Driver cited for dooring a bicyclist in Brookline

Brookline Police report a motorist who'd just parked on the inbound side of Beacon Street yesterday opened his door into the bike lane - and a bicyclist in the lane was unable to stop in time and rode into it. The driver was cited for failure to use safety when opening a door. The bicyclist was not hurt.



Free tagging: 


But I'm in a car!

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You can't expect me to actually use my body for anything but staring at a screen!

F-Off with your

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Holier than thou Shtick.

"Look at me im an out of town vegan, non-conforming liberal who bikes around town and thinks that everyone should be like me."

News flash people have kids, errands and long commutes. Not everone can be a birista and ride a unicycle.


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Some of us had no problems doing all those things on bikes.

And some of us realized that long commutes are stressful and stupid and moved to places where those wouldn't be a problem.

Stop being such and effin martyr - you made your bed, you lie in it, you stop using it as an excuse to be an entitled asswipe.

What's a "non-conforming liberal" around here?

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A majority of local residence are liberals. Not that there's anything wrong with that. So how his being liberal non-conforming?

Being a libertarian, now that's non-conforming.


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Clearly you've never been to the Netherlands or any bike-centric country. Everyone there does just fine with kids, errands, and long commutes.

Please explain

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How i get my kid to hockey practice on a bike? My mother to the doctor? Food shopping for a family of 5?

Car is king in American and always will be, get over it!

5 kids?

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No one put a gun to your head and forced you to have 5 kids. You made a choice. You're probably the kind of person who could use a few miles on a bike. Exercise is good for you.

It's sad that you're the typical American nowadays. You think the world should bow at your feet because you decided to have more kids than anyone needs.


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You're probably the kind of person who could use a few miles on a bike. Exercise is good for you.

Really making assumptions, there. And you know what happens when you make assumptions.

But in case you don't, what if the family is the anon, his wife, their 2 kids, and a grandparent. That's who could be sitting around the table having dinner for 5 every night.

And in case you think that the idea of having more than 2 generations under a roof is too far fetched, do you think 3 kids is also a stretch? That still adds up to 5. And for the population just to stay constant, more than 2 kids per married couple is needed.

I disagree...

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Overpopulation is threatening the future of this planet. We're not special just because we live in the U.S. Two kids per couple is plenty. And I think that if more couples had one kid, our future would look much better. The sad truth is that too many couples CHOOSE to have more than two kids out of their feelings of entitlement (and then we all have to listen to how hard life is for them...).

"...what if the family is the anon, his wife, their 2 kids, and a grandparent. That's who could be sitting around the table having dinner for 5 every night."

Who's the one making assumptions here?

No it doesn't

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But it does show stupid MatthewC's comment was.

I've commented on the substance of this article- the cyclist part is a red herring; stupid drivers open doors without looking even when cars are coming. It should be ticketed. Having 5 people in your household, on the other hand, is no crime, nor should it be.


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You're getting all worked over nothing. Also, where did I say that having 5 people in one household is a crime? I've read through our little back and forth a couple times and can't seem to locate where I said that. So yeah, I think you just need to relax and take a deep breath. We were just having a discussion, and you decided to make things up and insult me.

Look at the part of your comment I quoted

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That's where I lost respect for you.

I believe the phrase is ad hominem, but I tend not to make that kind of accusation, but

You're probably the kind of person who could use a few miles on a bike. Exercise is good for you.

is probably worth the claim.

Since you asked

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I have bikes that can do all that.

It's fine that you choose to drive a car, but don't be a douche and try to act like people can't do this on bikes. In much of the world, everyone does.

Always be?

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Well, maybe when we are all found by aliens, dead inside those cars due to climate destruction or the wars it will start, including nuclear ones, we can all feeel royal.


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Parent--check. Long commute--check. City-dwelling Boston native--check. Meat eater--check. Errands--oh yeah, I have those too. Do I get a cookie now or at least a half-hearted promise that you can take TWO freaking seconds out of your oh-poor-busy-me day and LOOK before you open your car door?

Jesus it really that hard not be a jackass?

I know that

people have kids, errands and long commutes

I had kids, errands, and a long commute (inner burbs to Lowell) when my kids were young.

I did a lot of what I needed to do with a bike, a trailer, and taking my bike on the train.

None of these necessarily require the use of a car.


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When did it happen?

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I got doored in Boston, destroyed my front wheel and forks and banged me up some, before there was a state law (not city ordnance) making it a moving violation to open a door into traffic. Not much I could do in that case, but if it's recent, yeah, get a lawyer. Oh, and don't be SURPRISED, LEGITIMATELY or otherwise, when cops in two different cities do two different things.


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In the meantime

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Be aware of your surroundings and attempt to make eye contact with the driver via mirror. If someone is in the driver's seat, slow down, check your left side, take the lane until you can pass.

I was hoping the dutch reach was something cyclists could do as you know BMW drivers and Prius drivers are too self absorbed to check their behavior.

I've been thinking about this daily

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as I bike through Allston (Comm Ave and Harvard Ave) and Brookline (Harvard St and Longwood Ave), pretty much entirely alongside cars parked on the street. Here is the problem with trying to see people in their cars: everyone has tinted windows! I cannot see through rear windows or side windows, and certainly cannot see someone's eyes reflected in their sideview mirror. I am a diligent cyclist and try to keep to the far left of the bike lane and move into the travel lane when necessary to avoid opening doors. But that doesn't help me see through opaque windows.

Personal experience: I was doored on Comm Ave near Amory St by a large delivery truck at 10am on a weekday, and thrown into the street. Lucky for me, Comm Ave traffic dips shortly after 915. There was no way for me to make eye contact because the mirrors were already folded in and the truck had no rear windshield because.. truck.

How about The Dutch Reach

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How about The Dutch Reach-around, You sue the driver and they pull money out of thier insurance company's ass!

Bike lanes are dumb.

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I'm curious, are bike related accidents up or down after the introduction of bike lanes?

Driver flagged down the police?

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Officers were flagged down by a citizen involved in a minor crash. The driver reports opening his car door into the bike travel lane and then a bicyclist struck the door... The driver was issued a citation M.G.L. c. 90 s. 14: Failure to Use Safety ( when opening door).


There is a term for this

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Being a grownup and 1) showing concern for the victim of your mistake and, 2) owning it.

Ambiguous writing

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It's unclear if the driver or the bicyclist flagged down the police.

We wouldn't need them

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if more drivers took two seconds to actually look up and make sure the path was clear before they open their f'ing door.

I bike very slowly and these kind of close calls happen to me at least once a week, often to the point where I have to yell so the driver sees me. It's such a basic thing--really shouldn't be too much to ask.

Or, as a cyclist, you

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could keep an eye on whether a person is in the driver's seat (as I do when I rode) and if you see said person, leave enough space between you and a door swinging open (cause some folks will not look). You can take the lane now so take the lane.

I will never understand this resistance of some riders not to take their own health into their own hands. Sure, it is wrong for a driver not to look and they should look but some will not. And G-damn it, they better do the right thing. So yell at them all you want but I rather ride safe then get doored and possibly dead.

uh, brah

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two things:

one, its not always super easy to tell if there is someone in the driver's seat or even if they intend to make some kind of move. sometimes people sit for a while on the phone or doing.. other things.

two, yes we can take the lane, but its not always immediately available in the handful of seconds' time we have between ascertaining occupancy of the driver's seat, driver's intent and door status. further, making a necessarily sudden swerve into the lane can put us in more danger.

I don't think anyone rides wanting to get doored, I'm not sure why you think people do.

Or you could read what I wrote.

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I ride very slowly. I am almost ridiculously cautious. But you seriously want me to slow down by every car--daytime or nighttime--to ascertain whether or not there is a person inside who may be carelessly, thoughtlessly about to kill me? And then "take the lane?" Alongside a bus, a truck, a taxi, an Uber driver who 7 times out of 10 is anxiously scanning his device or looking for a passenger and not interested in looking out for the biker on his right?

Why is it so crazy to ask drivers to take a sliver of responsibility? "Ride safe?" I DO ride safe but if some bozo is going to kick open his door while checking his Tinder app, that doesn't really help me.

"Ridiculously cautious" would

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"Ridiculously cautious" would mean not riding a bicycle on city streets.

If your mode of transportation makes you so vulnerable that just the door of a car can do you serious damage, then protect yourself by putting yourself inside a car. Riding a bicycle is like electing to be a china shop on two wheels roaming though a herd of bulls.


You do NOT protect yourself by being inside a car. You kill yourself by being inside a car.

It is incautious to be inactive.

It is incautious to be inactive and emit pollution that reduces everyone's lifespan for a 2 mile trip.

Let's just be clear here: if you add up the risks of pollution and road injuries for cycling in a city like Boston, and then compare them to the benefits of the exercise you get when cycling, the health benefit from cycling is generally 10-fold greater than the other two.

I just put together a literature search on the risks of air pollution and injury and benefits of active transportation over the last two days. The data are consistent in this regard. You can even bike around for a half day in Sao Paulo before the risks outweigh the benefits. The only place where the risks of road injury and air pollution come close to balancing the benefit of the exercise is New Dehli. Even then, you can ride for 45 minutes to a couple of hours before you lose the exercise benefit to the other health risks.

If your goal is to reduce risk, the answer is clear: get on a bike.

That "data" doesn't even make

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That "data" doesn't even make sense. Bicycling and huffing around Beijing for 20 minutes a day, you're going to develop problems breathing. Driving around Beijing for 10 minutes a day, you're going to have a lot less problem breathing. Add to that the fact that the people who bicycle around Beijing are poorer than the people who drive around, they're consistently going to have worse health outcomes anyway.

The biggest bicycling advocate the city ever had, Tom Menino, was driven around Boston in a chauffeured SUV for years and years. His health was okay until he got into a bike accident, fucked up his knee, went through surgery after surgery for it, finally getting an infection that killed him. He might be alive today if it weren't for that bicycle. He might even be mayor today if it weren't for that bicycle.

You won't find his statistic tallied up in any bicycle studies, and won't hear that narrative from any bicycle advocates either. Bicycle advocates are usually in denial over the risks they knowingly expose themselves to and encourage others to expose themselves to.

If you're concerned about carbon impact, drive an electric Smart Fortwo. Maybe you'll gain a few pounds of weight. Compare that to the carbon impact of getting in a bike accident turning you into a paraplegic needing 24x7 care for the rest of your life, and the choice is literally a no-brainer.

Feel free to provide your own studies

First of all, you are talking to an international expert on air pollution and public health, dear. I am well aware of the health impacts of pollution, thankyouverymuch. Beijing is problematic - as is New Dehli, which I mentioned. That's the extreme end of the curve where it even matters. 99% of global cities are not Beijing or New Dehli.

Meanwhile, you can search PubMed for "active transport health impact assessment" if you want to see the actual data involved here (I left all my citations at work or I could bombard you with them). For most of the world, the risks of inactivity from using a giant motorized chair to get everywhere are far greater than the risks of cycling. I can even give you an anecdote: me. Most of my family has struggled with extreme obesity and developed diabetes a decade before my current age, or responded to prediabetic signs by losing 250lbs and such. While I am fairly large, I have never weighed 400lbs. I credit cycling for that.

As for "it doesn't make sense", well, it doesn't make sense to you because you don't want to hear it.

BUT it doesn't have to make sense to you at all to be accurate and consistent and reproducible. It just has to be accurate, consistent, and reproducible to make sense for policy development.

Sorry, but maybe you should include "reflects actual reality on a wide scale" in your future definition of "makes sense".


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Again--I'll explain this slowly so you get it. I ride past hundreds of parked cars on my commute. You are suggesting that I look into each parked car to determine whether there is a driver or passenger on that side who may or may not be about to exit the car, then...swerve out into the traffic lane if there is indeed such a driver? Try it while you're driving sometime and see how that works for you.

OR you could try looking before you get out of your car into traffic. Duh.

No I get what you're saying.

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No I get what you're saying. I just don't understand why, if you truly are riding slowly, why would you have to ride even slower to look at cars?

Door kicking

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I hear you. People who kick open the door and do that weird crab walk out of their car are the living worst,

why is that the cyclists responsibility?

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Maybe I just lived on narrow streets for too long but I always look before opening my car doors....oh yeah and also because the bike lane is an actual lane and you can't put the onus on moving traffic-bike or otherwise- to be able to tell if someone's going to open their door. I bike almost every day and if I can actually see someone in the mirror then yes caution is a no brainer. But you can't always see in all the cars mirrors accurately enough while keeping focus on the myriad of obstructions on the road and if you're in a dedicated bike lane then moving into a lane with cars causes bigger problems for everyone.

You don't rely on mirrors

I was always taught that mirrors supplement your vision. They are not the only thing you should look with. They have blind spots. That's because they are meant to ELIMINATE blind spots - they are not meant to be your only way of seeing what is behind you before you change lanes or open your door.

Mirrors are a supplement to your main way of looking - TURN AND LOOK. That is the MAIN method of seeing what is around you. Mirrors help you with places you cannot see when you TURN AND LOOK. It isn't hard.

If it is, you are required by law to use adaptive technology (like members of my family who had neck surgery do).

Another idea

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We could make motorist harassment of cyclists who are riding outside of the door zone of death an arrestable offense.

this only seems to happen with bike lanes

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You don't hear much about doors being hit by cars - that's because it directly affects the drivers when that happens. The car that hits their door doesn't fly over the door cracking their head open or get flung under a bus, who finishes them off. No - the door is broken, the unhurt other driver calls the cops, who actually ticket them, and their insurance, who charges the parked car driver for repairs to the car. Pretend its a car lane and check your mirrors jackasses.

I don't bike btw - just don't want to commit manslaughter - join me.

Oh, it happens

One of my coworkers took a door prize with her car - and didn't realize that in Cambridge it wasn't her fault.

My husband took out a couple of doors years ago - both in places where the door opener was at fault.

I was riding on a regular street (no bike lane) and saw a primo one last fall.

You don't hear about it because it doesn't usually injure somebody.

I'm guessing you're being

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I'm guessing you're being facetious, but IMO a crucial part of safe road design is a door zone buffer between parked cars and moving traffic.

I don't want to be in the door zone whether I'm driving or riding a bike. A wide right lane is a start. Even better is organizing the wide lane with a white edge line 3 feet to the left of the parking lane.

I hate when the door zone gets pushed into the travel lane because of cycle tracks or other road-narrowing projects. I prefer to ride in the street even when there's a cycle track, because they're usually blocked by pedestrians and trash barrels. But a narrowed general lane means it's impossible to ride in the road outside the door zone, without blocking faster traffic. And cars can't stay out of the door zone without crossing the double yellow.

lots of grownups in this thread....

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Jesus, y'all, I drive every day but there's no excuse for dooring somebody. Hell, with the way people drive around this city, and how narrow the streets are, I wince whenever people just fling open their doors without bothering to look or pause or anything. Seems like a good way to get your door ripped off by another driver as easily as it is an invitation to hurting somebody. Am I seriously the only one who does the open-slightly, pause, finish opening dance? Is it because I'm a lady and am grabbing my purse etc?

This really isn't one of those issues that drivers and bikers should be arguing about, it's a straightforward case of carelessness.

I totally agree

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Some drivers have it in their heads that they can open their doors at any time. While driving, I notice the opposite. Some drivers just open their doors to get in as I am approaching. Personally, I don't want a bike, pedestrian, or another car to have to deal with the me wanting to get our right away, so I wait until it is clear.


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I swung a sledgehammer without looking around me first.

Your fault for getting in the way.


Ok, pie, I'm going to start

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Ok, pie, I'm going to start doing this... [Homer makes chomping motion] and if you get eaten, it's your own fault.

Hold Up

This is probably going to go on deaf ears, but anyone want to take a chill pill. Every bike post is automatic flame war. But this one in particular seems to talking past each other more than usually I think.

Everyone is trying to make the best of things. It doesn't help implying the person who lives in the suburbs is a selfish fat prick. Nor implying the cyclist is some childless snobby barrista choosing the harder path to get the same shit done.

When someone park, check to see a bike coming down before opening the door. When someone bike, exercise caution if you see a person in a car. This is not rocket science.

Car drivers and passengers:

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Car drivers and passengers: Please watch for bikes when you open your door.

Bike riders: Don't ride in the door zone. If drivers behind you get impatient or honk, too bad for them. Your safety is more important.