Compassion on the road

Reader Jack West wrote in about our recent columns on Ohio’s new law that drivers must give bikes a three-foot clearance.

“I have a concern of what would happen if a bicycle in the three-foot lane hits a car door opened by the operator of a legally parked car.” Who, he wonders, might be cited?

“I share this based upon what happened to me in 1957. I was riding my bicycle when a car door opened in front of me, and I attempted to turn to the left. But my right handlebar and pedal came in contact with the car door and my bike and I ended up on the street. Fortunately the only thing I got was scuffed knees, hands and maybe an elbow. As the driver jumped out of the car, I was concerned that I had caused damage to his car — but to my surprise, his only concern was whether I was hurt and to what degree; his car was secondary. He could see that I was scared and he assured me that his car was OK.

“I hope that should a similar situation arise today, even with the designated lanes, a reasonable degree of compassion would be shown to the rider such as I experienced.”

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