Lessons from a near dooring along the streetcar route

Luci and I were nearly doored last week and it was shocking how quickly it all happened.

We were heading east on University Boulevard just before Park Avenue when a young man opened the door of hus Mustang.

I believe I was actually riding far enough to the left to of the car that there wasn’t any real danger, but it was close enough to scare me.

When the door swung open, I instantly moved left, which meant I had to cross the tracks at an unsafe angle.

Fortunately, I was riding the Xtracycle, which have really wide tires and I managed to stay upright.

I still can’t believe how fast the whole thing happened how easily the timing could have been a few seconds different making it a lot worse.

It’s certainly a reminder of how many potentially dangerous things are happening along the streetcar route.

The video at the top of the post illustrates what the door zone is and how to avoid it.

 

9 comments
Gabrielle
Gabrielle

A good while ago I was doored  twice within a 3-week period, interestingly, at University (#1) & 4th Ave (#2).  Then, the following day after the last dooring, I was almost killed by a stop-sign runner, driving at pretty high speed in the Blacklidge/Cherry area. That one put me off cycling for a few years. Just recently picked it up again, now that I am finally seeing infrastructure that gives me hope and makes me less afraid. I'm 50 yrs old. Reflexes not what they used to be.  =)

And yes, it happens so very fast. I'm very glad you and your little one were not hurt.

You know, I read that in Copenhagen drivers use their opposite hand to undo their seatbelts, because it will twist their bodies so that they end up facing the driver's side window and so, can see any cyclist coming up, before exiting their cars.  If only we taught things like this here...

CodyM48
CodyM48

I had the same experience on Tuesday night: eastbound on University just past Time Market, a pickup truck driver swung his door out in front of me. I had been watching the car for ~10 seconds before passing and saw no indication that the car was occupied (engine off and no lights on in the cab). It helped me realize that there's barely any room between the cars and the streetcar tracks as it is, much less with an open car door.

Scott Lunt
Scott Lunt like.author.displayName 1 Like

On the way home from Cyclovia I and another cyclist were almost doored by a TPD officer ENTERING his car on University. As I was cycling, I was watching him cross the street. There was a cyclist right in front of me. The cop opened his door, looking right at us, causing us both to swerve uncomfortably close to the streetcar tracks. I yelled but didn't quite get out what I really wanted to say. The other cyclist said "To serve and protect!"

jwgifford
jwgifford

Sadly I don't think anything will happen until a few people die on the street car route.  My guess is either freshman and/or drunk cyclist.  Then of course, the cyclist will be blamed.  I've already had several issues around the street car tracks, and I fear what happens when the street car is operational.  I also really hope they improve signage.

brk
brk

there's just not enough room for the cars, the tracks and the bikes. I was doored 2 years ago in frony of Che's (had more room then), it's hard to know if someone's been sitting in their car and suddenly decides to exit, no break lights or anything, ouch! I take 3rd ave now but it's not safe at Speedway or at 5th street, and has HUGE potholes by Tucson High. 

pedalpics
pedalpics

Dang sucks you guys almost got hit. I know the feeling as it happened to me yesterday.

Hate that fact that we even have to considered giving up on the streetcar route as cyclist.  Are we now suppose to switch to an equally dangerous route cause the city didnt consider us? Most routes off of 4th and University are in very very poor condition, dont have proper signage, safer crossing controls, or drivers expecting higher cycling traffic. We need to be demanding that City fix this issue instead of letting them push us out of possibly the heaviest biking route in the entire state.


bluebike
bluebike

As a cyclist it is long past time to abandon the street car route.  Its frustrating, but it is flat out unsafe and will only get worse.

arsolot
arsolot

@bluebike Agreed. The streetcar route is simply not one to use.  It will only be worse once the streetcars are running.