Didn't dawn on me til I learned more housing/transpo policy that
Oh hey
Sum1 I love was put in a months' coma & died b/c a driver hit them while skateboarding down a street w/o a sidewalk
The trauma I &his fam &friends hv from it is life-altering & nvr goes away. No1 watched btw.
I love his family so much. They are all such good, amazing, wonderful fucking people. I still talk to his mom and keep tabs on his lil sis--who is getting married?!

He was 16 years old.
The thing is

It NEVER crossed my mind that this didn't have 2happen if the street was just...not like that. It NVR crossed my mind to be mad or upset at the driver (still kind of doesn't make sense to do that tho per se). Policy &accessibility to these systems inform our lives.
We should be able to have our freaking streets set up for us all to use them safely no matter what mode of transportation we're using.

This street had no sidewalks. No lights. No street lamps.

He was skating from his own home to his best friend's house.
3 yrs l8r, my best friend--still is--got a call saying a driver hit & killed her mom while she rode her bicycle.

Again. A street w/o sidewalks, no bike lanes, no shoulder, +v curvy. This time in daylight. It was close to a highway ramp. Rural town btw.

Still didn't dawn on me.
My best friend was only 18/19 at the time & was about to hear back from college applications.

Her mom's memorial bicycle post is still set up by that highway ramp &every time I go back home, it has new 🌸s. Every time.

Her single gma became the new guardian of her &her lil sis
Every. Single. Year. Was the BIGGEST struggle for her to complete FAFSA for college. All because of a driver, a large vehicle, and street structure.

Her oldest sibling had to pay off all the debt. They got endless predatory calls from collectors. It was awful.
None of this--literally none of it--has to B like this. We don't have2 depend on cars, we don't have2 go into debt to buy & maintain & insure them, we don't have2 go into debt paying medical bills b/c of them, we don't have2 pollute the planet for them...
and our streets don't have to cater to cars. In fact, streets need to cater to people.

This includes families, teenagers, children, people living with disabilities (visible or not), people who can't drive (tons of different reasons for this), and communities.
This^ realization came not after the person I love got hit by a car and died, not after my best friend's mom did too, but 9 and 6 years, respectively, after the fact.

Thank you to so many of you doing #housing/#transportation work, and for letting me learn from you. Thank you.
Note: street infra as currently designed waits until it hits a threshold of deaths for cities to change the way it's built. Sounds a little backwards, right?
Another note: many think we hv too many taxes 2support transit/bikes/walking--tru the taxes in WA most disproportionately impact low income but that's a whole other problem--but...cars taking up space [most inefficiently, too] 4free is the biggest subsidy our taxes pay re:transpo
Dunno if there's a difference in people's minds between skating as in roller blades or as in skateboards but it's the latter here.
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