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"Bicyclists say car doors pose lethal threat" Boston Globe(38 posts)

"Bicyclists say car doors pose lethal threat" Boston Globespyderman
Jul 25, 2002 11:40 PM
Bicyclists say car doors pose lethal threat

By Steve Leblanc, Associated Press, 7/25/2002 17:58

BOSTON (AP) Paolo Marinelli was pedaling home from an EMT training class last December when he rode smack into a bicyclist's biggest fear: a swinging car door.

The crash left Marinelli, 35, sprawled face down in the middle of busy Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington.

''I was fortunate not to be in the path of an oncoming bus,'' the Cambridge firefighter said. ''As I was crawling to the curb, I had to listen to how badly the motorist felt.''

Marinelli, who suffered bumps, bruises and a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, was lucky.

Earlier this month, a bicyclist was killed along a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge when a motorist opened a door, knocking her off her bicycle and under the wheels of a bus.

Now some Beacon Hill lawmakers want to make it illegal for motorists to open their doors into traffic without checking first to make sure there are no bicycles approaching.

Rep. Anne Paulsen, D-Belmont, is pushing the bill, which would establish a $500 fine for motorists who fail to take care when opening their doors.

Paulsen said the bill will force driver's education classes to include the warning when teaching new drivers.

''We need to make sure that bicyclists and motorists can move safely down the road together,'' Paulsen said. ''This makes it clear that car drivers bear some responsibility when jumping out of a car without looking.''

Getting ''doored'' is one of a bicyclist's top fears, and one that is difficult to avoid, especially in crowded cities where cars park parallel to the curb, said Tim Baldwin of the Massachusetts Bicycle Coalition.

Many other states already have laws requiring drivers to be careful when opening doors, Baldwin said.

''Car dooring remains a serious problem,'' Baldwin said. ''Too many bicyclists have a dooring story or know someone who has been doored.''

Drivers should be careful when opening doors, but bicyclists also have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and not operate their bikes in a reckless manner, said Arthur Kinsman, spokesman for AAA Southern New England.

The proposed $500 fine is out of line with other traffic violations, Kinsman said.

''To me, a $500 fine sounds absurdly high,'' Kinsman said.

The bill, which outlines a series of other ''rights and responsibilities'' for bicyclists, is in the Ways and Means Committee. The Legislature's formal session ends July 31 and it is unclear if the bill will come up for a vote.

Marinelli said as a firefighter and EMT he responds all too often to accidents involving cars and bicycles.

''Almost every day there's another bicycle crash in Cambridge,'' Marinelli said.
Unfortunately, until there are bike lanes separate from the roadAllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 4:06 AM
this will continue to occur. Bicycles and cars don't mix. So be careful out there. There have been too many occurrences lately of bicycle fatalities.

You can't legislate against what is an endemic problem - you can only mitigate the frequency by increasing driver awareness. The systemic problem needs to be addressed: we need separate bike lanes (not MUTs, but separate lanes for bikes only) that are maintained and clear of gravel.

(Will that ever happen? What will it take for that to happen?)
not sure that is a cure-all eitherET
Jul 26, 2002 4:52 AM
Even with a bike lane, cars parked to the bike lane's right can still swing open their doors into the cyclist's path. It may even be more likely since the driver may not bother to check before opening the door since it's "only" a bike lane.

A bike lane has additional problems. Someone at my work, a very competitive and experienced female cyclist, was riding in a bike lane a few weeks ago at around 25 mph when a car tavelling in the other direction made a left at the intersection, cutting her off. The cyclist had only an instant to brace herself for impact, and ended up with a shoulder separation (could have been worse), but the notable thing here is that the driver never saw her since she was next to the parked cars and not in a lane as the brain expects.

The British magazine Cycling Plus has been writing about bike lanes, and, much as they are appreciated to give cyclists a bit more room, it's still not clear if they add or detract from safety. As one more hazard, it enables vehicles to whiz inches to the left of cyclists at highway speed.
I am advocating bike lanes that are separate from the road.AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 5:33 AM
...but that is unlikely to occur :(

(perhaps I should have said separate bike paths or roads.)
separate but equal? :-)ET
Jul 26, 2002 5:51 AM
Not sure what you're advocating. "Separate" as in a whole set of bike roads somehow spanning the universe but yet noncontiguous to all existing vehicular roads? Yeah, sure.
a cyclebahn....AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 5:58 AM
When I become President, I will issue an order for separate bike ROADS across the country. I will call it the cyclebahn with three lanes on each side. The inside lane for fast riders and the rider being overtaken needs to move to the right. The far right lane is for slower riders.

No pedestrians, no dogs, no runners, no rollerbladers, no cars: only bicycles. Then I will then nominate you guys for Ambassador positions to promote cycling good will.

Down with OIL I say; no more dependence on the middle east. No more pollution. Are 'ya with me boys? :)

AllisonHayes "Cycling Ambassadors" 6/18/02 10:32am
"Don't blame me - I voted for Allison" nmjw25
Jul 26, 2002 9:42 AM
Need an intern? ;-) (nm)js5280
Jul 26, 2002 10:54 AM
Unfortunately, until there are bike lanes...filtersweep
Jul 26, 2002 5:03 AM
yeah, right...

I'd almost regard getting "doored" as an assault these days. Actually most motorists have no realistic PERCEPTION of how fast a road bike actually travels. If we were the size of a Mack Truck, there would be no problem. I've had all sorts of close calls with jay-walking pedestrians- where I can see them looking directly at me as they step right into my path- even if the SEE YOU it doesn't matter. Yesterday I made eye contact with this woman driving an SUV... I was driving toward her, she was behind a car trying to parallel park. I'm going down hill no less, and she proceeds to try to pass this car just as I'm coming toward her- her TIMING was SO OFF- almost as if she were waiting to hit me, since she paused, and I could see the gears turning in her head (again- NO perception). She literally gave me inches of clearance between her behemoth and the parked cars to my right. I've slowed to a crawl at this point- and noting that her window was down, as I inched by her I simply said (in a relatively nice tone) "Watch it." She went all Jerry Springer with "No! You watch it! " and on and on and on.... I really should have dumped my water bottle in her lap. Even if they see you, they just don't care.

re: bike lanes-
I seriously would like to know how inline skating weighs in on have legal access to bike lanes- or even bike trails. There are a ton of "rails to trails" lines where I live that are built as three completely separate paths or painted as three separate lanes- at any rate these are NOT your single lane MUTs (they are touted as bicycle "commuter lines"). There is one pedestrian lane for two-way ped. traffic, and two bike lanes for traffic each way. What gives a skater the right to use a clearly marked BIKE path? I'm just curious...

Downtown they have these suicide bike lanes- in the MIDDLE of two way traffic...simply "striped" with no barriers (they HAD orange poles sticking up here and there to remind cars, but they have long since been taken out by bad drivers). No way you'll get doored, but people making left turns come within inches my life!
Unfortunately, until there are bike lanes...AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 5:48 AM
yeah right is right - separate bike roads and/or paths are not likely to happen. And that means separate from cars, inline skating as well.

... a pipe dream? yes. The basic fact is that it is suicidal when different means of conveyance share the same road.

just be careful, always
A pipe dream until our economy moves away from cars.dzrider
Jul 26, 2002 6:07 AM
Bicycles for transportation run counter our auto-centered way of life. Some guy in the 70's wrote that a visiter from another planet could conclude that cars are the dominant life form in this country and humans just the drones that maintain them. Until and unless something changes that reality cyclists will be a low priority on the transportation agenda. We just don't offer enough opportunity for profit.
Are you serious? F*ck that!Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 6:08 AM
Those roads are as much ours as any driver of an automobile. My money helps build and maintain them and my mode of transport does no damage to them requiring repair. I will not allow the bicycle to be sidelined to "bike specific routes". That is precisely what auto advocates and anti-cyclist types would LOVE to see happen.

If you want to take an extreme stand that is protective of cyclist then try this one: No cars within city limits of all major urban centers. Drive 'em in the country if ya want. It's the opposite perspective, and just as inflamatory, but actually would do the world some good as opposed to giving up our right to the road and essentially bowing out as a means of "real" transport.

I like greenspace MUTs and rail trails as much as the next guy, but I have a right to the road as well. Bike lanes and seperate roads are the enemy.

Nuthin' personal Allison, but you need to research your stand a bit more and consider the consequences of such a thing, lest you find yourself being forced to drive to the nearest "bike route" for a ride.

What a hoot!AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 6:32 AM
i "Those roads are as much ours as any driver of an automobile."

Yep, you are right. Maybe dead right.

i "No cars within city limits of all major urban centers."

Now there is a great idea. I am all for it.

i "consider the consequences"

hey, chill, we all know this is just a pipe dream. just be careful as you stagger home after one of your binges.

(luv' 'ya Ahisma and all yer great posts - they are always a pleasure to read :))
Eh, what can I say...Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 6:44 AM's Critmass today.


AMEN, Ahimsa!Mr Good
Jul 26, 2002 6:39 AM
Separate bike lanes are a case of "separate but equal" ---they don't work and they're never as good as the real road.

Allison, I'd suggest you look at J. Forrester's EFFECTIVE CYCLING. I agree with the author's conclusion (and all of the evidence he presents) that bicycles must be integrated into road traffic, not isolated from it. And it was not simply this book that convinced me, but a lifetime of all types of cycling on all sorts of roads, that has demonstrated to me the wrongness of separate bike paths.

My Opinion? Both drivers and cyclists need to be better educated about how to use their vehicles in traffic. If I'm cycling fast enough that I can't react to an opening door, then I'm going fast enough to take the lane (riding farther away from the opening door).

Those roads out there are MINE, and I intend to ride 'em!
"separate but equal"AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 6:48 AM
Sorry, roads are not Plessy V. Ferguson.

Separate makes sense but it will not happen in the US of A. As long as we have a "share the road" mentality, cyclists will continue to be road fodder. Sorry, I disagree with you on this one. We need to advocate a separate road system.

"Effective Cycling" makes sense given the current system and I am all for it given that system. I am advocating an entirely different system. Thinking "out of the lane," I am.

i "Both drivers and cyclists need to be better educated about how to use their vehicles in traffic."

That is probably the most practical idea. Unfortunately, still as farfetched as separate bike roads due to the fact that cyclists are second class citizens. But I would definitely like to see that occur.
"cyclists are second class citizens"Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 7:06 AM
And classically second class citizens have been made to utilize seperate facilities until they fought for the right to access. We have access, why fight for seperate facilities?

If we ask for it, it is possible that we will get it, and then bikes will be denied access to the road. Do you really believe that once that happens anyone will give a frick about funding bike trails? A few short token routes would be built while "auto roads" get continued massive funding. Meanwhile all of us now marginalized cyclists will sit around petitioning for funds and volunteering to maintain our "seperate roads" that the population at large cares nothing about.

Futhermore, the attitude of those folks who might have once been made to see cycling as viable urban transportation will now see it as a pure recreation with limited access to the places they need to go.

Please think this through Allison. I really believe that you are most concerned with immediate safety here and are therefore missing the greater cause.

I understand that this only a "pipe dream", but should you not instead dream of no cars at all? At least that way your vision is protective of our current rights, and truly (IMHO) a better dream anyway.


This is backwards thinking
OK, I give up, we should continue to sacrifice ourselves to theAllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 7:23 AM
heathen gods of oil. The hell with safety, the hell I say that I am no match for a 3000 - 20,000 pound behemoth that has me in its sights. I will gladly sacrifice myself to uphold your greater cause. NOT

It doesn't follow that separate bike roads will lead to denied access to roads. Unless of course you are implying that there are sufficient bike roads where there is no need for access to highways. In which case, I would gladly accept that alternative.

As long as we are at it here, what is that "better dream" that will allow cyclists to thoroughly enjoy cycling but will also provide a greater degree of safety than what we have today? I have thrown out some ideas that have been creamed like an 18 wheeler on a Litespeed (now that's an image). So, what is the solution?
"So, what is the solution?"Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 8:18 AM
No cars in the city.

"So, what is the solution?" answer: <i>hundertwasser</i>AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 8:46 AM
He must be your kindred spirit...

Hundertwasser's is both a painter and architect whose revolutionary ideas for cities include having cars underground in cities, topping buildings with trees and areas where animals can graze, and creating floor surfaces that are unlevel.

Hundertwasser has designed many buildings in Austria and around the world, including museums, schools and churches, and continues to gain notoriety for his radical philosophies and outrageous antics.

(btw, he is one of my favorite artists.)
Allison- you have the same problem as telco'sSnowBlind
Jul 26, 2002 10:22 AM
What abut the last mile? You Bikebahn might move from one area to the next, but what about to my front door, or a business. Still gotta intergrate with local traffic, and that is the rub. Better to work with motorists than against them.

1. Make the driver always "at fault" for a car/cycle accident.
2. Make the cyclist responsible for following the law at ALL TIMES.
3. Require a cyclist license to operate on the roads.
Ah Boston! - I am sympatheticGeardaddy
Jul 26, 2002 7:52 AM
I'm from Minneapolis, but I've been to Boston a few times and it's pretty evident that cyclists are up against a lot. One of the biggest problems is that there seems to be few "secondary" roads that are good for bicycle transit. Instead it's the old adage of ye'olde cowpath that has grown up to become the one and only route for seemingly everyone to follow. I feel for ya.

Minneapolis/St. Paul did a very good thing many years ago in having separate bike and pedestrian paths that went around the city lakes and along connecting parkways. They allow city dwellers today to truly enjoy the most beautiful parts of the cities without being choked out by private property owners. The system is comprehensive enough too so that it can be used as a safe transit path through the cities as well. But alas, it has clearly reached its capacity in a lot of areas. Yes, roller-bladers have put a serious dent in the usefulness of many of the bike paths. I prefer to stay on the parkway and deal with potential "dooring" rather than the path because of the glut of people on the path (where a whole host of other "responsibility" issues exists).

This legislation about "dooring" seems silly, and probably un-enforcable. Retro-fitting separate bike paths to stem the problem seems unwieldy and costly too. Having been to a few city council meetings, I can just imagine the enormous red-tape that would need to be transgressed to get these paths built.

Perhaps the most realistic approach is to find a way to alter the "controls" over the existing roads in order to provide incentives for motorists to go on one route and bicyclists to use another. In other words, create "secondary" transit routes that would lighten the load of motorists on some routes, thereby providing safer transit for other users like cyclists. This can be done in many ways such as changing speed limits, changing the allowed areas for parking, and etc. A technique that has been effective in my local community is to simply take a section of road that was marked as four-lane with no shoulder to be two-lane with shoulder. The local community certain liked it because it slowed down traffic and reduced the "short-cutting" incentive of motorists. It also transformed the road into an ideal transit route for cyclists.

Unfortunately, things in Minneapolis/St. Paul are not getting better. There seems to be a trend in city planning to build a large grid pattern of these four-lane with no shoulder roads that isolate "communities", where they have separate bike/pedestrian paths. This is definitely a bad plan for cyclists as these bike paths dead end at the boundries of these little suburban fiefdoms. There seems to be no real planning that links communities with a comprehensive transit system in mind.

I don't need to ride on every road. I'd just like a good route (or two!) to get from point A to point B.
On the subject of bike lanesonespeed
Jul 26, 2002 5:57 AM
I was cycling through Holland just recently for a bike ride and was just amazed with the dedication to the sport. I was amazed that riding through the country from town to town the entire breadth of the country, that I could do it all in a bike lane.

You cannot plan a road in Holland without first coming up with plans for the bike throughway as well. If the rest of the world took notes on how Holland has done it we would all be better off.

The lanes were wide, seperated from the streets and even had their own stoplights. I have never felt safer while riding my bike anywhere. I never even worried about a car door.

My 2 cents.
Glad to see that someone "gets it."AllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 6:36 AM
Will it ever happen in the good ol' US of A? All the naysayers seem to think not. Nobody has bothered to answer my question about what would it take to make this happen? I guess it is too farfetched of an idea.

(Maybe we should all just move to Holland just sos we can ride on those cobblestone roads.)
Seperate bike lanes.Turtleherder
Jul 26, 2002 6:16 AM
In my area we have one of those bike lanes that runs next to and separate from the road. In some ways it is more dangerous than the road next to it. People turning across the path of the bike lane DO NOT look to see if a bike is coming. Their attention just isn't focused on the bike lane but rather on the other cars on the road. I can't count the number of times I have had to make an emergency stop to avoid running into the side of a car or truck.
Already illegal to open a door into oncoming traffickenyee
Jul 26, 2002 7:10 AM
AFAIK, you can already get a traffic citation for this. Our local politicians are clueless as usual. They really think adding redundant laws will make people magically behave, but then, a few of our politicians are convicted criminals (misdemeanors and felons). There's also no penalty for passengers who throw doors into traffic, so you can tell it's just another way to milk drivers.

What they should do is publicize that other drivers are not at fault for ripping off car doors and publish a few stories about it all over the news. That'll put some fear into people who throw open doors into traffic :-)

BTW, Allison, the other cyclist mentioned in that article that was killed was *in* a bike lane. Cambridge is one of the most bike friendly areas around here. Arlington's Mass Ave runs straight through Cambridge and Arlington is next to Cambridge, so Arlington residents should be used to lots of bikes as well.

However, Mass Ave is one of the most dangerous streets you can ride on. Lots of cars and buses on a two lane each way road (4 total) w/ cars parallel parked on both sides and a major bus route going down it and the roads are generally pretty bumpy. It's a suicide road and is stressful even driving on it.
Being "bike friendly" means nothing when the its a suicide roadAllisonHayes
Jul 26, 2002 7:36 AM
to begin with. Shit happens and it did in the case in Cambridge.

Again, a bike lane on the side of the road will still get people killed. Bike lanes in congested traffic will get people killed. Bike lanes that are shared by inline skaters will get people killed.

A separate road for cyclists will, IMHO, greatly reduce accidents between cyclists and other traffic. It will not necessarily reduce accidents with other cyclists, but I will take those improvements.

As far as cars turning into the separate bike road, that is a problem that would have to be addressed as well.

The net of all of this is that there are no easy solutions: you cannot legislate a solution; you can educate drivers but that probably will not happen. All you can do is be careful.

Get it guys: be careful out there. I don't want to read about you as a statistic.

re: &quot;Bicyclists say car doors pose lethal threat&quot; Boston Globeclintb
Jul 26, 2002 7:17 AM
Here's the plain and simple sad truth of cycling in America:
Most Americans are selfish bastards! Sometimes, myself included, but I try otherwise. And it's because of these piece of crap automobiles. Yes, they enable us to travel great distances in small amounts of time, but they have turned us into one hell of an a-hole society!

Would separate bike lanes be great? Sure, if you could change the mentality of American drivers. Unfortunately, those cars that you want to be separated from will be crossing over the bike lane and there's your problems all over again. Put cars on underground highways and let them choke on the fumes.

I'll say it another way. This country needs an enema for it's egotistical and self-centered nature! corrupted everyone?kenyee
Jul 26, 2002 7:38 AM
The problem is more our society and educational system that teaches us:
1) we can blame objects instead of ourselves
2) we should "feel good about ourselves" and ignore others' feelings
3) people should do the same things we do...if they don't, we should make laws to make them do the
4) people are too unstable to think for themselves, so we need more laws that take away their choices
5) if you had a bad childhood, we'll forgive you for your screwed up actions/behavior as an adult
6) majority shouldn't be in the minority of thought

You're doing (1)+(3)+(4), IMHO. But if (6) is true, it's more likely bike will be banned from roads...
get realDougSloan
Jul 26, 2002 7:36 AM
This country will always, always have cars and depend upon them as primary transportation. Cycling will always be largely recreational, sporting, or extremely rare mode of primary transportation. Forget about getting rid of cars. It isn't ever going to happen. Those Critical Mass people who want to ban cars are living on another planet.

As such, we need to realize that and just cooperate in using roads as safely as we can.

As for dooring, auto drivers already bear responsibility not to do this. Maybe posting signs to remind people would help. However, as a cyclist, when I pass a line of cars I either move over a door's width (checking in my handy dandy mirror first) or ride more slowly covering the brakes. You must look out for yourself, too.

Face it, when you are in a car, it is difficult to see a bike coming up from behind, even if you are looking for them. They are probably going faster than the driver might expect, and they are small compared to the other things people expect to see on the road. Driver education to be careful would help, but we have to be careful, too.

"get real" ....This from a libertarian.Ahimsa
Jul 26, 2002 8:38 AM
Doug, we aim high and shoot low brother. I'd argue that libertarians are living on another planet too, but I appreciate what they are trying to do because while it may seem improbable given the way things are, it would be nice to see some of it come to pass.


Cars are killing us in the cities, and I do not mean cyclists. No matter what your position on the subject may be, you cannot reasonably argue that individual people need noxious chemical spewing personal transports that seat multiple passengers for means of getting around a city. It has become an abomination in every respect. It is an abuse of a tool that harms others. We ban abused drugs that cause personal harm, why do we allow this charade to continue?

Cars have ruined and are continuing to ruin American cities. I'm sure I needn't cite and reference every article supporting that fact here.

Sorry mate, but you live smack dab in the middle of suburban sprawl car central. Move downtown and take a look around sometime.


maybe extremism is the problemDougSloan
Jul 26, 2002 8:48 AM
The problem I see with many who make similar arguments is that they are too extreme, depriving them of credibility. The superlatives and hyper-dramatics don't help, either. Phrases such as "Cars are killing us in the cities," "noxious chemical spewing personal transports," "Cars have ruined and are continuing to ruin American cities," and the like are difficult to take seriously, and detract from otherwise legitimate points.

You see that I agree with the basic proposition that it would be better if more people rode bikes or used mass transportation, and that more infrastructure be devoted to those alternatives, but to begin with "cars are killing people" just turns most people off. More reasonable arguments would fare better, rather than invoking an "us vs. them" and "the sky is falling" battle mentality.

But, Doug, each one of those statements is true, and legitimate.Mr Good
Jul 26, 2002 7:18 PM
Facts are facts..Auto accidents kill 50,000 people every year...spyderman
Jul 26, 2002 11:59 PM
Fossil fuels depleat our ozone layer which causes skin cancer and many more deaths.

We've got to end our dependence on the middle east for cheap fuel! The technology is there, we just have to make it profitable.

No doubt the car will be around for the rest of our lives, but this can be changed.

If you look at how the FCC is forcing the adoption of HDTV by 2006, we could also put in motion a mandate that people within a certain radius of a city have to start using mass transit. Sin taxes could be added to registration/insurance. Tax credits for not owning a car/SUV/two cars...etc. Of course the auto and oil industries will lobby against it all...

We need a government, and a society, that's more committed to building a greener earth than just building HOV lanes (Which don't work anyway).

So, I vote for Allison Hayes as our first female prez! God help us!!
The AAA response bothers me.bikedodger
Jul 26, 2002 7:59 AM
"Drivers should be careful when opening doors, but bicyclists also have a responsibility to obey traffic laws and not operate their bikes in a reckless manner, said Arthur Kinsman, spokesman for AAA Southern New England."

Nowhere in the proposed law does it say bicyclists don't have to obey laws or ride in a wreckless manner. The cyclists mentioned in the article were all riding in the approved manner when they were doored. Why did Mr. Kinsman feel that he had to add the statment about bicyclists? It seems to a backhanded way of blaming the victim.

Jul 26, 2002 8:41 AM
Unfortunately there's a pervasive "me first" attitude in Boston & Cambridge that isn't going to change anytime soon, it's endemic to the area. It's what happens when you mix a bunch of meat heads with a bunch of over educated. I should know I grew up there and it's one of the reasons why I left. You can't even get people to stop at red lights or stop signs or even get the cops to enforce these common sense laws. Now you're going to try and write a law that's fairly subjective about some one looking or not beofre they open their car door. How about they make common sense part of the test for getting your driver's license? Nah, that wouldn't be fair. Besides, someone could always claim that they "carefully" opened their door on the cyclist so they shouldn't be fined. Any one who rides a bike down Mass Ave. needs to have their head examined. It's like swimming in shark infested waters and then blaming the sharks when you get attacked. Besides - who gets the $500 fine if the cyclist gets "doored"? The city!! Beautiful.
If you weren't from Boston, I'd say you're whacked128
Jul 26, 2002 1:00 PM
but since you are, well, you already know you are.
I too grew up there(Mattapan, JP, Brookline, Cambridge, Lower Allston etc.) and I disagree with the 'Boston bad driver stereotype'(influx of 10's of thousands of NY/CT students every fall who know neither the roads or the road culture, add tourists and the one ways, yah, it's a mess but it ain't no Boston driver's fault; Boston drivers are annoited with divine abilities to drive everywhere.)LA freeway drivers are nuts, London cabbies are nuts... but that's a different point.
Here I will say, I believe Cantabrigians have their fair share of "meatheads" and Dorchester it's equal share of over edumacated...strike that, stick with the Cambrige/meathead rebuttal for know...oh, ok Dorchester has Kelly's, so there.
Budanywayz, Boston indeed is one city which, regardless of the bike issue: could easily do with a major traffic restriction in it's immediate city center. And there is no reason I can see (scheduling of course is in play) why delivery trucks in cities can't do their business from say 2-5 a.m., we could easliy re-distribute the 'crush' hours and alleviate the strain. Lots of major cities can easily do this. I'm sure they do it in those exemplary denuded(sp) European hamlets. Essentially the Big Drag, as I recall in the eighties, was to drepress the central artery (south east depress-way) and just lay a greenway in it's place. And tyhat's stil in the plan (right!) We'll see. Small NE cities, sprawling western cities; different analysis. Why people live out there is beyond me. Got water? Yup, drilled under the Reservation and drained the lakes! Good!!
re: car doors pose lethal threat but spongy SUV drivers..jrm
Jul 26, 2002 6:08 PM
Are fair game. if your going to auger in to a car door try to make sure that theres a fat, spongey SUV driver between you and the door. Or body check the shlt outta the door. If it happens to me thats how ill do it..

PS: Yelling "DOOR" before passing a occupied parked car helps a whole hell of a lot.