I got doored

14 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

"Riding home from work, coming east in the 20's, a cab pulled in front of me and the passenger immediately opened his door.

I had just enough time to save myself from getting seriously hurt. And my bike, an old japanese Zebrakenko was not too badly damaged.

When the taxi passenger started yelling at me I blew my top. He said he had a gun. I didn't believe him. I asked him for id. He refused. We got into a shoving match. Nobody got hurt.

The part that really gets me is that a crowd formed and was sympathetic to this jerk. They said ""it was just an accident"". As if an accident that hurts a cyclist doesn't count. Urgh!!!

What a waste of emotion and energy.

Next time I will:
1. take photos with my cell phone
2. try and get names and phone #'s of witnesses.
3. report the incident to the police
4. get even, not mad

Any thoughts or comments?"

Anonymous's picture
packfill (not verified)
call me a realist, pessimist, idiot, or a**hole

"I am an avid cyclist but bikers in this city will always be a small minority without respect, power, or ""Critical Mass"". From a pedestrian or driver's point of view, bikers are nothing but a pain- and there is a whole lot more of them than bikers and there always will be. NYC is New Amsterdam and will never be the original. You can fight it if you want to, you can say its not fair, but I think the Mideast situation will be resolved favorably first. You have to bike as if others didn't care about you, because they don't."

Anonymous's picture
Hank Schiffman (not verified)
mind the road, forget about witnesses...

There are old riders and there are bold riders. But there are no old, bold riders.

You are your own guardian angel. Your job is not to try to educate the barbarians. Your job is to survive. Always ride as if your life depended upon vigilance.

You never want to have to depend on your helmet. Once you go down in traffic you are the golf ball, not the golfer.

Anonymous's picture
ben (not verified)
my thoughts

I commute to work and a similar thing happened to me. A cab was stopping and going probably because the occupant didn't know where he wanted to be let off. I was slowing behind it, when i finally got frustrated and sped up to squeeze through. Of course that was the exact spot the guy wanted to out and the door flung open hitting my quad and wedging me between a parked car and the taxi door. My quad had a nasty bruise for 4 days.

I was already frustrated at the taxi, especially since i was behind him the entire time and thought he should have warned the passenger.

Here's how i reacted: At first i blew my top. I grabbed the door and slammed it back at the passenger. He didn't yell at me though, he seemed genuinly sorry. He had no intention to hit me. I shouldn't have been there. I shook my head frustrated and road away without a word, even though the passenger asked if i was okay. This incident change my view on these tings.

Most of these accidents are just accidents. Do you check for cyclists every time you open a cab door? I tend to, but only because i ride, and sometimes i don't if in a hurry. Remember, cyclists can be negligent and auto drivers can be negligent. They're surrounded by metal and we're not so we're the ones who risk serious injury. That doesn't mean their negligence is any worst than ours. The way i commute, i don't expect to be treated like some special vehicle that cars have to respect. I generally run red lights, squeeze through tight spots, dodge peds, and even hop on and off bike paths and sidewalks as long as it feels safe. I don't behave like an automobile and don't expect to be treated like one. I'm cut off or squeezed off by cars then I slow, stop, or go around. It sucks, but i don't want to waste too much energy getting pissed off about it. The auto driver is just another bad driver and i happen to be on a bike.

These are just my thoughts.

Anonymous's picture
Fixer (not verified)

Kamikaze Messengers, Maoist Massholes, Wrong-Way Delivery Guys, and the Who-Gives-A-Crap-About-Anyone-Else Crowd have given NYC cyclists an awful rep.

Think, how many times have you slowed down for a red light, and seen the people in the crosswalk just cringe and freeze? It's because they EXPECT you to blow through! NYC peds, known all over the world for their boldness, will march right in front of a turning 3 ton SUV if they have the light; but a cyclist? Whoa, duck and cover!

It's a tough thing to live down. A few years back, I hit a woman on the street. It was mid-block, I was crusing along at all of 10 mph, and then there she was, 2 feet in front of me. She had darted out from behind a dumpster without even bothering to look. I braked hard, so the collision was gentle - neither of us hit the pavement.

But what happened was really telling... She began screaming at me, calling me all sorts of unprintables, and a small lynch mob started forming. Even though this was completely her fault, I, the guy on the bike, was the Bad Guy, of course...

Anonymous's picture
Claudette (not verified)
from both sides

"As a frequent taxi rider, the last thing I would expect when exiting curb side is that a cyclist would try to squeeze through that small gap. I always look anyway, but it's not intuitive.

As a cyclist, I need to look out for myself. Whether or not a taxi passenger is ""at fault"" when his door slams into me is irrelevant; I need to prevent that from happening. This means my not trying to squeeze through those spaces, especially when the vehicle concerned is a taxi or delivery truck.

Or, if it's absolutely the only way to go through, give the side of the cab a whack to let them know you are there before passing the doors. Most folks are not looking for us. We need to make them look, BEFORE they hit us.


Anonymous's picture
Mike (not verified)

I agree, you pass between parked cars and a stopped cab at your own risk. Slow down considerably if you're going to do that!

When I get out of a cab on the curb side, I may check a few feet behind me before I open the door, but that's not enough to prevent colliding with a fast-moving cyclist.

It's a totally different matter when passing a cab or car on the street side. Any passenger getting out on that side has to be sure they're clear, not just of bikes but of other cars passing by. If you get doored passing on the street side of a cab, it's purely the passenger's fault for not checking.

Anonymous's picture
phil (not verified)

"I've been doored once (that brings my lifetime total of crashes to 3, only the first of them my fault, but thats another story)

I was basically knocked by the door into the middle of traffic, my sandals and bike flying. The bike held together and I suffered some scrapes. I was very very very fortunate there was not much traffic on the road.

I think it was with that in mind that I got up immediately picked up my bike and started rotating the chain into place.

The doorer (I guess Im the dooree) suddenly became very apologetic, and I just told him ""it could have been worse"".

I think that is what we should remember... That we are more fortunate than we could have been.

Peace and chicken grease

P.S. I now ride a bikes length away from doors. So what if I'm taking up the car lane, at least I follow traffic rules."

Anonymous's picture
mike p (not verified)
make a report

if your injured, or your bike is damaged ask the driver for their insurance and drivers license, call the police, it may be the the only way you will get medical coverage paid for if you find out the bruise is worse than a bruise and you need a MRI and more
there is a big difference between someone that doors you and is genuinely sorry and apologetic and someone that doors you and is arrogant. Arrogance gets the adrenaline running, so you may be more injured than you realize, definitely get the drivers info /passenger info and call the police, you will be covered for your medical bills and the arrogant one will be sweating it out, the taxi driver will be ever more careful on how he/she discharges passengers. taxi's really should have a driver operated door locks.

Anonymous's picture
Dave Sabbarese (not verified)
me too

"I too got doored by a taxi rider in the east 20s going east on my way home (from cycling in Central Park, not from work). That's where the similarity ends, though. My experience wasn't nearly as bad. The person who doored me was unbelievably sympathetic and apologetic. (And real cute, too, btw. So it was hard to get too mad at her. I should have asked her for her number, but I was a little woozy, I think) As were the bystanders who were hanging out on the stoops. Somebody called the cops, who insisted on putting my bike in the squad car trunk and driving me home! I kid you not. I couldn't believe it.
Anyway, I used to be a cowboy on a bike until I hd a few of these incidents. I rarely get in accidents anymore. And everyone in the NYCC should read ""The Art Of Urban Cycling"" by Hurst. Especially if you are a daily cycling commuter, which I am not."

Anonymous's picture
George (not verified)
we don't count

"Sorry Fred but c'mon... cyclists don't count. I recently watched a DVD of ""The Sixth Sense"", a movie that I've enjoyed several times. At the end of the movie when the boy's mother comes to realize her son has the ability to 'see dead people', they are near the scene of a fatal traffic accident. Guess who's dead... I'll give you a second... yeah, it was a cyclist! BTW, she was wearing a helmet- but that's another thread. And the best part... the cops on the scene are asking the motorist who ran her over if he's OK!! I first saw the movie before I began riding and never noticed anything wrong with that... now, it's a little more painful, and certainly hits too close to home. On the other hand, even Hollywood needs a group of people that nobody likes, and it's certainly out of fashion to select any group based on race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, etc. (Sigh), whatever happened to Nazis, gangsters, and other evildoers... guess they have rights. Too bad that when you sit on your bike, you lose yours!"

Anonymous's picture
josh (not verified)
de door

Wanna see brutally sadistic slapstick bicycle humor (at our expense)? Pick up a copy of the new version of Pink Panther. You'll laugh along as cyclists get doored and knocked over by autos. Ha, ha.

If this were a racial or ethnic group, there'd be massive protests.

Anonymous's picture
Natalia Lincoln (not verified)
Pink Panther and BTW, dooring people is *illegal*

"My husband and I saw that movie and by the time the third cyclist went flying I was ready to walk out. But hell, even without the cyclocarnage that movie was dead.

But seriously, folks... yes, know what you're doing... but here's what Transportation Alternatives recommends you do when doored. No need to get into a fight, just get the right numbers.

That, and the more cyclists we get on the road, the better -- we'll be more visible and less of a weirdo minority. Like most New Yorkers, before I became a cyclist I was suspicious of bikes too. I bikevangelized a guy just last week by telling him that if he rode to work, he could stop paying subway fares and likely wouldn't have to go to the gym anymore.

But I did tell him to practice in the park first, then do some C-rides with the club before hitting the streets. :)"

Anonymous's picture
esass (not verified)

Should they have asked the dead person if they were ok?

i currently have to change my right brifter beacuse of a dooring a year and a half ago. there was no damage then, but it slowly deteriorated.

Anonymous's picture
Joe (not verified)
How not to get doored

I used to commute daily to work in London by bike, and now ride on NYC streets occasionally, so I have some experience. IMHO, too many cyclists ride too close to the curb and to parked cars. Riding close to parked cars is a good way to get doored. Riding close to the curb invites motorists to take the entire lane, forcing you further towards the curb, which can lead to an accident because there may be an obstacle/pedestrian in your way, and now there is no room in the lane next to you because the motorist has occupied it.

When I ride, I often take an entire lane - if you give the motorist enough room in the lane to pass you, you are likely within range of getting doored by a parked car. If you don't feel comfortable taking the entire lane, look for heads in the parked cars (of course, some little kid in the back seat could still door you). Never pass a cab on the curb/parked car side; always go street-side. If you are aggressive about riding in the lane, you are much more visible to the motorists. Also, you must use a rear light at night - if you don't AND you don't take up a full lane, you are INVISIBLE to motorists.

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