Utah crash victims identified as Whittier brothers, San Diego bikeway fail, and Santa Ana Karen assaults bike-riding boy

Sadly, our worst fears have been realized.

On Saturday, two men identified only as brothers from California were killed when they were run down from behind by a repeat DUI driver near St. George, Utah, who claimed to be on fentanyl from being hospitalized the day before.

And told police she lost control of her car after losing control of her bowels as she was driving.

Yesterday officials confirmed the rumors spreading through the Los Angeles bicycling community were true, identifying the victims as Whittier’s Bullard brothers.

Forty-nine-year old Adam Bullard, who worked at La Mirada’s Cyclerly Bike Shop, and 48-year old Matthew Bullard were described as inseparable in life, as they were, tragically, in death; Adam’s Facebook full of bikes, while Matthew’s was devoted to family.

Another rider participating in the tour says he wishes he could forget what he saw in the aftermath of the crash, including the brothers’ shattered helmets, and shattered shards of their carbon frames strewn throughout the street.

He also reports a pair of teens in cycling gear were standing by their bodies, screaming about their dads.

Read into that what you will. But it fits with rumors that the Bullard’s teenage sons were among the first riders to come upon the scene shortly after the crash.

Adam’s last post is particularly heartbreaking in retrospect.

Their accused killer, 47-year old Julie Budge, faces twin counts of vehicular homicide, DUI and hit-and-run, as well as single counts of reckless driving and failure to stay in her lane.

She continues to be held without bail, no doubt to the relief of everyone else on the roads.

Budge was previously convicted of DUI seven years ago.

Photo of Adam and Matthew Bullard taken from Adam Bullard’s Facebook page

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Like Los Angeles before it, San Diego has learned the hard way that traffic safety projects are doomed to fail if they’re not rolled out carefully.

In LA’s case, it was the failed installation of road diets and bike lanes in Playa del Rey, which were unceremoniously ripped out at the mayor’s orders when angry drivers got out their torches and pitchforks, after getting no advance notice the changes were coming.

For San Diego, it came with the rollout of an innovative street design called advisory bike lanes, which retains curbside parking on a low-traffic street, while reducing the roadway to a single through lane, with bike lanes on either side.

Drivers traveling in either direction are supposed to share the center lane, while briefly moving into the bike lanes to pass another vehicle.

The problem was a) local residents in the city’s Mira Mesa neighborhood claimed they didn’t know it was coming, and b) had no idea how to drive in it.

The city apparently went ahead with the installation despite the lack of approval from San Diego’s Mobility Board.

And just as it did in Los Angeles, San Diego bike riders worried that the inevitable bikelash would doom plans to install advisory lanes elsewhere in the city.

Which is exactly what happened.

San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria personally went door to tell residents he had ordered the removal of the advisory lanes, and the street was going back to what it had been before.

Just like Los Angeles did. Although our mayor didn’t meet with angry drivers, let alone knock on anyone’s door.

The botched rollout, and the angry response that followed, has virtually halted all road diets in the City of Angels for five years and counting.

Let’s just hope San Diego’s advisory laws don’t suffer the same fate.

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An 80-year old Santa Ana woman faces charges after physically assaulting a 12-year old boy for riding his bike on the sidewalk.

The woman, known on social media as the “Neighborhood Karen,” confronted the boy and grabbed his handlebars, while ordering him to “get the hell off the sidewalk.”

He can then be heard asking why she hit him, to which the woman replied, “Want me to hit you again?”

All of which was caught on camera, since he was trying out his new chest-mounted GoPro.

Never mind that his mother had told him to stick to the sidewalk, because he had recently been knocked off his bike by a driver.

And never mind that it’s perfectly legal to ride a bike on most sidewalks in the Orange County city.

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A homeless camp cleanup along the LA River bike path could force riders to detour onto other routes for the next week.

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KTLA-5’s Frank Buckley is one of us, spotting a semi-flying car on his latest ride.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war on bikes just keeps on going.

Police in Austin, Texas are looking for a road raging driver who intentionally swerved into a man riding a bike, then kept going without slowing down; the assault was captured on another rider’s a helmet cam, who just happened to be facing the street as he spoke with another man.

No bias here. A Malaysian bike rider gets the blame for slamming into a woman who stepped through a condo gate and into the pathway he was riding on, even though she stepped right in front of his bike without ever looking in his direction.

But sometimes, it’s the people on two wheels behaving badly.

A Manchester, New Hampshire man faces a negligent homicide charge after crashing his bicycle into a 69-year old man walking in a crosswalk

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Local

CD4 Councilmember Nithya Raman and LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds celebrated the opening of the new parking-protected bike lanes on Riverside Drive just south of Griffith Park.

Metro is offering free bikeshare, bus and train rides on Earth Day, while Metrolink will offer free rides throughout their network.

Advance parking prices at Dodger Stadium jumped another $5 this year, to $25. But riding a bike to the ball park is still free.

 

State 

Nice to know the world may be on fire, but former California Transportation Commissioner Lucy Dunn somehow thinks traffic congestion is the state’s biggest problem, and the state should make it easier for us to all just keep on driving.

 

National

Bloomberg considers why Vision Zero has succeeded in Europe, but failed repeatedly in American cities, including Los Angeles, noting that it’s easy to commit to Vision Zero, without actually doing anything different.

No bias here. An Idaho letter writer complains about “arrogant” bike riders who hog the road by riding side-by-side, forcing drivers to — gasp! — actually slow down until it’s safe to pass. And he must know what he’s talking about, since his family owns two bikes.

The Kansas woman who pled guilty last month to running over and shooting a bike-riding because he smiled and gestured towards her has changed her mind, and now insists she didn’t do it; she’s asking the judge to allow her to change her plea.

Sad news from Arkansas, where a crowdfunding campaign has raised over $45,000 for a young Arkansas bicyclist who suffered critical burns over 63% of his body when a gas line ruptured while he was working on his truck, just before he was supposed to help lead a weekly ride; doctors give him a 50/50 chance of survival.

New York City will shut down over 100 streets to celebrate Earth Day later this month. Meanwhile, Los Angeles officials will undoubtedly mark the day by making a few pronouncements about how important it is to save the earth, while doing absolutely nothing about it.

 

International

Barron’s says bike tourism is the next frontier in luxury travel

Road.cc examines a new vehicle-to-everything system that promises to alert drivers to the presence of bike riders, and the other way around. But like every other similar system, it only works if both the driver and the person on the bike have it installed and activated. And it isn’t likely to be compatible with other systems. 

 

Competitive Cycling

Several riders competing in the Tour of Turkey crashed into a pedestrian walking in the roadway with his back to the peloton, as well as a fan who tried to pull the man out of the way; French sprinter Nacer Bouhanni was taken to a hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Italian pro Samuele Battistella was lucky to escape with a broken tooth and seven stitches to his face after hitting an unsecured piece of road furniture during Sunday’s Amstel Gold classic, and lying unconscious for 20 minute.

No wonder cyclists are so popular on dating apps.

 

Finally…

Who needs reflectors when your entire ebike frame glows in the dark? If you have to get run down by a hit-and-run driver, try to do it in front of a fire truck while everyone is watching.

And if you’re going to deliver a flying kick to a passing bike rider, try not to miss.

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Be safe, and stay healthy. And get vaccinated, already.

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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