Re: [bike-132] Happy Friday from Portland Bike Commuting!

From: Kenneth O.
Sent on: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 8:15 AM
On Jun 22, 2009, at 11:23 AM, Zack wrote:

> My general rule of thumb is that in slower traffic i tend more to  
> the left and in faster traffic more to the right. this tends to work  
> pretty well in terms of dooring as people are less likely to get out  
> of their cars on roads with fast traffic (e.g., often there is no  
> parking, like on Franklin st. Art.). it is also a good habit to look  
> into the cars to see if anyone is getting ready to get out.

Perhaps some things in bicycling are tough calls with imperfect  
solutions. However, dooring is not one of them. Each individual  
bicyclist has the 100% solution in their own hands - and each  
bicyclist should take advantage of that 100% solution. Regardless  
speed traffic typically flows in an area near parked cars when a  
bicyclist is not present, bicyclists should ride outside all dooring  
zones, all the time. As a matter of fact, in areas with higher typical  
speeds, I choose roadway positions with a little _extra_ margin from  
hazards rather than less. Probably, I would be a little extra left if  
typical speeds along the roadway were higher (and I would be _a_lot_  
more left if the increased speed I'm talking about is my own on the  
bicycle - going down a hill for instance.)

Bicyclists need to assign themselves reasonable scanning duties.  
Therefore they should not take on new and probably ineffective duties  
(like studying the insides of each and every parked car ahead.) All  
that attention and analysis is best redirected toward road surfaces  
and intersection conditions ahead.

Also, when you ride fully outside the dooring zone you are in better  
positioned to see and be seen - with respect to the edge-of-road- 
obstacle parked cars represent. It's the right place to be for more  
reasons than just dooring.

Sorry Zack. Disagree with your recommendations on this point.

We need to teach bicyclist to stop fearing overtaking traffic. This  
misplaced fear leads to things like the culture missing the obvious  
and easy 100% solution to the dooring issue. If the concern to stay  
more right is only from dislike of creating perceived inconvenience to  
overtaking traffic rather than fear of overtaking traffic... this  
still represents a poor choice for  balancing bicyclist _safety_  
versus perceived overtaking traffic _convenience_.


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