Tag Archive for St. George

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.

California brothers killed by stoned driver while riding in Utah, and 74-year old man missing after Long Beach bike ride

A couple quick notes before we get started. 

First, thanks for all the kind words and well wishes following my surgery. Things seem to have gone well and are progressing nicely; I have nearly full use of my left hand again, which is more than I could say before the operation. 

We have a lot to catch up on. I’ll get through as much as I can today, and try to finish up over the next few days. Including the failed rollout of an innovative San Diego street design. 

And my sincere thanks to everyone who sent in tips while I was out, especially for the story below. There’s just too many people to thank everyone individually this time, let alone keep track of.

But I’m truly grateful for all your help.

Fractured bike helmet photo by WikimediaImages from Pixabay.

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Heartbreaking and infuriating news from Utah, where two California brothers riding in the Spring Tour of St. George were killed Saturday when an allegedly stoned woman drove into the bike lane they were riding in.

The woman reportedly failed all the field sobriety tests and admitted to being on a cocktail of medications, including fentanyl, after being admitted  to the hospital the day before.

However, she claimed she lost control because she was “uncontrollably” shitting her pants as she was driving. And continued driving after striking the victims because she couldn’t get the car to stop until the badly damaged engine gave out several hundred yards away.

Sure. That could happen.

The victims were found unresponsive, and died later at a local hospital.

There’s no information on their names, or where they’re from in California. However, rumors are circulating that at least one was a popular rider from the Los Angeles area.

Let’s pray it isn’t true.

Forty-seven-year old Julie Ann Budge faces two counts of negligent vehicular homicide, as well as double hit-and-run and DUI charges for the two needless deaths. Hopefully they hosed her down before booking her.

It’s also worth noting that this is the same Utah town where NBA star Shawn Bradley was paralyzed when he was rear-ended on his bike by a driver rushing to pick up their kids at school.

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Family members are asking for help finding an elderly Mexican man who disappeared while riding a bicycle in Long Beach nearly two weeks ago.

Manuel Aboyte was last seen stopping for lottery tickets at a Circle K gas station in North Long Beach on March 30th.

The 74-year old resident of Sinaloa de Leyva was in the city visiting his sister, who was suffering from illness, and was hospitalized just before he disappeared.

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Noted media critic Eric Boehlert was one of us.

Sadly though, Boehlert was killed when he was struck by a train while riding his bike in Montclair, New Jersey last Monday evening.

The 57-year old made a career out of calling out right-wing misinformation while writing for Media Matters for America, Salon, Daily Kos and as the founder of the Press Run website.

He was also the author of Lapdogs: How The Press Rolled Over For Bush, and Bloggers on the Bus: How The Internet Changed Politics and the Press.

There’s no word on whether he rode around a railroad crossing barrier, or if it was an uncontrolled crossing or if the crash happened some other way.

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Buena Park needs your input on a proposed Complete Streets project this Thursday.

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Costa Mesa wants a minute of your time — no, literally — to introduce a new bollard-protected bike lane, as they work to install “high-quality bicycling facilities” throughout the city.

Although as we’ve seen in Los Angeles, a bike lane isn’t really protected if the bollards are spaced widely enough for drivers to park in it.

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This seems like a good time for a reminder that yellow traffic signs are advisory, and don’t carry the force of law.

Although you’ll definitely get blamed if something goes wrong after you ignore one.

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Well, it’s true.

You can get yours here. I did.

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

There’s a warrant out for a Milwaukee woman who pulled off a rare double flight from justice, first by fleeing the scene after killing a bike rider, then disappearing while out on bail after her arrest.

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

A 32-year old Milwaukee bike rider was sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting another man in front of the victim’s wife during a road rage incident, after first punching him in the face; he claimed the driver had hit him with his car and called him a racial slur. He was arrested in Kentucky after fleeing the state for six months following the shooting.

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Local

Fallen bicyclist Jeff Knopp was honored with LA’s first Yellow Bike Project sculpture; the permanent memorial will hopefully call attention to the risks people face walking and biking in the city The Marine Corps vet was killed when a driver slammed into him as he rode hid bike on Foothill Boulevard in in Sunland-Tujunga.

You only have until the end of this month to apply for a Go Human Mini-Grant to improve traffic safety, assuming you’re a nonprofit or community-based organization.

Streets For All is hosting a Zoom mobility debate between CD 9 Councilmember Curren Price and challenger Dulce Vasquez on April 24th.

Lancaster received a $5 million grant for the two-mile Amargosa Recreational Trail Project, complete with protected bike and pedestrian trails, as well as public art, along Amargosa Creek.

 

State 

A San Diego man suffered a fractured collarbone and left wrist when he “collided with” a minivan driven by an 80-year old woman in an apparent left-cross crash while riding his bike.

Road.cc offers a look at “ten stunning road bikes” from last week’s Sea Otter Classic in Monterey.

Sad news from Modesto, where a 62-year old man was killed riding his bike in a hit-and-run Saturday night; police are looking for the drivers of two pickups who appeared to be traveling together.

38-year old Oakland bike rider suffered severe head trauma when he was struck by the driver of a Cadillac Escalade who ran the red light, when fled the scene following the crash.

 

National

The new owner of the Denver Broncos could be one of us; 77-year old Walmart heir Rob Walton is reportedly preparing a $4 billion bid for the team, nearly 40 years after competing in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii.

A broadcaster for NHL’s Las Vegas Golden Knights hockey team is one of us, after suffering “significant injuries” in a bicycling crash. However, it’s not clear if he was struck by a motorist or fell off his bike.

Colorado’s state legislature has approved a true Idaho Stop Law, allowing riders to treat stop signs as yields and red lights as stop signs; the bill is now on the governor’s desk awaiting his signature. Hopefully it won’t suffer the same fate as California’s attempt to allow bicyclists to treat stop signs like yields, which was vetoed by Governor Newsom last year.

This is the cost of traffic violence. Twenty-four-year old Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins was killed when he was run down by the driver of a dump truck as he attempted to walk across a Florida highway.

Former Olympic figure skating gold medalist Scott Hamilton is planning to ride 444 miles along the Natchez Trace Parkway through Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee in hopes of raising $1.25 million to help fight glioblastoma multiforme, the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

 

International

A British Columbia man is fighting back after the provincial driver’s insurance agency billed him $3,700 for damage to the Mercedes-Benz that ran him down as he pedaled through an intersection, somehow concluding he was 50% at fault for the crash — even though the driver ran the stop sign.

This is who we share the road with. In yet another example of authorities keeping a dangerous driver on the road until it’s too late, a 22-year old British man will spend 30 years behind bars for using a stolen car as a weapon to run down another man outside a pub, dragging him under his car; he was accused of using a vehicle as a weapon twice before, yet somehow kept driving until he killed someone.

Heartbreaking photo of a man walking his bicycle past the ruins of a building destroyed by Russian shelling in Chernihiv, Ukraine.

A 26-year old Kenyan man is riding his bicycle to campaign for governor of the country’s Nakura County.

 

Competitive Cycling

Former cycling scion Taylor Phinney sheds light on his unexpected retirement from the WorldTour, saying pro cycling is “fucked up,” due to a culture of drug abuse and silence.

Polish pro Michal Kwiatkowski was declared winner of Sunday’s Amstel Gold classic in a photo finish with France’s Benoit Cosnefroy, who had initially been awarded first place until photos confirmed Kwiatkowski crossed the finish line just in front of him.

Dutch pro Milan Vader was reportedly in stable condition following a major crash on a descent during last week’s Tour of the Basque Country, suffering a broken collarbone, vertebrae and shoulder blade, as well as having stents placed in his carotid artery. Aussie Lucas Hamilton was a lot luckier, walking away with a bloody nose after frightening flip over a guard rail

I was today years old when I learned that WorldTour cycling teams face relegation, just like soccer teams.

Former German great Jan Ulrich raised the equivalent of over $43,700 for children in Ukraine by auctioning his custom yellow Pinarello from the 1998 Tour de France; the never-used bike was created for him to ride into Paris for what would have been his second consecutive Tour win, until he was upset by Marco Pantani.

 

Finally…

That feeling when you’re afraid a new protected bike lane will offer a getaway route for criminals. When you can’t ride your bike because a bird built a nest in it.

And who wants to leave your dog at home, anyway?

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

Oh, and fuck Putin, too.

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