Not Your Fault?

During my commute to work this morning, a cyclist ahead of me was doored by a woman exiting a parked car just before the intersection of Beacon/Hampshire St and Cambridge St.

I didn’t stop as I rolled by (he got up just fine, no limping, said that he was ok when I asked), but saw that his front basket was knocked out of place and maybe something else was wonky with his handlebars. I did suggest that they maybe call the police since it was technically a car accident.

Here’s what troubled me: As I approached I heard the cyclist mumbling “…sorry…due to happen at some point…,” looking extremely apologetic.

Granted, I did not actually see the door-ing since I had my eye on another vehicle who was about to pull into my path just as the accident took place.  But I confirmed with the cyclist that he was indeed doored – and I just can’t think of any situation where it could possibly be the cyclist’s fault to be doored.

The woman in the car got out, looked slightly guilty but never apologized.

The whole thing was very odd.


  1. Rebecca Albrecht Said,

    November 1, 2012 @ 12:57 pm

    In the US, transport planners don’t focus on the causes of danger to improve cyclist safety. The expectation is that the cyclist needs to look out for their own safety and if the cyclist doesn’t we blame the victim. Probably, the cyclist has been conditioned to think, ‘If I had been paying better attention this wouldn’t have happened’. The car driver probably thought the same thing. It’s very upsetting to me to hear about the dangers that cyclists have to put up with because of bad road design. Our city officials are unwilling to give a larger share of the public space to cyclists nor require autos to drive at far lower speed than they do now. Out & About – aka Burdock

  2. Chris Said,

    November 2, 2012 @ 10:48 am

    Wait, what – you didn’t stop? You didn’t call the police yourself?

    I can understand not pounding the living *&#^ out of the car driver – although I’d have done so myself – but at least make the driver feel severely intimidated and fearful for their own safety.

  3. yourstruly Said,

    January 17, 2013 @ 12:39 pm

    What could I do if I called the cops? I didn’t actually see the accident. I would provide zero feedback. All I had was this exchange with the cyclist:

    Me: “Were you doored? Are you ok?”
    Guy: “Yes. Yes I’m fine.” (he then turned his attention to his bike)
    Me: “Maybe call the police?”
    Guy: (No response)

    I don’t think I would’ve been much help, but you’re right, I could’ve stopped to ask again, he was probably still a bit shaken by the impact.

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