Are Bicyclists Causing Justifiable Frustration for Motorists?

Two highly-publicized incidents may scratch the surface of a larger problem.


This week, an unusual incident in San Mateo brought to light a new idea: Bike Rage.

On Tuesday, that the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office had filed charges against two men accused of intentionally trying to run over a pair of teenage brothers riding on their bicycles in San Mateo on Sunday.

Jason Ramiro Hernandez-Lopez, 24, and Dian Burton, 31, both San Mateo residents, were arrested Sunday following the incident.

According to prosecutors, Hernandez-Lopez drove up behind one of the brothers and intentionally bumped the rear tire of the bicycle with his truck.

The victim didn't fall, but instead turned onto the sidewalk area to escape and dropped his bicycle.

Hernandez-Lopez then allegedly drove onto the sidewalk and over the bicycle, which he dragged behind his pickup truck for several blocks, causing significant damage to the bicycle, prosecutors said.

While Hernandez-Lopez was driving over the bike, Burton, who was in the passenger seat, allegedly pulled out a fixed-blade knife and waved the knife at the brothers, according to prosecutors.

Hernandez-Lopez has claimed the teenage brothers were swinging chains at them as they drove by, and that he never struck or dragged the bicycle. Burton denies the incident occurred.

Meanwhile, eight days ago in San Francisco, a bicyclist was charged with felony vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of a pedestrian he struck in San Francisco's Castro District in March. According to Bay City News, Chris Bucchere, 36, struck 71-year-old Sutchi Hui at Market and Castro streets.

Witnesses reported that Bucchere, who was riding south on Castro Street, struck Hui as he walked east in a crosswalk with a green light at the time of the collision. Hui died at a hospital on April 2.

Bucchere was allegedly "trying to break his own record" time on a popular bike route from Marin County into San Francisco.

According to the San Francisco district attorney, he is being charged with a felony rather than a misdemeanor because witnesses reported that the cyclist committed "a pattern of vehicle code violations" prior to the collision, including by running red lights and stop signs at other intersections.

What do you think? Have the actions of bicyclists on the roads made you mad? Do you feel some 'bike rage' from time to time? Should there be more traffic violations given to bicyclists? Or are those on bikes generally good citizens, with incidents like these isolated and not frequent?

Let us know with your comments, then vote in the poll below.

sister madly June 25, 2012 at 07:36 PM
in palo alto it's families riding four abreast (when was the last time you saw cars driving down a residential street for abreast?) that glare you down as you carefully pass on the street that make me want to run the whole lot of 'em over. them and the teenage boys who dart in and out in front of your car...SINGLE FILE! SINGLE FILE!
sister madly June 25, 2012 at 07:36 PM
four ...i hate my keyboard!
Margaret Pye June 25, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Regarding "commuter's" comment: yes, this agrees with my observations. Motorized vehicles come to complete stops at stop signs pretty much never. (see my "Washcycle" link above)
Cyn Stern June 26, 2012 at 03:34 AM
And another thing: Virtually no cyclists nowadays seem to realize that driving on the sidewalk (unless the sidewalk is a designated bicycle path) is illegal. The police usually choose to not enforce this law--probably because they have more-pressing things to do. Where I live, in San Mateo, sidewalk-riding cyclists behave as if THEY have the right-of-way!
Reality Check June 26, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Fearful and/or well-meaning parents often instruct their children to ride on the sidewalk because they mistakenly think their kids will be safer that way.


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