Door Zone Video

Nice work, Preston! I was contemplating doing something similar with still photography, but this is perfect.

Other posts on the door zone:

The Swinging Door

DIY Door Zone Warning

The Politics of Sharrows

This cannot be brought up too much. Most cyclists I observe in the Orlando area are hugging the edges of parked cars, bike lane or not. That is a practice that can get you killed.

And now take a moment and ask yourself: “Why do they paint lines telling me to ride where I could get killed?” Let me know what you come up with, because I sure don’t get it.

19 replies
  1. Rantwick
    Rantwick says:


    Thanks! That’s good stuff. I’ve got a post percolating about an old but new to me bikelane here in London that will likely make you use the word “heinous” again…

  2. andrewp
    andrewp says:

    Mighk: Do we have any numbers on doorings here in Orlando? What is the crash percentage of doorings vs. right hooks or left crosses?

    Just want to know some numbers before we conclude that bike lanes shouldn’t be built (used) where there is car parking …..

  3. John Schubert
    John Schubert says:


    Dooring accidents are not routinely counted in the U.S. They aren’t considered motor vehicle collisions, because only collisions with moving motor vehicles are counted. Doorings are considered collisions with fixed objects, and those are not routinely counted. Collisions with fixed objects vary all over the map. Most of them do not produce serious injuries, but the unlucky ones produce significant injury and death.

    I know of no study anywhere in the country that’s trying to count those injuries. I think the paint and path industry doesn’t want such a study, because all it’s going to do is rain on their parade. This is most especially true when doorings are added to the mix.

    Once in a while, some data escapes anyway. I think it was Toronto that conducted a study showing that doorings were a major percentage of injuries to its cyclists.

    But why would you even consider accepting the risk of dooring by having door zone bike lanes?

    I speculate that you’re proceeding from the false premise that if you avoid the dangers of using a bike lane to encourage/coerce people to ride in the door zone, you’re giving up something worthwhile. I reject that premise.

    Is the bike lane essential for “encouragement?” No! What does the bike lane do for the other two accident types you mentioned, right hook and left cross? It makes them more likely.

    If you really believe you have the right to use the road safely, and ride clear of the door zone, you’re in a very safe place on the road. Whether this pleasures the motorists overtaking you is another question, but they are not an imminent threat to you (despite so much mythmaking) and their pleasure does not override your right to avoid dooring, right hook, left cross, and motorist-exiting-driveway collisions.

    John Schubert

  4. Wayne Pein
    Wayne Pein says:

    “Just want to know some numbers before we conclude that bike lanes shouldn’t be built (used) where there is car parking …..”

    The last thing we need is for us to conclude that bike lanes are OK in door zones so long as the numbers of Doorings are sufficiently low.

    You don’t need “numbers.” Where DZBLs exist there WILL be Doorings. The evidence already exists. Further, anyone knowledgeable enough and bold enough to ride outside the bike lane in the “motor vehicle lane” will be subject to harassment from drivers and may be illegal and may have to justify to law enforcement or the judiciary why they are not in the bike lane.

    In locations where there is no treatment to guide the ignorant away from the door zone there WILL be Doorings. The solution is to place adequate parking crosses to demonstrate to the unknowledgeable how far to ride from parked vehicles. If there must be bike lanes to appease the separationists, they must not be in the door zone.


  5. John Flory
    John Flory says:

    Many riders claim where I ride that the door zone is safe for them, claiming that they watch for drivers sitting in the vehile who might door them.
    1. You can get distracted and not see the person in the car
    2. What are you going to do when you do see someone in a car who might door you– swerve out into the lane (and get hit from behind by the car following who was assuming you would ride next to that door

  6. Keri
    Keri says:


    The video is in the public domain (YouTube). But if you want to ask directly, you can contact Preston Tyree through the LAB website, here.

    I exchanged emails with him yesterday and know he is working on a more polished version. I can’t wait to see it!

  7. John Schubert
    John Schubert says:

    John Flory,

    Thank you for reminding us of the big job we have to combat mistaken ideas.

    My family owns four cars. I defy a bicyclist to see a driver inside any of them (
    (All have headrests, and the minivan has tinted glass). I further defy a bicyclist to keep a proper scan for road hazards and conflicting traffic while trying to look inside a series of parked cars.

    As you point out, planning to do a last-minute swerve is not a good strategy for safety.

    All of this stems from a “fearful timid deer” approach to cycling. What they fail to understand is how much they benefit from a total shift to Keri’s “Ride Big.” Get outside the door zone, claim the space you need to avoid obstacles, and you’re seen and responded to. It is MUCH easier and lower stress than the fearful deer paradigm.

    If you ride in the door zone, you’ll eventually get doored. If you’re lucky, that means some road rash, maybe a broken collarbone. If you’re not lucky, it means paralysis, brain damage, extensive facial reconstructive surgery or death.

    John Schubert

  8. Keri
    Keri says:

    The text below is copied and pasted from a comment I left on Andy Cline’s post about the door zone on Carbon Trace.

    I remember a student in one Road I class turning white as we talked about door zone bike lanes. Lisa noticed it and queried her. The idea that the government would tell her to ride in the place we were demonstrating to be hazardous really shook her up. It’s such a betrayal of trust. We’re taught to trust traffic control devices. We’re brought up to trust the systems in place that make the commons function.

    So you first have to teach them not to trust that system (give them the knowledge to outsmart it) and then you have to convince them to defy all the (real and perceived) social and legal pressures that are pushing to them to ride in that place.

    A lot of cyclists will play russian roulette in the door zone bike lane because being doored isn’t real to them (it’s an abstract possibility), whereas being abused for riding in the lane, or being buzzed for riding on the line is real.

    If you have a bicycling website, you have an opportunity to educate, and potentially save a life, by sharing Preston’s video.

  9. JohnB
    JohnB says:

    “If you have a bicycling website, you have an opportunity to educate, and potentially save a life, by sharing Preston’s video.”

    Done. Great video!

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] anyone who understands the deadly dangers of door zones, right hooks, left crosses, drive-outs, and other dangers of badly engineered bike lanes, Toronto […]

  2. […] As you can see from this photo, the city got the placement of the sharrows just right–in the center of the effective travel lane, OUTSIDE the DOOR ZONE. […]

  3. […] Dooring is VERY easy for a cyclist to prevent!   See Door Zone Video! […]

  4. […] in the information age, any city could do such a heinous, backwards thing as stripe a 3-foot door zone bike […]

  5. […] with cycling/parking lanes like the one between cumberland campus and the station – see this video. for me i think it comes down to my fitness and energy levels on any given ride. for the most part […]

  6. […] via Carbon Trace – a video that appeared on the Commute Orlando Blog , that shows in clear terms how far from a parked car is safe for […]

  7. […] Commute Orlando blog… var addthis_pub = 'bikemonkey'; var addthis_logo = […]

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