, 27 tweets, 14 min read Read on Twitter
I had an epic #bikenyc day yesterday, until I got doored and knocked off my bike for the first time. I’m fine, just angry that a For Hire Vehicle passenger’s carelessness and bad infrastructure hurt me and could’ve killed me. 1/
I was riding home from a friend’s bday dinner in the Village, heading east on Houston Street to 1st Ave, which I take up to the Queensboro Bridge. On the last block, I rode in the “bike lane” between the vehicles poised to turn right and the cars positioned to go straight. 2/
As I was riding through the stopped vehicles, about to make my left onto 1st Ave, an SUV passenger in the going-straight lane (far away from the curb) flung the right rear door open into me and knocked me down in the “bike lane.” 3/
I jumped up and started shouting explicatives. I felt ok, but I wasn’t sure about my bike. I walked in front of the vehicle and took a pic of the plate because that felt proactive and I knew that if anything was wrong with me or my bike I’d have no recourse without this info. 4/
This guy (a passenger in the FHV) came around and asked if I was ok. I kept shouting at him. He told me he wasn’t even the one who opened the door. I told him that I was fine, but needed to pull over to check my bike. The light turned green and there was a barrage of honking. 5/
I walked north to the pedestrian island and he didn’t follow. He joined his friends on the south side of Houston. The driver drove away. I was physically ok and I didn’t want to wait around and deal with @NYPDnews, even though I was the victim of a crime. 6/
I remembered when @makequeenssafer asked @NYPD108Pct why the woman who doored Aaron Padwee wasn’t charged. She knocked him down & he was run over by an unlicensed truck driver. They said “that poor woman didn’t mean to kill him and we had to look at the full chain of events.” 7/
That response made me feel sick. I also thought of @NYPDnews’ recent behavior (dangerously knocking people off their bikes “in response to” a cyclist getting killed on 8th Ave) and didn’t feel confident that they would help me. 8/
I did everything exactly right. I rode in the “bike lane,” where I was supposed to be, not going too fast, I had a 500 lumen headlight, reflective vest, helmet, and bell, but none of these things protected me from an FHV passenger’s stupidity. 9/
There was nothing to do other than fix my bike (the chain had slipped off) and ride home. From that point, the rest of my route home was entirely on #protectedbikelanes and I decided to get moving because I feel calmer when I’m rolling than I do standing around. 10/
I was still angry, so I rang my bell consistently for the first 10 blocks of 1st Ave and yelled at pedestrians who were hanging out in the bike lane. I rarely do that unless they’re putting me in imminent danger. I know it's not right. 11/
Finding the dark humor in getting doored, I realized that if that careless FHV passenger actually killed me, my last meal would’ve been @deninos_nyc pizza & mozzarella sticks, followed by cannoli cream cake from Veniero's. Not bad. #bikenyc 12/
The rest of my ride home was thankfully uneventful (just one cab in the 1st Ave PBL) and I was more grateful than ever that 43rd Ave is protected. Actually engineering streets to protect people on bikes from reckless & oblivious motorists is crucial. 13/
When I got home and I took my gloves off to get my keys out, I saw that my left index finger was cut & bleeding. Everything I touched had blood on it: my pants (where I was checking to see if I banged my knee in the same place I’d banged it 4 months ago,) my face & my helmet. 14/
The superficial blood smear over the superficial “Vision Zero” slogan on my @NYC_DOT helmet seemed like a perfect metaphor for bike safety in much of NYC.

***I did not hit my head. The blood was from my finger and I’m ok.*** 15/
I don’t have a video camera like @driversofnyc, @chesneycheckers and others who frequently document #bikenyc instances like this one, but I wish I did. I submitted a @nyctaxi complaint via @reported, but it’ll be weeks or months before little, if anything comes of it. 16/
I hope the POS who doored me spent their night out feeling guilty and didn’t have any fun, but they probably forgot all about me moments later. I’ve spent my day dabbing Neosporin on my finger, feeling lucky it wasn’t worse, but angry the POS will face zero consequences. 17/
I expect some cynical responses about how doorings, crashes, and abuse are the inevitable #bikenyc reality, but I don’t accept that. It doesn’t have to be this way and this should never have happened. There are solutions: 18/
1. @NYC_DOT can #FixHoustonStreet. It’s wide and there’s room for a #protectedbikelane. They can also create safe #loadingzones to discourage people getting in and out of cabs from jumping out in the middle of the street. 19/
2. The @nyccouncil/@NYCSpeakerCoJo can do so much more to reform and reduce the FHV industry. There are too many vehicles, too many of them are SUVs (which should be banned in NYC,) rides are too cheap, they pay drivers too little, and they do not take safety seriously. 20/
3. All FHV drivers should be FORBIDDEN by law from discharging passengers in the middle of the street. Even if it is not a law, FHV companies should discourage drivers from doing so. It’s dangerous for everyone. 21/
4. All FHVs should have stickers/decals near all passenger door handles reminding passengers to look before opening doors, as sadly too many people do not. FHV companies should provide them to drivers and inspect vehicles to make sure they are displayed correctly. 22/
5. The @nysdmv & @nycschools must teach all drivers and students about the #DutchReach. This is a smart move that trains people to look out for oncoming cyclists and drivers. dutchreach.org 23/
6. #FixTheSubway! It’s absurd that I was doored by an able-bodied person exiting a FHV within a block of the 2nd Ave F train stop. These people did not need a FHV to get to this location. Their convenience should not jeopardize my safety. 24/
7. There are more steps our city can take to protect #bikenyc from doorings, but here are some petitions we can all sign to #FixOurStreets and #BootBadDrivers. 25/


Anyway, I’m ok and my life will go on. I’ll be 29 on Thursday and I will keep riding. #Bikenyc brings me so much joy, and helps me love my life, my city, my community, and myself. Riding makes me feel braver, happier, freer, healthier, sharper, and I’m not giving that up. 26/
I will keep advocating for more protected #bikenyc lanes, #safestreets, #congestionpricing, #transportationequity, and #climateaction. These things can’t wait. As I was reminded last night, our lives depend on them. 27/27
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