Category Archives: Almost Doored

Bicyclist almost doored on Damen and driver yells afterwards, “look out”

Location

Damen and Concord Chicago, IL 60613
32nd, Scott Waguespack, soon to be 2nd, Bob Fioretti

Type

Almost doored

What happened

I was heading south on Damen towards Milwaukee and luckily traffic was stopped. A woman threw her car door open. I swerved out of the way and stopped in front of her car to look back at her. She started screaming at me to look out so I left without saying anything.

Suggested improvements

Switch the bike lane and the parked cars so that the cyclists are protected from moving vehicles should a dooring occur. At the very least, wider lanes and better striping on bike lanes so car parkers know that there might be cyclists to look out for.

Ed. note: This part of Damen has extremely faded bike lane striping. 

Cab passenger in double-parked cab nearly doors bicyclist downtown

Location

131 North Clinton Street
42nd Ward, Alderman Reilly

Type

Almost doored

What happened

I witnessed another Divvy rider in front of me pass a cab double-parked in the left lane. A passenger in the taxi opened a door just as the rider passed by, forcing her to swerve around the door.

Suggested improvements

Since a dock is located just a half block ahead of this point, on the opposite side of where the bike lanes are, a cycle track should be added to Clinton along the left (east) side of the street.

This cycle track should enclose the four blocks surrounding Ogilvie and the main Union Station structure. It would be the main collector cycle track for bicycle commuters utilizing the terminals.

Ed. note: The Chicago Department of Transportation may improve the bike facility on this street as part of the Central Loop BRT project, but so far has made no indication they will (two east-west streets will have bike facilities, Randolph and Washington, as part of the project). 

Bicyclist almost clipped when trying to avoid a dooring on Halsted Street

Type

Almost doored
Had to stop abruptly

Location

2601 N Halsted St (at Wrightwood)
43rd Ward, Alderman Smith

What happened

Was going north on Halsted, which just received buffered bike lanes north of Fullerton. I had just cleared the Wrightwood intersection, where there are still no bike lanes (just sharrows) after the light turned green when a man entering his car flung the door open as he looked at me coming in his path. I started to go to the left when I was cut off by a driver who turned right to swing into a parking spot. I stopped abruptly.

Improvements 

It doesn’t matter if you looked at me first, people getting into cars need to wait to open their doors.

Chicago needs to stop cutting bike lanes off at intersections and there need to be more good ways to get further north without having to go all the way over to a street like Damen.

We also need to stop pretending Halsted is a good bike route.

Bicyclist almost doored by taxi passenger in “protected” Kinzie bike lane

Type

Almost doored

What happened

Passenger of cab exited from car lane on the right side (bike lane side) – dinged my bell but passenger continued to exit so I had to swerve to right.

Suggested improvements for this location: protected bike lane.

Ed. note: The bike lane is here called protected but aside from parked cars it does not prevent people from maneuvering their cars into the hatched zones at each intersection where parking isn’t allowed. Nor does it prevent people from driving in it. 

Van driver doesn’t look and almost doors attentive bicyclist on Armitage

Type

Almost doored

What happened

Driver of a white van parked along the side of the street opened his door quickly without looking (I hope. Otherwise he was trying to kill me). Fortunately, I was not too close too parked cars and saw the door in time to swerve the couple inches that kept me from getting doored. Had I not been looking at the van at the right moment, I would have been doored.

Suggested improvements for this location: A place for bikes to ride that’s not in the door zone.

Avoids dooring by a foot on Milwaukee Avenue

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I was travelling southbound on Milwaukee, hugging the left side of the bike lane. The driver of a late 2000s black luxury SUV (I think a Lexus) opened his door suddenly as I was a little under a foot behind the front door of the vehicle. I swerved to avoid and driver shut his door as he saw me go past. No words were exchanged. There were other cyclists riding behind me who probably saw it happen, but no one said anything to me.

Suggested improvements: This is the second time in the last couple of months that I’ve almost been doored on this stretch of Milwaukee. This stretch might be a good one for bike lane upgrades or signage reminding drivers to watch for cyclists.

Almost doored on Milwaukee Avenue in Logan Square

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: It was raining. The driver of a navy blue mid 80s 4-door Buick economy car opened his door suddenly as I was passing by, going northbound. The driver missed hitting me mid-leg by 1-2 inches. No one else was in the bike lane, nor were there pedestrians around who observed. I had no confrontation with the driver.

Suggested improvements: This is the first time I’ve ever had an encounter in this spot in over a year of riding Milwaukee daily. I think that this was mostly an issue of driver education. The bike lane at this point is actually fairly wide and reasonable.

Steven’s note: The bike lane here is the minimum width of 5 feet for bike lanes next to a row of parked cars. The minimum width for bike lanes against the curb (without any parked cars) is 4 feet. Some bike lanes expand to 6 feet, like parts of Elston Avenue. 

Bicyclist doored on Lincoln Avenue in the bike lane, visits hospital

Steven says: This close call is a crash. I will not accept actual crashes in the future as you should make a crash report so that information is collected by the police and seen by local departments of transportation and researchers. 

Type

Almost doored
Injury: Had to visit a hospital later

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parked cars)

Your story: I was riding southbound on Lincoln in the bike lane. There weren’t many cars parallel parked except a big SUV and the driver opened her door right into me. I flew over my handlebars and landed on my side and shoulder and broke my collarbone.

Suggested improvements: Cars should park as far to the curb as possible. If I had had a few more inches I maybe wouldn’t have been doored.

Driver starts to open door but then looks, sees bicyclist, and closes it

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Bike lane (left of parking lane)

Your story: I was riding behind a friend and we were headed southbound on Damen. A woman in an SUV was parked facing the same direction. She almost opened the door, but saw him and didn’t. As soon as he passed her, she started to open her door. I swerved a little bit and she quickly closed it and looked surprised. We made eye contact, but that was it. I kept riding.

Suggested improvements: A protected bike lane would be great!

Bicyclist yells and car passenger quickly shuts door, avoiding a crash

Type

Almost doored
Injury: No

What happened

Roadway description: Left-side bike lane (right of parking lane)

Your story: I was riding home from work on Monday, July 15, 2013 around 5:15pm. I take the  bike lane on Dearborn Street north to Walton, then head west on Walton to Clark Street and take that to Lincoln. North of Kedzie Street, the Dearborn cycle track becomes a one-way bike lane on the left side of the street with parked cars against the curb to a rider’s left hand side. As I neared my turn onto Walton, the passenger side door of a black sedan swung open. I immediately slowed my bicycle and yelled out. The passenger quickly grabbed the door and shut it before I made contact or swerved into the road. I came less than two feet from hitting the door. Thankfully, quick reactions from both of us allowed me to safely complete my ride home.

Suggested improvements: The unorthodox nature of parked cars on the left side of a cyclist calls for a buffer between the parking spots and the bike lane. If the passenger and I had and extra 12-24 inches of space, we could have avoided our scare.

Location is approximate.