Portlanders frustrated with the City of Portland’s lack of action on a street that has claimed too many lives, risked their own in an effort to fix it themselves. And it turned out to work better than most people thought it would. (Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)
Division Street east of 82nd is one of the deadliest part of our entire transportation network. Designed exclusively around the use of private motorized vehicles, it’s a vast, nine-lane behemoth full of speeding, multi-ton vehicles driven by many people without regard to laws or the safety of others. It also happens to be directly adjacent to places where a growing number of Portlanders live, work and play. [Read more…]
After the two deaths on Southeast Division Street Tuesday night, family members who have lost loved ones due to traffic violence want Portland City Council to take action.
As we reported earlier this week, Kim Stone and Krisy Finney-Dunney — two of the founding members of the local chapter of Families for Safe Streets — are feeling Wednesday’s deaths with a particularly heavy heart. That’s because the two fatalities happened in the same intersections on Division that claimed the lives of their sons.
Led by Stone and Finney-Dunn, seven other women who have lost a family member have stepped forward with a demand that the City of Portland, “expedite major changes in order to slow speeds and increase safety for all on outer SE Division St.”
Here’s the full text of the letter (emphases theirs): [Read more…]
Despite all the technology; despite all the vigils; despite all the “safety campaigns”; despite all the promises from road agencies and elected officials that “safety is our number one priority” — people continue to die at an alarming rate while using Oregon roads.
To help stem this tragic tide, a small but dedicated group of bereaved family members wants us all to feel their pain — and then use those feelings to change ourselves and our streets. That was the goal of World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims, which was observed yesterday in Portland’s Waterfront Park. [Read more…]
Most of them will be gone by next week. (Photo: Oregon Walks)
On Sunday in the pouring rain, dozens of activists and family members of people who have been killed in traffic crashes erected memorials at 135 locations throughout Portland. The effort was part of the national World Day of Remembrance to End Traffic Deaths. The ghostly white silhouettes were ziptied to sign poles adjacent to some of the most dangerous major streets in the region — most of them owned and managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation.
No more than 24 hours later ODOT maintenance crews started taking some of them down.
One of the event organizers said at first she was angered, but after contacting ODOT she now plans to remove most of them this weekend.
Kristi Finney with Families for Safe Streets, whose son Dustin was killed by a drunk driver while he biked on SE Division in 2011, didn’t ask for ODOT’s permission prior to the event. “We suspected they would take them down if we affixed them to their property,” she told us via email yesterday.
Even so, Finney added, “I feel dismay that out of all the priorities ODOT should have, removing these memorials of people killed on their unsafe roads was made a top one. Really, they couldn’t even leave them through the outbound rush hour?” [Read more…]
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. [Read more…]
Families for Safe Streets has been a key force behind New York’s rapid adoption of a Vision Zero policy that prioritizes traffic safety over traffic speed. 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.”
Less than a year ago I’d never heard of the Ride of Silence. I don’t remember how I found out about the website but I came across it one day and it claimed that the organization was created for this purpose:
To HONOR those who have been injured or killed To RAISE AWARENESS that we are here To ask that we all SHARE THE ROAD
To be frank, I still wish I didn’t know what the Ride of Silence is. But now I do know, and I can’t ignore it. I can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. I can’t pretend that it’s not happening. Most of all, I can’t pretend there isn’t a reason for it… and that is what my biggest wish in all the world would be, if I could have any wish. [Read more…]
The mother of a young man killed by a drunk driver while bicycling on SE Division last year has become a dedicated traffic safety activist. Since the death of her son Dustin on August 12th, Kristi Finney has become a student of traffic safety policies and Oregon vehicle law and has devoted herself to civic engagement at every opportunity.