Last time we heard about a cyclist nearly getting doored to death, the culprit was a plainclothes cop who gave chase and arrested the terrified cyclist. So, really, this blogger’s story of getting doored by a passenger exiting the driver-side door of a car service sedan in Long Island City on Monday evening only to be told by an indifferent NYPD officer that the incident was his own fault is rather routine. Except, obviously, it’s completely outrageous.
As the cyclist blogger “Tom” tells it, he was passing the double-parked cab in Queens at 6:15pm on Monday when he was hit in the leg by the driver-side passenger door—as opposed to running into the just-flung-open door. Knocked to the ground, the woman who opened the door “seemed concerned” while her friend exiting the cab curb-side immediately tried to blame the cyclist for being hit by the door. The cab driver drove away without providing his information, though another car service driver nearby took down the fleeing car’s license plate.
After obtaining the name and number of the woman who opened the car door, the cyclist innocently called the police to file an accident report, which didn’t go so well.
The police show up, and did not even get out of the car.
The officer asks me what happened, and specified that he wanted to know which way I was riding. I felt like from the get go he was trying to find something that I was doing wrong, like riding the wrong way on a one way street…which was not the case.
I explained that I was riding my bike, and that a car service passenger opened their door into me. The officer proceeded to tell me that I was at fault. Since the car wasn’t moving he would treat it like I ran into the car.
The officer didn’t end up filing an accident report in which the cyclist is to blame because, clearly, he couldn’t care less, but his indifference and immediate assumption of the cyclist’s guilt seem official enough. So remember cyclists: inattentive automobile drivers and passengers opening doors right next to or in front of you are your responsibility.