"Hold Fast to Dreams..."
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
This is from a great Bicycle advocacy site called bicycleSafe.com
Collision type #2 The Door Prize
A driver opens his door right in front of you. You run right into it if you can't stop in time. If you're lucky, the motorist will exit the car before you hit the door, so you'll at least have the pleasure of smashing them too when you crash, and their soft flesh will cushion your impact. This kind of crash is more common than you might think, and in fact cyclists crashing into parked cars is the #1 kind of car-bike collision in Santa Barbara. (source)We've compiled a list of cyclists killed by running into open car doors.
How to avoid this collision:
Ride to the left. Ride far enough to the left that you won't run into any door that's opened unexpectedly. You may be wary about riding so far into the lane that cars can't pass you easily, but you're more likely to get doored by a parked car if you ride too close to it than you are to get hit from behind by a car which can clearly see you.
This comes via TheStar.comPrecious Yutangco Staff Reporter
May 23, 2008 12:10 PM
The death of a Toronto cyclist, who was killed yesterday after his bike hit a car door that was being opened, is the type of tragedy that is becoming all too familiar on the city's streets, bicycle activists say.
Toronto police say that the 57-year-old man was heading east on his bicycle on Eglinton Ave. W. just west of Avenue Rd. yesterday afternoon around 1 p.m. when the driver of a parked Volvo started to get out of his car.
The cyclist hit the door and flew off his bike before landing on the roadway, where he was struck by a Ford cube van.
The man was taken to hospital where he died of his injuries.
Yvonne Bambrick, assistant coordinator for the Toronto Cyclist Union, said today that while bike accidents are not as frequent as car collisions, the reality is that mishaps with car doors put cyclists at great risk.
"You have to be aware that there are bikes on the road. You must look before you open your door onto the roadway," Bambrick said, adding that cyclists also have to take some responsibility.
"Be aware of the road users around you and act accordingly . . . you can't not pay attention when you're on a bike."
There have been 12 bicycle-related fatalities in Toronto since 2004, according to Toronto Traffic Services. In 2007, there were 1,163 motor-related bike collisions reported.
Although the investigation is still ongoing, Sgt. Tim Burrows, communications and media relations officer for Toronto Traffic Services, said that it was likely an accident and it does not look like charges will be laid.
Regardless, police are asking witnesses to call 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
The family is asking for privacy and police have not released his name.
From the Daily Page
State law protects careless drivers but penalizes those they hurt
by Vikki Kratz on Thursday 08/14/2008
Linda Willsey saw the car door opening a split second before it hit her. She was biking down Henry Street, on her way home from work at Community Pharmacy, when someone in a parked car swung open the door without looking.
"I think I yelled 'No!'" says Willsey, as the door hit her right side. "I went into the air and landed on my back."
She was taken to the emergency room with multiple contusions and a fractured vertebra. As she was waiting to have X-rays taken, Madison police officer Jean Papalia paid a visit.
"She said, 'Gee, I'm really sorry, but I have to issue you a citation,'" recalls Willsey. The $10 ticket cited a little-known state law that requires bicyclists passing a parked or standing vehicle to allow "a minimum of three feet" between themselves and the car.
"I don't think I was riding my bike dangerously close," says Willsey. "I was at a reasonable distance." The car, she adds, was not damaged.
Willsey plans to fight the ticket in court next week. She's already received a letter from the motorist's insurance company, citing the state law as a reason to deny any future claims. "I hadn't intended to file a claim," she says. "But I might now just to show them."
Police spokesman Mike Hanson is momentarily dumbfounded when he hears about Willsey's ticket. "Wow," he says finally. "I've never heard of that."
Hanson doubts officers are regularly ticketing bicyclists who get doored. "This would be an obtuse citation."
But he notes that when a person is injured in a traffic accident, police are obligated to ticket someone, unless they get a supervisor's approval. And Hanson can't think of any law the motorist who hit Willsey violated. "There's nothing specific about opening a door."
Michael Rewey, a board member of the Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin, disagrees. He thinks the driver should have at least been cited for obstructing traffic.
"If another car got doored, there would have been some form of obstruction ticket," he says. "I don't think there's fair treatment of all modes of transportation."
The Bike Fed may lobby the state Legislature to get the law changed. Willsey has already contacted state Sen. Fred Risser (D-Madison), who wrote back that he, too, had once been hit by a car door while biking. He promised to draft a bill, writing: "At the very least I think cars should show the same 'due care' when opening a car door."
Rewey notes that some Madison bike lanes require bicyclists to pass within three feet of parked cars; in fact, he thinks many newer lanes are too close. "A lot of bike lanes are right on the edge," he says. "If you're in the bike lane and get doored, whose fault is it?"
Certainly not the impatient, barely-paying-attention drivers who fling open their doors.
When John Roussos, owner of New Orleans Take-Out, renewed his restaurant license this summer, he got an unpleasant surprise. The annual fee, previously $382, was now more than $700.
"I work long, hard hours to keep my business open," he complains. "What am I getting for [an extra] $340?"
The fees increased after Dane County and the city of Madison merged their health departments this year. Roussos, whose restaurant is in the town of Madison, used to get a license from the county, which charged every restaurant a flat fee. The new Public Health Department adopted Madison's method of charging fees based mostly on revenue.
"There's now one standard set of services and fees applied universally over all of Dane County," says department head Dr. Thomas Schlenker. "It's a natural outcome of the merger."
Roussos' restaurant falls into one of the higher revenue categories: $250,000 to $1 million. "I can see a million-dollar restaurant paying $700," he says. "But a $250,000 restaurant is barely in business. Should somebody making four times as much pay the same?"
Schlenker agrees the categories are probably too broad and could be split. "We wouldn't be against it."
The fee hike is expected to bring in about $150,000, which will be used to hire another inspector and give all inspectors computerized tablets, improving efficiency.
"We are providing more and better service," says Schlenker, adding that Dane County did not inspect establishments as rigorously as Madison did. City inspectors, for example, would test the safety of soft-serve ice cream, which can easily be contaminated. "That was not done outside the city of Madison anywhere in Dane County," he says. "People assume if they had an ice cream cone there would be the same safety standards."
Roussos mocks the department for claiming the merger is more cost-effective. "If they're saving money, then by that logic my fee should have gone down," he says. "I was really concerned when I heard they were going to merge — I knew I was going to get screwed."
Gorham Street will not be converted into a two-way street when it reopens on Sept. 2. Although the neighborhood asked the city of Madison for a trial, there was not time to get it approved by the Common Council.
"We want to keep this idea alive," says Patrick McDonnell, president of the Tenney-Lapham Neighborhood Association. The neighborhood believes a two-way street will calm traffic and encourage more owner-occupancy. Says McDonnell, "Operating as a primary arterial for cars is not conducive to families with children."
McDonnell notes that there was "remarkably little fallout" from closing Gorham for construction this summer, suggesting it isn't needed as a downtown artery. "There is more capacity on the stretch of East Washington than perhaps even Traffic Engineering had imagined."
Ald. Brenda Konkel recently introduced a resolution calling for a transportation study of the entire downtown corridor. "No one is looking at the big picture," she says. "Streetcars looked at streetcars, Platinum Biking looked at biking. There was no overall look at downtown."
Konkel says if the city opens one-way streets like Gorham to two-way traffic, it should have some idea how the entire isthmus will be affected. And the city should plan for how cars, buses, bikes and pedestrians will interact.
"We really want to look at the whole thing as a big package," she says. "Not just do what is best for individual neighborhoods."
Something to rethink about
The city of Madison may sue to keep Charter Communications from moving Madison City Channel 12 to a spot in the digital 900s. City Attorney Mike May is drafting a letter to the cable company.
"Comcast in Michigan announced it was doing the same thing, and a group got an injunction stopping them," says Brad Clark, City Channel's station manager. "Obviously, litigation is a last resort. But I think the city feels pretty strongly this would be a bad idea for Madison residents."
Charter has pushed back its plan to move City Channel to the fall. "It's a temporary situation," says Tom Vowell, Charter spokesman. "We're rethinking the plan."
Vowell says the company still wants to create a "Public Affairs" tier to house government channels. But it must first move some other things around. "This is a pretty complex plan," and moving City Channel "is a small piece of the puzzle."
But Charter, he says, is not worried about a lawsuit: "We're well within our legal rights."
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
From Treehugger http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/07/door-prize-lady-charged.php
by Lloyd Alter on 07. 4.08
We were appalled when, after yet another door prize death, a policeman discussed charging the woman who did it and said “If she didn’t look, would that be negligence? It’s very hard to label that as negligent." In our survey, 75% of the respondents agreed that " The driver broke the law and killed someone and should be charged to the full extent of the law."
Well it turns out, she has been charged, with "Open Vehicle Door Improperly", which carries a maximum punishment, if convicted, of demerit points and an approximate $110 fine.
Is this enough? "The consequences should reflect the severity of the crime," said Yvonne Bambrick, the assistant co-ordinator of the Toronto Cyclists Union. "We do not believe that this charge is adequate in this matter" ::The Star Press release from Police below the fold.Toronto Police Service
On Thursday, May 22, 2008, at 1:12 p.m., police responded to a personal injury collision at Eglinton Avenue West/Avenue Road.
It is alleged that:
- a 57-year-old man was cycling east on Eglinton Avenue West, passing a line of parked cars on the south side of the street,
- an occupant of one of the cars, a woman, 43, opened the driver's door,
- the cyclist struck the door, lost control of his bicycle, fell onto the roadway and was struck by a truck.
The cyclist was taken to hospital where he succumbed to his injuries. This is the first cycling fatality of 2008.
Traffic Services, in consultation with the City of Toronto’s Prosecutors' Office, have laid a charge of “Open Vehicle Door Improperly” under the Highway Traffic Act.
An information laying out the charge has been filed with Old City Hall Courts.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
From the CourierPostOnline
June 13, 2008
Bike accident kills Comcast executive
By JIM WALSH
A top lawyer for Comcast Corp., just weeks away from retirement, died in a chain-reaction accident as he bicycled here Thursday.
Stanley Wang, a 67-year-old township resident, was pedaling eastbound on Main Street when someone in a parked pickup truck and trailer, also facing eastbound, opened the driver's-side door in his path about 12:20 p.m., police said.
Wang struck the door and fell from his bike into the street, where he was run over by an eastbound car. He was pronounced dead at 1:08 p.m. at Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Cherry Hill, police said.
No other injuries were reported.
Wang, who lived in the 500 block of Sentinel Road, "loved activities," said his wife, Pola. "He was always biking, golfing, playing tennis."
"He was very family-oriented," she said of her husband, who had two adult children and five grandchildren. "He loved his family."
She said Wang planned to retire at the end of this month after almost 30 years with Comcast, the Philadelphia-based cable television giant.
"He saw Comcast rise from a small company to the large company it is today," she said. "He was the one who helped oversee the Comcast Center."
The 58-floor Comcast Center, which officially opened this week, is Philadelphia's tallest building.
Wang was former general counsel at Comcast and served more recently in a part-time role, said D'Arcy Rudnay, a company spokeswoman.
Police did not identify the owner of the pickup truck, which was parked in the 400 block of East Main Street, near Stanwick Road.
They said the car that hit Wang, a 2000 Chevrolet Cavalier, was driven by Kellie Gifford, 19, of the 100 block of Winthrop Avenue.
An investigation is continuing. Anyone with information should call Police Sgt. Randy Pugh at (856) 914-3045.
Reach Jim Walsh at (856) 486-2646 or firstname.lastname@example.org