Meet the Dutch Reach


What is the “Door Zone”?

Denver metro communities have made significant strides in creating safe bicycling environments, and their awareness of this critical issue continues evolving. Yet despite these efforts, inherent dangers exist, and will likely always be present. 

One such issue is referred to as the “door zone.” This is the “zone” where parked cars are adjacent to designated bicycling lanes. On routes without designated cycling lanes, this is simply the row of parked cars typical of many streets.  When motorists have parked and exited their cars, they may not be aware of bicyclists approaching them from behind. Consequently, drivers open their doors without checking for oncoming bicyclists. The potential for serious injuries from a cyclist colliding with a car door is often overlooked, especially on narrow urban streets. 


How to Stay Safe


Motorists exiting parked cars are encouraged to utilize the “Dutch Reach” concept for opening the door, using the hand closest to the center of the car (the right hand in the USA) after checking for bicyclists. This prevents accidentally opening the door into the cyclist’s path. This also conforms to the universal custom requiring 3 feet of space between automobiles and bicycles. This 3-ft safety zone also applies to bicyclists’ proximity to parked cars, although urban streets don’t always provide adequate space for this clearance. 

Like all safety considerations when bicycling, awareness and caution will greatly enhance your rides.

For more tips and safe-riding strategies, visit or stop in our shop today!

Man opening car door
Man using the Dutch reach