Cyclists and motorists are both equally-entitled road users, and both can benefit from sharing. More cyclists means less traffic and parking competition, and less wear and tear on the roadways, but can mean a bit of an adjustment in driving. (Clip art image)

Cyclists and motorists are both equally-entitled road users, and both can benefit from sharing. More cyclists means less traffic and parking competition, and less wear and tear on the roadways, but can mean a bit of an adjustment in driving. (Clip art image)

COLUMN: Watching out for getting doored on Cariboo Roads

Another hazard for cyclists is parked car doors, but drivers can help by giving space

This column is correspondence between Maddie the Motorist, and Byron the Bicyclist. It is meant to educate and as well as entertain the reader.

Dear Byron the Bicyclist;

I would now like to ask you a question. Going to work the other day, I was driving on Oliver Street and stopped at Third Avenue for the traffic light. In front of me, fully in my lane was a bicyclist.

As the light turned green, he went ahead of me not allowing me to pass. In fact, he went in the middle of the lane so it was impossible to pass! What a pain! I have to get to work in time!

What is up with that? Is it legal?

Signed; Maddie the mad Motorist

Dearest Maddie;

Don’t be mad. That was probably me that day. When the light turned green, I did not allow you to pass because it isn’t safe for me or legal for you.

There are cars parked on that side of the street and a solid line in the middle so there is no room for you to legally pass.

I am riding in the centre of the lane to avoid getting hit by the doors of parallel parked cars. I do not want to get doored.

What is getting doored? Getting doored is when a motorist or driver side passenger in a parallel parked vehicle opens his or her door in front of me and I crash into it. I had one very close call myself right in front of the Tribune.

A few years ago, my niece got a bad concussion from being doored. It took her two years to get over it.

Taking the whole lane is called “owning the road” in cyclist lingo. It is sometimes necessary for both driver and bicyclist.

In the next column I will explain to the parallel parked driver and passenger how to prevent dooring a bicyclist.

Signed; Byron the careful Bicyclist

Bert Groenenberg is a cyclist and pedestrian who has mainly biked or walked to work on Oliver Street for 30 years.

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