TagWTTW

My television interview about dooring data

Last week you heard me on WGN 720 AM talk about bicycling in Chicago and my bike crash map.

This week you’ll get to see me talk about bike crash and dooring data on WTTW’s Chicago Tonight program. It comes after a rule change announced on Sunday: the Illinois Department of Transportation will begin collecting crash reports for doorings. Previously, these were “unreportable.”

WTTW reporter Ash-har Quraishi came over to my house Thursday to ask me about what kind of information the crash data I obtained from IDOT includes and excludes.

Best comment ever from someone who probably drives a car

Whet Moser mentioned recently in the Chicago Magazine blog that he’s more afraid of spiteful comments from readers than new data that may show there’s a huge number of dooring bike crashes going on in Illinois.

Whenever an article about some modest improvement in the lives of bicyclists is published, in this case news that the state of Illinois is going to start tracking when bicycle accidents involve doorings, the comments section will inevitably be filled with vitriol, and I can’t help but read it. There’s no other public forum in which people wish death on their fellow citizens like the comments to a story about biking. And I find it grimly fascinating, like a moral gapers block.

In line with a story that aired Thursday night about doorings and this new rule about collecting data, WTTW channel 11 (Chicago’s PBS affiliate) started a discussion thread title, “Should drivers be more courteous and mindful of bikers?” I think WTTW has a wildly different audience than those who read the Chicago Tribune online. And the comments, so far, reflect this.

A fairly respectful (and unidentified) commenter suggested a great idea that may have a positive impact on visibility of bicyclists:

Perhaps bikers should be required to have a daytime running lamp on the front of their bikes so that they are more visible in a motorist’s side mirror?

I often ride my bike with my headlight on. This is not a half-bad idea!

Outfitting Chicago bicyclists with bike lights in Wicker Park.

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