.a courier friend once claimed that, “everyone gets hit eventually” and i never wanted to believe him.
i was biking to work today down the liberty ave bike lane/path and right before liberty + s millvale a car abruptly stopped in the middle of the road to let a passenger out. the door opened and i didn’t stop fast enough, hit it, and went flying over my handlebars. i took most of the weight with my right arm, luckily didn’t hit my head or bust my teeth.
the driver stopped and was insistant that we walk to the hospital. police officers and hospital workers were inside. the driver told her side of the story, placing the blame on me for “riding into the door” although the passenger failed to use her rearview mirror and the driver didn’t put on blinkers or anything – just stopped in the middle of the road and swung the door open. they tried to get me to go to the er, but i refused because of no health insurance. i got into an accident while in college and went to the er, just to walk in is about $1000 – i don’t have that kind of money. the driver started complaining about how she had to “get to work.” “you just hit me with your car, i think work should be your second concern,” was my response. the cops claimed that it was my fault for “biking into the door.” after that, i stormed out of the hospital and rode to work. i’m okay, just shaken and scraped up with a swollen ankle.
i just wanted to get this out there because i’ve been hearing about folks getting doored frequently since the bike lanes/path went in. sometimes bike lanes can give people a false sense of security. i don’t think they are a bad thing, in theory they give cars a “heads up” that bikes are present and plentiful.. but the cars are still out there and drivers/passengers are still aloof. geez, yesterday i saw a motorcycle using the lane and driving alongside cars! getting doored on a motorcycle would be brutal.
just be careful riding and watch for open doors! i’ve been riding bikes around pgh for the last 5 years and this is my first city accident. i’m just really thankful that it wasn’t a lot worse.