ADAPT TO START YOUR LOCAL PROJECT
A Behavior Change Campaign to Prevent Dooring of Cyclists
Dooring is a pervasive danger for [our city's] residential and commuting cyclists. Rare is the urban cyclist without a 'near-doored experience' or worse. Ahead, doors fling open unexpectedly from left as well as right. Door collisions and swerve crashes comprise 12 to 16% of bicycle crashes, one-third of all car-bike related “accidents”. It is likely the single most common cause of harm and concern for urban cyclists. Current solutions properly executed – vigilance and safer infrastructure – help. But a large safety gap remains.
Reach Over the Safety Gap: The Dutch closed this gap years ago, with a simple, far-hand Reach. It makes door safety automatic. In brief: “Reach, Swivel, Look, Open.” By opening the door with your far hand, you turn and naturally face out and back. It cures blind spots, counters door flinging, and slows full opening, It gives cyclists warning and time to response safely. The Reach is inculcated in Dutch road culture by schooling, licensing and social solidarity. The Reach habit also curbs rash exits and injuries to otherwise imprudent children and adults. It helps protect everybody.
Path to Reach Solution –
Going Dutch: A coordinated multi-faceted educational outreach and advocacy campaign involving a broad coalition of cycling, transportation, safety, private and public sector groups and resources is needed. In [our metropolitan area], a campaign can be jump started by creative use of social media. Compelling presentation of the risks and the Dutch solution can teach the Reach maneuver to the most receptive and wired demographics: commuter cyclists and 'metro-cyclo' Millennials, their friends, classmates and co-workers who are drivers and passengers if not cyclists, and constantly sharing content via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.
Campaign Initiation --
Actions & Content: Standard research, networking and outreach is underway to introduce and assess interest in the Reach by relevant non-profits, civic officials, agencies, experts and community leaders. Initial messaging, logo &/or sign-graphic must be created, and funding plans devised.
A compelling Reach debut YouTube is here imagined and proposed [Done! See Outside Magazine Online's The Dutch Reach: Safe for Work] to set off a wave of awareness and ‘Likes’ by the target demographic -- launching a wired “Reach Teach-Out.”
Available Go-Pro video of actual doorings may be used to stir a Kickstarter for funding for campaign start-up.
As recognition of its merits mount, a larger coalition will be assembled to broaden public outreach and advocacy to bring the Reach Best Practice into public schools and Massachusetts’ driver education, transportation and public safety programs and culture. A successful launch coupled with content available on a campaign website will allow other cycling cities to join, strengthen and spread this anti-dooring Reach campaign.