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Dooring Laws Stronger in Rhode Island


When praise is due, it should be given. So here's to us, Rhodies. We're doing something well:

Via Tyson Bottenus, better known as the cyclist who rode across the bay, I heard that the League of American Bicyclists is shouting out to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Oregon as places that have good dooring laws:
The dooring law in Rhode Island has several notable characteristics that help bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists understand the intent of the law. Perhaps most notably, Rhode Island is one of only three states to specifically clarify that bicyclists and pedestrians are part of traffic. In many states the dooring law only references “traffic” leaving it up to interpretation or a reference to a definition found elsewhere in the vehicle code. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Oregon clarify that bicyclists and pedestrians are protected by their dooring law. Rhode Island also clarifies that its dooring law applies to bicyclists and pedestrians on sidewalks, shoulders and bicycle lanes.
"Dooring" is, of course, the effect of being smacked off your bike by someone opening their driver-side car door into a bike lane. In the Netherlands, it is much rarer, because bike infrastructure is seldom designed to have bikes in the door zone.

Rhode Island shouldn't rest on its laurels, but should instead opt to fix any bike infrastructure that is in the door zone, such as the Broadway bike lanes, in order to preempt the problem. The last thing we want to do is fall behind because we've taken our eyes off the prize. What most of the rest of the U.S. does is so out of whack as to not be worth paying attention to. We're behind, just not as behind.

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