Thursday, April 3, 2008
Yesterday on my morning commute from Beacon Hill to Downtown Seattle, an unmarked Dodge Charger police car flashed his lights and pulled over a cyclist heading north on 12th Ave S about 150 yards in front of me, just past the Boren intersection.
Cop and cyclist were pulled off to the side in the parking area and as I was passing the scene, the cop shot his door quickly and fully out into the bike lane just a few feet in front of me as I approached. I said some choice expletives as I tried to avoid the door without getting mauled by a car passing me in the traffic lane. I actually barely managed to avoid hitting the door and being hit. The cop then yelled at my back "That's why you don't pass a car that's pulled to the side of the road, moron!" Wow, did this cop just try to intentionally teach me a lesson and/or seriously injure me? I was livid, but there is little to be gained from confronting an asshole cop. I'm guessing this guy has it in for cyclists and would love a chance to hand out more than a traffic ticket.
I've ridden along parked cars in traffic for 10 years, I know the dangers, and I ride carefully and assertively. Never in all those years have I come as close to being doored as yesterday, and it scares the crap out of me to think it was an intentional act by one of Seattle's police officers. I feel fortunate that I was not actually hit, and fortunate for the reminder that ANY person behind the wheel of a car could potentially be a malicious nut and to ride safely and accordingly.