kristi finney

Deadly Division Street temporarily tamed with hay bales and homemade signs

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 11th, 2016 at 11:07 am

SE Division Takeover-25.jpg

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.
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Nine bereaved family members pen open letter to City Council demanding action on Division Street

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 9th, 2016 at 1:43 pm


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):
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As traffic deaths spike, ‘Remembrance Day’ reminds us of human toll

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 21st, 2016 at 2:26 pm

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.
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Most of those new traffic victim memorials will be gone soon: Here’s why

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on November 18th, 2015 at 1:41 pm


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

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 12th, 2015 at 4:01 pm

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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.
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Local traffic victims’ families will band together to form new voice for safety

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 6th, 2015 at 10:00 am

kristi finney families for safe streets

Kristi Finney talks to fellow safety advocates Monday to plan the launch of Oregon and Southwest Washington Families for Safe Streets.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A group of people who’ve lost family members on Portland-area streets has seen the success of their peers in New York City and is preparing to launch a similar organization here.

“I really am interested in behavior change, cultural change.”
— Kristi Finney

If you know anyone who has lost loved ones to traffic — whether the victim was walking, biking or driving — Oregon and SW Washington Families for Safe Streets is building its network in advance of a planned Nov. 15 launch.

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.”

[Read more…]

New website is latest effort from mother of hit-and-run victim

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 25th, 2013 at 11:40 am

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A bereaved mother whose 28-year-old son was killed by a drunk driver two years ago while biking on SE Division, has launched a website. Faces of Fatalities: Resources for Hit and Run Victims and Their Families is the work of Kristi Finney-Dunn. Since her son Dustin died in August 2011, Finney-Dunn has dedicated herself to public service and citizen activism and this website appears to be just her latest effort to spur the public dialogue around the scourge of dangerous driving and hit-and-run collisions.[Read more…]

Reader Story: What the Ride of Silence means to this mom

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 9th, 2012 at 8:52 am

[This story was submitted by Kristi Finney, who became a traffic safety activist after her son Dustin was killed by a hit-and-run driver while bicycling in Portland last August.]

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…]

Spurred by tragedy, Kristi Finney dedicates herself to activism

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 13th, 2012 at 3:00 pm

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Kristi Finney (center right) has turned grief into action
after losing her son to a drunk driver last August.
(Photos © J. Maus)

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.

We got our first hint at Mrs. Finney’s composure and compassion when, at the sentencing hearing of 19-year-old Ashawntae Rosemon (the man who struck Dustin, and then fled the scene), she looked him in the eye and said:[Read more…]

Five year prison sentence handed down in hit-and-run that killed Dustin Finney

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on December 22nd, 2011 at 9:16 am

Dustin Finney’s mom, sister, and other family members and friends look at Ashawntae Rosemon, just prior to his guilty plea in a Multnomah County courtroom yesterday.

19-year old Ashawntae Rosemon was sentenced to 60 months in prison yesterday for causing the death of Dustin Finney. [Read more…]