As of Sunday, Pittsburgh will be one dozens of cities worldwide with a Susie Tree, named after Susie Stephens, the former executive director of the Bicycle Alliance of Washington in Seattle and the first Executive Director of the Alliance for Biking & Walking (which I’m on the board of). She is one of the founders of the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy movement. A bit over 10 years ago, about the same time that Bike Pittsburgh was being founded, Susie tragically lost her life when a car hit her while walking across the street in St Louis.
But this tree isn’t meant to be a memorial tree. It’s meant to celebrate life and celebrate a movement. One that is making cities and towns healthier, more livable, and more fun throughout the world, and that’s why we want you to join us on Sunday at 12:30pm in Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville for this tree planting. We’ve had a tough year in terms of hit and runs and aggressive driving and losing friends, family and our fellow bike riders. But that’s not going to keep us from keeping doing what we love and trying to keep making our city more and more bicycle and pedestrian friendly.
So hopefully we will see you in Arsenal Park on Sunday for a brief, ceremony/celebration with the planting of a symbol for our movement that will remind us always, that we’re doing what is right, what is needed in our communities, and that the future of Pittsburgh is one where everyone can safely walk and bike.