Dooring zones for more safety in cycling

Whe “dooring zones” are now also open to motorists and cyclists Hanau Experienced. They already exist on cycle paths on Eugen-Kaiser-Straße and on Alter Rückinger Weg. The “dooring zones” are there to avoid bicycle accidents in inner-city traffic.

Specifically, it is about situations that can be prevented relatively easily: A driver has parked and wants to get out quickly. He forgets the obligatory look in the rear or side mirror to make sure that he can get out safely. He overlooks the cyclist, who feels safe and is riding briskly on the cycle path next to the parking lane. Some cyclists also move as close as possible to parked cars in order to get more distance from moving traffic. The driver rips open the door, the cyclist crashes into it, rolls over and slams onto the asphalt. Serious injuries can result.

In order to prevent such collisions from happening again, increasingly narrow distance strips are being created between parking lanes and cycle paths, the so-called dooring zones, derived from the English word “door”. However, these only work if cyclists recognize their importance and do not drive on the strips.

Gradually more security zones

The city of Hanau wants to create such safety zones piece by piece and wherever possible along the cycle paths. The planning basis is the city’s traffic model. One of his goals is to make road traffic more bike-friendly. In addition to the construction of cycle paths, this includes avoiding sources of danger. Among the preventive things are the dooring zones, made possible by a change in the Highway Code. The opportunity was seized during the renovation of the cycle lanes on Eugen-Kaiser-Strasse and Alter Rückinger Weg and the distance zones were installed for the first time.

According to City Councilor Thomas Morlock (FDP), carelessness on the part of the driver does not always lead to dangerous situations. The cyclist is often in the driver’s blind spot and is therefore difficult to see. The additional distances would have a positive benefit for all road users.

The dooring zones consist of a security strip that creates a buffer zone of half a meter to three-quarters of a meter between the parking lane and the bike lanes. In 2023, the Hanau Infrastructure Service (HIS) company, which laid the first spacer strips, will make the Burgallee safer, among other things. In addition, the additional safety dividing strips are to be created for all newly created cycle lanes.

Cycling is an important part of the local transport plan, which is to be updated for the years 2024 to 2028. In this period of time, Hanau is not only a big city, but also becomes an independent city. These are important factors that must be taken into account in the update. The city councilors have to decide on this at their meeting on December 12th.

It should be taken into account that, according to the forecasts, more than 114,000 people will live in the city by 2035. According to municipal calculations, this means an increase in passenger numbers of around 20 percent in local public transport. The completion of large residential areas such as Pioneer Park and the Bautz site must be taken into account. Added to this is the use of Sportsfield Housing for refugees and for the Customs Academy.

Mobility model of the city of Hanau

The aim is to switch to alternative drives and to develop new, digitally supported transport services such as on-demand shuttles. The current line concept of the Hanau tram company is to be “critically reviewed” in order to become more economical. Basically, as described in the mobility concept of the city of Hanau, local public transport should be strengthened and supplemented.

Among other things, the update of the local transport plan should contain an inventory of the transport offer, an analysis of deficiencies and an evaluation of the existing offer, design goals for traffic management, statements about interfaces to regional and national transport and to the other modes of transport. The barrier-free design of local public transport and its climate-friendliness should also play a role.

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