The Reverse Dooring of Cyclists on Market Street – Here’s an Example

Here’s an example of what I was talking about in the comments section here:

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IMO, any cyclists who get into collisions on Market Street as seen above would be held not at fault, but the law’s a tiny bit ambiguous on this one.

This is not the typical dooring situation that was on the minds of the people who drafted CA’s dooring law back in the 1960’s, anyway.

Personally, I’d have the van’s right-side tires hugging the curb before I let anyone open the door on the right side, but maybe that’s just me.

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5 Responses to “The Reverse Dooring of Cyclists on Market Street – Here’s an Example”

  1. Dave D. says:

    …I’m not sure of the law here. Are you referring to CVC 21202(a) (1) ?

  2. sfcitizen says:

    CVC 22517 – I should have made that clearer – it’s referred to in the comments from the linked post.

    “The side available to moving traffic” is what trips me up. Complicating things is that this a 10MPH zone when buses are present in the “fast” lane.

    “Bicyclists are never required to ride in door zones CVC 22517 Opening and Closing Doors

    22517. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so and can be done without interfering with the movement of such traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open upon the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers. Amended Ch. 162, Stats. 1963. Effective September 20, 1963. [16]

    CVC 22517 clearly makes it the responsibility of anyone opening a vehicle door to make sure it is reasonably safe before opening the door. However, the potential of someone failing to do that is always there, and so traffic cycling experts agree door zones are hazards that are to be avoided, and that riding at least four feet from parked cars is a good practice. Because of the hazard always present in door zones, bicyclists are never required by CVC 21202 or any other law to ride so far right that they could be hit by, or forced to swerve into the adjacent lane, potentially in front of overtaking traffic, by a suddenly opened door of a vehicle.

  3. Dave D. says:

    …I think the hingepoint here is the definition of ” Reasonably safety “, and I’ve run into this before in other sections. Case law also is indicative as to the definition we seek. I’ve read case law which specifies that a motorist is not expected/required to anticipate motorcycles splitting lanes before satisfying the ” reasonably safety ” requirement of CVC 22107. Likewise, entering the roadway from a private drive or private property is not allowed until safe to do so; no reasonable to it. Yet, I’ve heard of a case ( never read it ) involving a fellow Sgt.’s brother where a motorist turned right from private property onto the hwy directly in the path of a pursuing police car. The motorist was cited, but proved in court that, because of the great speed of the police car, he had looked and couldn’t see it because it was over the horizon.
    …So if the motorist or passenger who stops and looks, in his mirror(s), and turns his head, and doesn’t see the cyclist and opens the door, has he exercised ” reasonably safety “. I think he has. I would NEVER pass a stopped car on the right if it was near the curb. Death zone, coffin corner springs to mind. And I would right far enough to the left side to not possibly get doored. If that screws up the flow of traffic, so be it. Once they started mixing motor vehicles with cycles/peds, the die was cast.

  4. Dave D. says:

    ….My bad. I would RIDE far enought to the left side………
    ..3rd sentence from the bottom.

  5. sfcitizen says:

    I hear you.

    In this case, I was passing from the right because that’s the way other people were going – it just depends on where’s there’s room.

    This is inbound Market approaching Fourth in near the Old Navy, I believe…