Cycling educator John Forester gets a lot of flak from people who reject his advocacy of cycling skills, preferring a populist, facilities-based “paint and path” approach.
Forester has brought abuse upon himself with his abrasive, confrontational style. But let’s not anybody forget that Forester was a game changer. His book Effective Cycling, first published in the 1970s, pioneered with its advice on crash avoidance maneuvering, lane positioning, preparing for turns, nighttime equipment needs — supporting this advice with a review of research literature.
Recently, Forester also has been criticized from another side, for not recommending assertive enough lane positioning. (I understand that he has revised his advice in the recent 7th edition of his book, Effective Cycling — though I haven’t read that yet.)
Still, Forester’s advice on avoiding car-door collisions in the early editions of Effective Cycling — though a bit weak by current standards — was very different from that of other cycling authors. I’d say that Forester pushed the indicator needle about 3/4 of the way across the dial.
My comparison of advice on avoiding car-door collisions in four books from the 1970s: Forester’s, and the very popular ones from Eugene Sloane, Fred DeLong and Richard Ballantine — makes all this clear enough, I think.