Sadly, we must share with you the news that on Thursday,
March 21, Susie Stephens of Winthrop, Washington, was
struck and killed by a tour bus while crossing a street in
St. Louis, Missouri. She was 36.
Susie was a leading bicycle and pedestrian safety advocate.
She was in St. Louis in a consulting role to the National Center for Bicycling & Walking (NCBW), helping manage a two-day training conference on innovative approaches to transportation, sponsored by the USDA Forest Service and the US Department of Transportation.
"Susie was one of those rare, exceptional people who not
only envisioned a better future, but took decisive action
to realize that vision," said Pete Moe, NCBW's Deputy
Director. "This is an immense and personal loss for all of
us who share her vision for more livable, sustainable, and bicycle-friendly communities."
Susie's career in bicycling and pedestrian advocacy spanned more than a decade. For six years she served as the executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington, growing the organization (formerly the Northwest Bicycle Federation, NOWBIKE) from a small local group to a statewide political player.
She was also instrumental in the formation of the
Thunderhead Alliance, a national coalition of more than 40 state and local bicycle advocacy organizations. She was a founding board member of that organization, and served as its managing director from March of 2000 until the organization moved its headquarters in 2001 to Washington, D.C.
"Susie was phenomenal with people," said Bill Wilkinson,
NCBW's executive director. "She was one of those people who could light up a room just by walking into it."
"She was effective, she was determined, she was good, and
she was fun to be around," added Mike Greehan, Interbike's advocacy director.
Susie operated her consulting business from her home in Winthrop, Washington. She made her home in the Methow Valley, surrounded by the rugged north Cascades mountain range. She was an avid mountain bicyclist and bicycle commuter, and contributed many hours to the Methow Valley Conservancy.
Her ride ended too soon.
St. Louis Post Dispatch article: http://home.post-dispatch.com/channel/pdweb.nsf/TodayFriday/86256A0E0068FE5086256B84003B0DBA?OpenDocument&PubWrapper=A-section
Bikes Belong/BRAIN reprint: http://bikesbelong.org/site/index.cfm