ellen vanderslice.
radical pedestrian.


Susie Stephens died Thursday, March 21, 2002,
while crossing the street. She was 36 years old.


For a story about Susie's death in the Seattle Times, click here.

For more about Susie, click here.

Not Susie. No. Please.

Susie Stephens, she of the two-thousand lumen smile, struck and killed by a left-turning tour bus while crossing the street in St. Louis, where she was preaching the gospel of transportation reform? Can the universe be so cruel?

I mourn her. I mourn her as a friend, as an activist, as the "bright light" in our world of transportation that Bill Wilkinson named her, and named her truly. It is a loss that hits the heart hard. Not Susie. No. Please.

If you were there, you'll never forget beautiful, brave Susie standing up after lunch at ProBike/Pro Walk '98 in Santa Barbara. "There is no viable movement without music," she said, and lifted her voice in that old spiritual. If you weren't there, imagine 500 voices filling the room with her new words:

Ain't gonna let nobody
Turn me around, turn me around, turn me around,
Ain't gonna let nobody
Turn me around,
Gonna keep on biking, keep on walking,
Gonna build a brand new world.

Susie, I love you. I will miss you so; I ache for all our friends who love you. As humans we have to search for meaning and make a story out of the essentially meaningless shit that happens. What story can we make from your death, Susie? Like you, we can live, really live every moment of our lives, however many moments we're granted. And damn it, Susie, ain't gonna let nobody turn us around.

Susie Stephens
Photo courtesy Bikes Belong

Catherine Ciarlo, Susie Stephens and Randy Neufeld at the March, 2001, National Bike Summit in Washington, DC.
Photo courtesy Bikes Belong


Some radical pedestrian notions:



Why Walk?
Why Not?

This page was last updated 7/28/02. Problems? info@ellenvanderslice.com