With new ‘Livable Streets’ subgroup, BikeLoud will commemorate road deaths by all modes

The Facebook page for the new “subgroup”
Livable Streets Action.

A new group called Livable Streets Action is taking the tactics that have won a string of victories for local biking this spring and summer and applying them to other modes, too.

Organizer Dan Kaufman, a videographer and longtime local social justice advocate who has helped organize demonstrations for transportation activism group BikeLoudPDX and the bike-based but non-transportation-focused group Bike Swarm, referred to Livable Streets Action as a “subgroup” of those other groups.

Livable Streets Action’s first event is tomorrow, a Friday afternoon commemoration for Marlene Popps, a woman who was hit by a car and left for dead on the evening of July 4 at the corner of SE 60th and Holgate. She died of her injuries July 21.

The event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the corner of SE Holgate and Foster, about three blocks from the site of Popps’s collision. It’s seen 22 reported traffic injuries between 2004 and 2014. Foster Road, which is due for a safety redesign next year, is one of Portland’s 10 high-crash corridors. Here’s the event listing on the Shift calendar.


“We will also take this last day of the month to remember the approximately 30 deaths on Oregon roads in July,” Kaufman wrote in his Facebook event description. “So far for the year we are 44% increase in road fatalities over 2014. Motorists account for the most deaths followed closely by pedestrians.”

Portland’s Vision Zero policy, adopted by the city council this year, aims to eliminate traffic deaths of people no matter how they are moving about the city. But in part because bicycling advocates have been particularly loud and well-organized, the issue of traffic safety has come to be closely associated with bicycling, with media reports regularly characterizing general traffic safety protests as being in support of bicycle safety. That’s prompted some discussion among BikeLoud organizers of how to better broaden their message and appeal in some situations.

In an email to the BikeLoudPDX listserv, Kaufman wrote that he hopes Livable Streets Action “can develop into a coalition of groups interested direct action in the support of liveable streets.”

Kaufman noted that Popps’ son Mike Neldon is working to raise $5000 for her memorial, and asked that people attending Friday’s action “bring a hat or bucket to help collect funds and a sign that indicates why you are there. We will be marching, collecting donations, and raising awareness at the crash site and around the intersection of SE Holgate and Foster.”

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