‘Families for Safe Streets’ to launch Sunday on national day of remembrance

Powell protest ride-55.jpg

Kristi Finney at a protest on Powell Blvd in May.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A new organization for people whose lives have been changed by traffic violence will hold its first public event this weekend.

As part of the World Day of Rememberance for Road Traffic Victims, members and supporters of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets will meet noon Sunday at 1805 NE 2nd Ave. in Portland, the headquarters of Oregon Walks and the Community Cycling Center. Anyone is welcome.

From there, they’ll meet for fellowship and then break into carpools and bike trains “to place memorials at crash sites along high crash corridors to build awareness and honor those who’ve died.” The group hosted an event this week where volunteers cut out cardboard in the shape of humans.

Hot coffee, cider and snacks will be provided; bring a mug. The event is expected to last four hours. Not everyone will need to bring a vehicle.


As we reported last month, this new group is inspired by Families for Safe Streets in New York City. This spring, NYC transportation advocate Paul Steely White told us he’d “never seen a campaign have so much influence over elected officials in such a sort time.”


Cardboard cutouts will be placed at crash sites.
(Photo: Familes for Safe Streets)

The group based here in the Portland area has been convened by Kristi Finney, who became a vocal and respected safety advocate after her son Dustin was killed in 2011 by a drunken driver on Division Street.

The group of local families hasn’t yet settled on a political agenda, but aims both to provide support to the families of victims and to help them have a voice in political changes to make Portland-area streets less dangerous.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen (Contributor)

Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.

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8 years ago

this is exactly what we need to reframe the traffic safety debate.

Roxanne nolen
Roxanne nolen
6 years ago

So sorry for those that have lost a loved one. I can’t begin to truly grasp the heartache you have endured. I think you guys are doing a very good job. I would like to see a community based program that kind of took off back in my childhood but didn’t last long. It was a block hone or safe house project where if you had a problem like being bully ed on your way to or from school you could go to any home with a block home sign in the window and they would help you. If you were being followed or hurt etc. The families in the neighborhood kind of watched out for all the kids. I don’t know how it would work but I think with all the evil out there we as parents need to help protect kids as a comunity. Sorry if this isn’t where I should poat this I just saw safekids and it reminded me of how I felt safe everyone I saw a sign in the window on my way to or home as a child.