Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on June 22nd, 2012 at 5:27 pm
— See photos from the 2008 edition below. —
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
My report of the event was downright giddy and even a bit corny in retrospect:
Early this morning, as drizzle and cool winds blew, I could not have foreseen the perfect day that was to come. Not only did the sun and blue skies eventually break through, but masses of people turned out. I could not believe how many families and children I saw riding bikes and in the parks. It was simply a magnificent sight to behold.
A few hours into the event, I bumped into PDOT's Linda Ginenthal. Ginenthal is the one who spearheaded the year-long planning effort to bring this event to Portland. I don't remember what we said, but I remember a long hug and a lot of smiling...
Today was an historic day in Portland, and it wasn't about being anti-car or making a statement about the price of oil or any other "cause". Today was about bringing people together, building community in our public spaces, and turning exercise and recreation into a free and accessible celebration of our city.
On Sunday, the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) returns to North Portland, where the event was held for the first time in 2008 and where the current attendance record was set. Last year, PBOT estimated a crowd of 31,600 people at the North Portland Sunday Parkways.
Bigger crowds isn't the only thing that's changed in those five years. Sunday Parkways has gone from experiment to a huge success that wins accolades from civic leaders, citizens, and even a growing sector of the business community.
On that note, Sunday's ride will feature a special gathering of notables to demonstrate just how much support the event now enjoys. Mayor Adams and other local politicians will join "prominent Northwest business leaders" for a special ride led by Kaiser Permanente executives and physicians (Kaiser is the event's presenting sponsor).
Check out the City's website for the route map, full list of activities, and other details. I hope to see many of you out on the streets. Pray for sun and let's break the record!
And just for fun, below are some of my favorite shots from the first-ever Sunday Parkways in 2008...