Sunday, December 5, 2004

Getting Doored

Dell Covington, a bicycle courier was killed on Eighth Avenue in New York City because he hit an opening vehicle door. This is called getting "doored" or "dooring" in the vernacular of NYC bike messengers. The cyclist was the 14th killed in NYC this year. The New Yorker interviewed some couriers to get their perspective on this dangerous profession. Here are some of the injury reports:

Tom Clark, 34
Injuries: I've broken three fingers and fractured my elbow. It's mostly rookies that get hurt. It takes about a year to learn how to stay safe.

James Berkley, 46
Injuries: I get doored once in a while. The main thing to worry about is jaywalkers. They cause all kinds of problems.

Jack Blackfelt, 35
Injuries: Part of what makes the job less dangerous is not thinking about the danger. But [not getting doored] is like dodging a gunshot. I broke my collarbone once.

Ben Stewart, 34
Injuries: I religiously don't listen to headphones. But I got knocked out once. I don't really know what happened, but the police report said a woman stepped off a curb, I avoided her and hit a car and then hit her.

Ken Stanek, 27
Injuries: I was riding between two buses that kept getting closer together. They both started pressing on my handlebars and I had to let the bike fall out from under me.

Heard on the Street-Bike Couriers [newyorkmetro.com]
Killed on bike [newsday.com, Nov. 19, 2004]

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