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L.A. Times Excellent Deep Dive on Dooring

The Times speaks to drivers, a majority of Times readers, while also affirming the lives of cyclists. The article concisely explains terms - dooring, sharrows, protected bike lanes - that are common for cyclists, but little understood by the broader general public.

5:28 PM PST on December 20, 2023

Ghost bike placement remembering dooring victim Robert George. Photo by Elson Trinidad

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This article supported by Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney as part of a general sponsorship package. All opinions in the article are that of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of LABA. Click on the ad for more information.

Today's L.A. Times has a great piece about the dangers of drivers dooring cyclists. Read Angie Orellana Hernandez' Being doored to death is a cyclist’s nightmare. How can it be prevented? at the Times.

As a longtime cyclist who has been doored (c. 1999), I found the piece affirming and accurate.

Sometimes L.A. mainstream media coverage of green transportation ends up asking a lot of driver-centric questions like: why don't Pacific Palisades residents ride the (then-newly) opened Expo Line? Today's piece speaks to drivers, a majority of Times readers, while also affirming the lives of cyclists.

The article concisely explains terms - dooring, sharrows, protected bike lanes - that are common in conversations among cyclists, but little understood by the broader general public.

Most fundamentally though, Hernandez humanizes the story, grounding it in the tragic death of Robert George, a cyclist killed in a dooring crash on Fountain Avenue in East Hollywood.

Below is a short excerpt:

Nonetheless, drivers are “just not conscious” of cyclists and non-motorists on the road, mobility-justice advocate Yolanda Davis-Overstreet said.

“I truly think that the majority of people do not intend on opening their doors and slamming into a bicyclist,” Davis-Overstreet said.

But when car doors do collide with cyclists, the fallout can range from a few bumps and bruises to serious damage. Joshua Cohen, a personal injury attorney, said he’s dealt with cases in which cyclists had severed fingers, as well as back, neck and head injuries.

“The edge of the car door where it strikes the human body — generally, if you think about the physics of that happening — it’s almost like someone striking it with a sword because the leading edge of the car door is basically a thin piece of metal,” Cohen said.

(Cohen and David-Overstreet are both friends of the blog; Cohen's firm Los Angeles Bicycle Attorney / Cohen Law Partners supports SBLA by advertising here.)

Please read the full article at the L.A. Times.

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