a steering committee meeting last night in North Portland.
(Photos © Jonathan Maus)
At a steering committee meeting last night in North Portland they revealed more details about their plans, an update on their progress, and the new graphic for the event.
Slated to happen on June 22 (in conjunction with the International Carfree Conference), Sunday Parkways will offer Portlanders a chance to stroll, pedal, and play on a six-mile loop of streets that will be closed to motor vehicle traffic from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.
Inspired by a presentation at a biking and walking conference in 2006 and buoyed by the successful “Ciclovia” events in Bogota Colombia that get 1.5 million people out into the streets every Sunday (Bogota shuts down 70 miles of major roads for the event), the PDOT team hopes to someday turn this event into a regular, monthly (or even weekly) occurrence.
At the meeting last night were reps from: Fred Meyer Stores and Kaiser Permanente; Shift; Carfree Portland; the Community Cycling Center; Safer Routes to Schools (PDOT); the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition; the Bicycle Transportation Alliance; and local walking club the Rose City Roamers.
They heard PDOT Transportation Options staffer Rich Cassidy give more details on several facets of the event including: why they picked the route to go through North Portland (see map of the route here);
“North Portland was selected due to the lack of off-street paths in the area, relatively flat terrain, and great parks.”
more details on the route,
“It will be a circular, six-mile, two-way route that connects four parks — Overlook, Arbor Lodge, Peninsula, and Unthank — using “soft closures” allowing local access and using small barricades and volunteers at every intersection and Police will be on hand for the duration of the event at 13 major/signalized intersections. We tried to avoid churches and most of the route is on residential and neighborhood streets.”
community input and connections,
“We have met with all five neighborhood associations on the route, and a long list of community groups and businesses. Many of them plan on tabling at the event.”
entertainment and activities,
“The City has contacted several entertainers and many activities are planned throughout the route. We’ll have live music, hula-hooping, a kids circus, and much more. We’re looking for more zany ideas from the community.”
the need for volunteers,
“We estimate needing 400-500 volunteers to work this six-hour event. Most of them will be needed for street closure stations, but many others will be needed at the four parks and for clean up.”
how they plan to pay for it,
“The City has applied for a federal EPA grant for $100,000 [major sponsorship is coming from Fred Meyer and Kaiser Permanente]. Included in the grant is a City commitment to award funds to community groups to promote the event and to get involved.”
The PDOT team says everyone they’ve met with about the event is enthusiastic and supportive. The representative on the committee from Kaiser said, “This type of thing fits right into our community health initiative.”
Stay tuned for more coverage and details on two open houses PDOT plans to hold in