphone and then forgot to check for cyclists. And I couldnt know there is someone in the car since I dindt see him park the car. Frotunately I got just a bruise. But no I know that the doors of the cars are longer than the space bewtween the cars and the cycle path wide. So no I usually ride in the middle of the two way cycle path.ReplyDelete
On Maragaretenstraße on the Mehrzweckstreifen at the taxi stand I could just avoid to be doored by a taxidriver by slamming on the breaks and dodging onto the car lane which was packed with cars. But luckily nothing happened to me.
When there are Mehrzweckstreifen I usually ride on the left side of the line when no traffic is behind me. Otherwise I ride about one inch from the line on the right side trying not to get in touch with the cars that have to overtake me at all costs.
@"How would the Dutch Solve this issue?"ReplyDelete
They usually have no parking spaces along the major roads beacause they have a strict hirachy of roughly three categories: Roads outside built-up areas --> cycle path separated from car traffic or on roads with low traffic volume speed limit 60 and Mehrzweckstreifen but really wide and no parking along the road; Main roads in built-up areas --> separate cycle path no parking on the street; and minor roads with speed limit < 30 kmph lot of dremples (speed bumps) no extra cycle infrastructure.
There are only few spots I can remember where they have parking next to the cycle lane. But there u usually have a wide cycle lane ~2m. If there is really no space like in old town Amsterdam there is no cycle lane and u just go in mixed traffic.
Thanks Tim, Peter and Nadine,Delete
I really appreciate the feedback and to know it is not just me that has a problem with Door Zones.
It seams that the Dutch design out conflict from roads but the Austrians design the roads to create as much conflict as possible. The Door Zone creating narrow MZS are a perfect design for creating conflict. I will try to find out more about how the Dutch deal with this kind of road but I suspect that Tim is on to the right track and that they try not to create this type of road.
Damz Trailsäx sent me the following comment:ReplyDelete
As i wqs rideing fpr the GO botendienst in the late 90ies, i ate a car door with chilly 25kmh on the Sechshauserstrasse...one of the busy drivers in one of the cars on the right side opend the door without looking in the mirror before...(x__x)... i pulled the brakes. 1-2m was missing. with the right brakes i could stop. i got the door between my bike and the right knee, hurt my inner thigh muscle... i smashed hard, but my heavy GO-backpack seaved me :D i coudn't deliver the package... got the rest of the day free. the next day too. coudn´t walk for 2 days. but at least i learned to look inside, thru the back windows. i can see if ther's someone inside or not. and since this day i never ride with rim brakes. 200mm hydraulic discbrake in the front saves lifes! 30 -> 0 in 4m!!!
"but at least i learned to look inside, thru the back windows."Delete
I don't think you can see the drivers inside their cars when you're riding with 15 km/h.
After my first dooring accident I became extremely cautious not to ride in the door zone. I have been considered as paranoid some times and honked at or bullied by car drivers many times but it has helped me to avoid numerous accidents. I have been doored again, though. The last time it caught me completely unaware, not from the right side, but from the left. A woman stepping out of a taxi sent me, my bike and my groceries flying right into the arms of a pedestrian. This time hardly any injuries but some damage to my bike and my groceries of course.... So yes, dooring certainly is an issue but I am not sure if buffer zones along bike lanes are the one-and-only solution. Educating car users might be one. Or banning car doors, at least all those which are not sliding doors. Apparently people are not able to use them in a safe way.ReplyDelete
Or as Tim Wenders suggests, no curb-side parking. But I wouldn't dare to speak that out loud in parking lot Vienna....
My Fathers soccer career has been ended by a dooring accident in Döbling. A broken collarbone and a whole season was gone, and this after another injury in the last year ...ReplyDelete
Mir ist das auch schon passiert. Ich bin die Mariahilferstraße – auf dem dort eingezeichneten Mehrzweckstreifen - stadteinwärts gefahren als eine Frau vor mir ihre Autotür aufgerissen hat. Weil ich in gemütlichem Tempo unterwegs war konnte ich noch rechtzeitig bremsen, aber ich war so schockiert – und die Autofahrerin anscheinend auch. Ich hatte den Eindruck dass mein fassungsloser Gesichtsausdruck gemeinsam mit dem gerade erlebten Schrecken Lehre genug sein müsste. Also bin ich ohne ein Wort zu sagen wieder aufs Fahrrad gestiegen und langsam los gefahren. Und als ich dann ein paar Meter weiter war hab ich gehört wie sie mir nachschimpft... und hab ma dacht, dass das jetzt wirklich nicht sein kann...ReplyDelete
Door Zone: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/cyclesafety/article3626604.eceReplyDelete
After a delivery truck driver doored a 27 year old bicyclist the driver's company sent her a bill for the damage she caused to the heavy door!ReplyDelete
this site is a joke ...ReplyDelete
i want back the taxes i've paid ...
Dooring with cyclist blamed for not seeing door!ReplyDelete
To Quote Martin Blum the Radverkehrsbeauftragter at Stadt Wien:ReplyDelete
"Im Jahr 2011 ereigneten sich in Wien 659 Radfahrerunfälle mit Personenschaden. Hievon ereigneten sich 73 Unfälle (rund 11 %) im Zusammenhang mit dem Öffnen der Wagentüre/Autotüre."
So In Vienna over 10% of cyclist injuries are Doorings. That is 6 preventable injuries per month. At what point do we need to change the road design to stop forcing cyclists into the dangerous no go zone.
What is particularly insulting is that these paint on no go door zones are marketed as state of the art cycling infrastructure, when they are just designed to hurt cyclists and create conflict with car drivers, and the law if you refuse to place yourself in this dangerous position.
It is the cyclists fault:ReplyDelete
"Dooring is remarkably commonReplyDelete
Cyclists being injured by drivers opening their car doors is remarkably common, yet it seems to have received very little attention. Figures released by parliament showed that in 2011, 594 cyclists were injured by incidents involving car doors, which was up from 468 in 2009. I suspect that in reality the figure is higher as I am sure there are many cyclists who do not report the incident and continue on their way (particularly if they are not injured too severely). This figure may well have risen since 2011 due to the continuing increase in cycling."
Even Vienna's trams get doored:ReplyDelete
One of these is a dooring:ReplyDelete
Radfahrerin (23) in Wien-Margareten gegen geöffnete Fahrzeugtür gepralltReplyDelete