Western Bikeworks Bike MS Kickoff Party

Updated: Thousands of smiles mark success of Sunday Parkways

Posted by on June 22nd, 2008 at 9:59 pm

[Updated 6/23, 10:10am: I’ve updated this story with video coverage. Watch it below.]

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Babes on Bryant Street and not a care in the world.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Portland’s first-ever experiment with a large-scale carfree event was a rousing success.

Sunday Parkways transformed the streets and parks of North Portland into a six-mile community block party. Thousands of Portlanders (PDOT estimates 15,000) of all shapes, sizes and colors pedaled, skated, and walked among their neighbors and friends while taking in live music, performances, and a myriad of activities.

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Learning to hula-hoop at
Arbor Lodge Park.

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.

I did not stop smiling from about 8:05 this morning until I left Peninsula Park at around 2:30.

The crowds along N. Kerby Ave.

I spoke with an elderly woman zooming down Holman Street on her electric wheelchair. She was giggling like a child, telling me how great it was to be outside and not have to worry about cars.

I saw three and four year-old kids riding tiny tricycles with reckless abandon down the middle of the road.

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A scene from Peninsula Park.
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Tye-dye brings people together.

I had a nice chat with Captain Larry O’Dea and Lieutenant Bryan Parman of the Portland Police Bureau’s Traffic Division (they were both riding bikes!).

At Arbor Lodge Park, I watched a 60-plus year-old man, with his helmet still on, laughing as he tried to keep a hula-hoop going.

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The Sprockettes were a big hit.

The Sprockettes entertained one of their largest, youngest, and most appreciative crowds I’ve seen in the three-plus years I’ve been watching them.

Homeowners along the route did their part too. There were bake sales, lemonade stands, garage sales, I even saw one entrepreneurial kid selling his old toys for 5 cents a piece. One woman, near Arbor Lodge Park, had a sign hanging in the tree in her front yard. It read, “Howdy neighbors! Stop for a cool drink.” When I passed she was chatting with a young couple pushing a stroller.

Bikes towing kids and adults were everywhere. Overlook neighborhood resident Olivia Rebanal had a special passenger on the back of her Xtracycle — her mom Ophelia who was visiting from San Francisco. Greg Raisman from Southeast Portland made a new, wheelchair-bound friend and gave her a tow for about two miles.

“It was a highlight of the year for me.”
— SE Portland resident Greg Raisman

Raisman just bought a Yuba Mundo cargo bike (after reading about it here) and said towing his new friend was, “So much fun. It brought huge smiles to her, me, and everyone nearby. Maybe more cargo bikes means more community… It was a highlight of the year for me.”

I also ran into executive director of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Leah Shahum. She said she hopes San Franscisco’s Sunday Streets event (three carfree days in August) is just as popular. “If it’s as successful as this is,” she said, “I’m sure it will become permanent… thanks for laying the groundwork.”

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Dave Harris of Piedmont

Dave Harris, who lives in the Piedmont neighborhood, was rolling a laid-back cruiser bike with “Big Daddy” emblazoned on the side. I met him at the clogged entrance to the Bryant Street Pedestrian bridge and he said, “This is just fabulous. Look at all these people here… all creeds and colors, it shows that Portlanders get together, when we want to get together. I love Portland!”

Timo Forsberg works with the city’s Office of Transportation. I caught up with him just as the event was winding down. He said that everybody who came up to his information table asked, “when’s the next one going to be?”, and his answer was, “Give Sam Adams or another city commissioner a call and ask them.”

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.

So, when’s the next one?

Watch my Sunday Parkways video below:

— See all the photos in my Sunday Parkways gallery
— More discussion and photos in the Portland Bike Forums.
— Other media coverage: KOIN-TV, Oregonian, KATU-TV, The San Francisco Bay Guardian.

— Did you take part in Sunday Parkways today? If so, please share your experiences, observations, and feedback with us below…

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Jessica Roberts June 22, 2008 at 10:10 pm

    It was the best ever!! I couldn\’t stop grinning! And it was slow going, but in a good way, because of so many people, so many families, and so many new and old friends to stop and talk to. I was so proud of Linda and the Options crew, the hundreds of helpful volunteers, and of Portland for coming out in droves.

    Please do write council and tell them that this event was too good to be a one-time-only affair:


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  • Donald June 22, 2008 at 10:29 pm

    If you would have jumped in a time machine this afternoon and zoomed back to 1984, and told me, a recent Jefferson graduate, that this neighborhood, the neighborhood in which I am now raising my two young boys, would be host to such a positive outpouring of community goodwill and healthy spirit, I would done damage to the universal timeline laughing so hard.

    I\’m so glad so many folks joined together on such a beautiful day for such a cool event.

    My folks in Omaha can\’t comprehend it when I tell them about stuff like this.

    First, we take Manhattan. And then the flyovers will fall like so many dominoes.

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  • Zachary Horowitz June 22, 2008 at 10:49 pm

    Great article, Jonathan. Congrats to the public employees, volunteers, participants and others who made the event such a success!

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  • suburbanite June 22, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    We rode in from Southwest Portland in the rain this morning. We stopped for coffee and to let the rain cloud pass, then rode on to the event. It was truly a great time. My wife said it was the most fun she\’s had on the bike all year. I\’d have to agree. Hope this get\’s expanded to the same scale as, say, Bogota.

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  • JeffW June 22, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    It was so cool! We\’re down to one bike, so my wife rode the bike, with the hound in the milk crate on the back, while I ran. We came over from Vancouver and had a fabulous time. We\’d really been considering moving to Portland (only lived in the region for 6 months), and this really solidified it for us. I definitely want to see this become a regular occurrence. Every weekend would be ideal, but I\’d settle for monthly–certainly it will become more frequent than annually.

    Even doing some midwest MS rides years ago, I\’d never before seen so many bikes in my life–I unfortunately missed the Obama event. It was a truly inspiring sight.

    If I were absolutely forced to come up with something bad to say about the event, the worst thing I could come up with would have been the wait for crepes (they were worth it though). The second worst: it ended too early!

    I saw a lot of volunteers keeping tallies. Any word on the participation numbers?

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  • AQS June 22, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    Thank you Jessica for those emails! Everyone who enjoyed this event should take quick minute to write. I did!

    And yes, the event was awesome. Lets plan the next one!

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  • Cmy June 22, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    This was the coolest event I have ever been to or participated in, in my life! My girlfriend, my parents and I. 10 total miles of bike riding with a day full of memories that will last a lifetime. All the cyclists, joggers, walkers, volunteers I was, and still am, a bit awe struck by it all. I hope and pray that we see this again.
    By the way, any word on how many people showed up? I\’ll throw down my guess at 20,000. I know that getting an accurate count would be almost impossible but it\’s fun to talk about.
    Thanks to all those that made this event happen!

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  • Aaron June 22, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    This was such an incredible and wonderful time. Everyone was smiling, and I saw so many amazing people. This is how we can connect with neighbors and local residents. People were cooperative, conversations developed, and people got outside.
    I rode people around on the tandem all day and met so many wonderful folks.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) June 22, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Hi Aaron… check out this photo of you and Mr. Paul Tay from Oklahoma..



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  • Tom Knipe June 22, 2008 at 11:32 pm

    Numbers? Had to be 15,000-20,000 or more. And you\’re spot on to highlight the diversity. This was a cross-section of Portland, not the \”bikey\” crowd. For me it was the face of the \”orange\” crowd – those 60% of Portlanders who don\’t yet bike for transportation, but are interested.

    Now, how to best carry forward the feeling of community, fun and safety from today to parlay it into more everyday folks (vs. self-identified \’cyclists\’) biking to and fro for some of their trips during the week? After today it\’s easier to see that we will get there.

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  • Matt Picio June 22, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    This was such an awesome event – I\’m so glad I went! It\’s too bad Lars Larson wasn\’t there to see all the \”evil\” people having so much fun.

    Thanks to all the volunteers, and to the Portland Police for managing traffic at the intersections, and to all the people of every color, creed, and quadrant who showed up, walked, pedalled and had fun.

    Oh, and thanks to the Sprockettes for a delightful show!

    This was the greatest bike event ever, and I think I saw half the people I know.

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  • Peter P. June 23, 2008 at 12:08 am

    What a sweet time my family had in N. Portland today. This was like a giant block party with thousands of my neighbors. Unfortunately, because of the children we drove over from NE, but maybe we can do the *next one* closer to my house…

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  • Graham June 23, 2008 at 12:30 am

    (Reposting from the old thread at Jonathan\’s suggestion)

    A great event! Congratulations to the organizers, and way to go Portland!

    I was a little worried when I saw the morning drizzle, but I should have known better. When I got there about 11:30 (around the tail end of the cloudy weather), the biking was in full swing, and looked like it had been for a while.

    Lots of families, lots of kids, but not so slow or crowded that the adults couldn\’t move along.

    Like others, I liked all the cop-thanking that was going on.

    Unfortunately I only got from Overlook Park to Peninsula Park. Met some friends (walkers with a stroller) at Peninsula, and that\’s all she wrote. But we had a really nice time listening to the music, looking at the booths, and wandering around the fountain. Which reminds me – am I the only one who had no idea what a beautiful park Peninsula is? What a gem.

    Thank you thank you thank you for the good coffee available where I started, at Kaiser Town Hall.

    One suggestion: I got to the launching point (Citybikes) for the SE to Parkways ride too late. I figured I could catch up with the ride, but I didn\’t know which way they went. A Citybikes employee gave me a flyer with the Parkways route (which helped), but it didn\’t tell the best way to get to the Parkways. For that I relied on my bike map. So my suggestion is: how about next time around printing up neighborhood-specific \”how best to get to Parkways\” fliers. These would specify per-neighborhood start points – in this case it would be Citybikes – and give a very specific route from those start points. Obviously you couldn\’t get too granular on this with regards to the number of neighborhoods you cover, but maybe a flier per city quadrant or something.

    One other suggestion: some nice baked goods to go with the coffee.

    Overall, I had no complaints, and I didn\’t even find that pedestrian bridge to be too big a deal. People seemed to move along on it, and it\’s likely that many (like me) learned of its existence for the first time today. Also, it probably made for good advertising to the freeway drivers zipping below us.

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  • Nature Boy June 23, 2008 at 12:58 am

    I was stuck working today at the restruant and thought that i would miss all the fun. My bosses thought that the street closures and food venders would draw away most of the business, and to be honest, my scepticism wasn\’t too far behind theirs. Sundays are normally really slow and we all were surprised when byclist group after bycyclist group showed up to eat. This event brought nonstop business to our restruant that we normally would\’nt see. Now if only they weren\’t such picky eaters…

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  • Ron June 23, 2008 at 4:24 am

    I live very near the Failing Street pedestrian bridge on Michigan street and I\’ve never seen anything like this event. It was wonderful and like Jonathan I was smiling all day long. A previous poster appreciated people thanking the police and I have to second that. What a great way to improve communication and relations with the police and have them be involved with ground level community. They were out of their cars, smiling and having fun like everyone else. They gave my little boy a \”Junior Crime Fighter\” badge! Anyway, lots of fun and I can\’t wait for more.

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  • Scott Mizée June 23, 2008 at 4:39 am

    Hey everyone, there is a photo pool on Flickr for Sunday Parkways. All you flickr photographers, please join the group and post your photos there. I saw a lot of cameras out there today! Let\’s share the film! ….er uh… share the memory card!

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  • Scott Mizée June 23, 2008 at 4:40 am

    FANTASTIC! This was an awesome event. The kids and I did quite a bit of the route. We can\’t wait for the next one!

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  • peejay June 23, 2008 at 6:56 am

    Great time! This needs to be once a week, possibly in a cycle of different locations, i.e. first Sunday of month NoPo, second at SE, third at NW, last Sunday in SW, or similar. Once it\’s routine, people will plan accordingly and not feel inconvenienced.

    And it\’s about people, not bikes, as Aaron said. Everybody in a car is welcome to participate. They just have to get out of their car for it. They\’ll see how liberating that simple act can be.

    Here\’s to hoping future Parkways will not even require traffic cops, because no cars will want to cross the route. Everybody will be out of their cars, at the event.

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  • Schrauf June 23, 2008 at 7:03 am

    As others have said, best bike and community event ever! I love seeing so many new people, bikes and residential areas of this wonderful city.

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  • Gary Mac June 23, 2008 at 7:27 am

    We left our bikes at home and walked the whole route, finishing before the sun broke through. Plenty of friendly people milling about, and I enjoyed seeing folks I met at the CarFree conference. Only a few \”Lance\” riders trying to set a world record. Would love to see it evolve into a monthly event with rotating locations, and self-funding to boot. Think big. Let our elected officials know what you think.

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  • vanessa June 23, 2008 at 7:45 am

    That was the best. Willamette blvd should be car free all the time! And we should move towards making every 10th street car free except for the residents. So many tensions between cars and bikes would go away I think.And more people would get out and walk or ride since they felt safer. That was so obvious today. We should do them every Sunday, as in Bogota. Thanks Linda for making this happen!

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  • Matthew June 23, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I was one of the many volunteer intersection monitors, and must say the sea of people that passed by in the second half was simply staggering. So much so, in fact, that I think that for the sequel there should be some serious consideration to using wider thoroughfares — not to mention roads in better condition. The Kerby and Bryant stretches were pretty rough going in parts…

    Overall, aside from a couple of curmudgeonly drivers, and one unfortunate bike collision (no one was hurt), the spirits were high and sense of community palpable. The highlight for me was meeting a lovely older couple in Peninsula Park about to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary (!), sharing stories of what the park used to be like in the 1940s.

    Here\’s hoping this becomes a regular occurrence!

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  • Sarah C June 23, 2008 at 7:52 am

    We had a great time and my six year old was thrilled to ride the entire route on her own bike. I would add my voice to those thanking the organizers and volunteers – you did an awesome job. We would also love to see this become a more frequent and regular event.

    Things I would change – make it longer. Instead of trying to do N one week, SE the next, etc. make it more miles crossing into different parts of town. It was very crowded at times and if you could have spread the people out over a greater area it would have been even better.

    The roads were narrow at times in large part due to cars parked on them. Could the streets be no parking zones for the event?

    A lot of people were buying food and drinks from vendors which was great. I hope they got a nice little economic hit off of it. There needed to be more vendors to really accommodate the crowds though. Some ran out of food early which I think was due in large part to the crowds being much bigger than they expected.

    Overall a great event and we cannot wait for the next one!

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  • Nancy Stovall June 23, 2008 at 7:54 am

    I was a \”counter\” for the event. Every hour, for ten minutes, I tallied the number of people that passed by my corner at Concord & Bryant. My shift ran from 11:00am until 2:00pm, and my count for 10 minutes ran well over 300 each hour. Groups of 20 and 30 cyclists were passing in each direction pretty constantly.

    I also talked to some of the neighbors in the area. One of them said she\’d take this every Sunday–better than speeding auto traffic in a residential neighborhood. Most were pretty positive.

    This was a fantastic event, and I\’ve never seen more smiles! I\’d love to see it every Sunday, too–I think it may be too much to ask for a single residential neighborhood. But there\’s clearly enough support and energy to get something like this going on a rotating basis!

    My favorite comment of the day was from an young girl, may 9 years old, riding with her sister and parents. \”I can\’t believe we\’re riding on the street!\”

    and I agree with the Graham (#13). Peninsula Park is so amazing and beautiful. Truly a classic neighborhood park.

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  • mmann June 23, 2008 at 7:58 am

    THANK YOU to all the organizers, volunteers, police officers, and everyone else who made this event successful. What a great day. My whole family – with tag-a-long and trailer – joined me, and since driving to it seemed silly, we rode in from outer SE. Ended up being 22 miles RT – the longest ever for a couple of them, but all smiles. Really appreciated being able to tour NoPo and see some connections I didn\’t know existed. I second the sentiments that this should happen AT LEAST once/month, and different parts of PDX would be great too.
    Another observation. For the most part the route was residential streets. I would have loved to see business districts like Mississippi or Rosa Parks Blvd. included as part of the route rather than just crossings. Maybe the increased business some experienced yesterday would help overcome any reluctance they may have had? I realize it makes organizing more difficult, but as Portland becomes less car-centric I think this should be a goal. I also wanted to thank the drivers who patiently waited for us. I was looking and I didn\’t see a single one who looked or acted put out or upset. I did find myself wondering, in the crowds of cyclist, how those NOT on bikes felt – were they ever uncomfortable with all the bikes whizzing by? I\’d like to hear from more of them.
    Lets all do it again ASAP.

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  • gb June 23, 2008 at 8:15 am

    What a well-thought-out and fabulous event! I loved the early, drizzly part (fewer people, more biking) as much as the later part, when it was more slow going, but had so much heart. The volunteers were wonderful, as were the police (so cheery as they directed traffic). Biking through all the beautiful neighborhoods was such a treat–the roses were in full bloom everywhere. Gorgeous! At the parks, there were great booths and displays–I got a helmet for $5! (have only had my bike a week and didn\’t have a helmet yet–how perfect!). I also got to practice putting my bike on the front of a parked Tri-Met bus, something I\’ve wanted to do so I can get downtown easily. What a great idea to let people do a dry run first! Thanks to all who organized and/or volunteeered at this event–I cannot say enough good about it!
    P.S. Someone mentioned wanting baked goods–there were several good bake sales organized by MoveOn.org at Peninsula Park.

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  • Mark C June 23, 2008 at 8:17 am

    The whole thing turned out even better than I hoped for. I worked the Failing Street I-5 overcrossing as a volunteer in the morning. At first, with the drizzle and breeze, I wondered how many would come out. But we started getting a steady stream almost from the beginning and the crowds just continued to build and build. The kids on either side of the street had dueling lemonade stands, which was a crack-up.

    After my shift, I ran the course with a Foot Traffic group then met my wife, daughter, and mother-in-law (who all rode over from our house in NE) in Peninsula Park. I never thought I\’d see my mother-in-law watching a Sprockettes performance!

    More than once I heard passers-by say \”I wish it was like this everyday.\” I don\’t know about every day, but we need to have these frequently. Imagine the size of the crowds next time after everyone who was there yesterday tells all their friends about it!

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  • Bill June 23, 2008 at 8:24 am

    Awesome event! Had a great time. While I\’m not a racer, I usually am trying to set a new world record time on my commute. This was great to sit up and enjoy for a day. More please!

    I agree with the commenter talking about crepes. We need more crepe chefs! I heard they ran out of food! Other than that, everything ran great. Kudos to the organizers, volunteers, and officers on the route!

    My pictures are in the Flickr pool! http://www.flickr.com/groups/sundayparkways/


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  • Scott Mizée June 23, 2008 at 8:25 am

    Hey Jonathan! Nice front page smile there in the Oregonian today!


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  • Lenny Anderson June 23, 2008 at 8:35 am

    Now that we know what a true Bike Boulevard is, we need create a network of BBs that is 24/7 from St. Johns to Lents from Parkrose to West Portland.
    I don\’t think 40,000 more motor vehicles per day across a big wide new I-5 bridge over Columbia River is going to make this job easier…more motor vehicles from a less bike friendly sector and less money for bike facilities.

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  • a.O June 23, 2008 at 8:37 am

    This was awesome! We definitely owe a big thanks to all the volunteers especially. And write City Hall – tell them we want more!!

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  • Scott Mizée June 23, 2008 at 8:38 am

    Front Page of the Oregonian Today:

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  • Kirsty June 23, 2008 at 8:57 am

    This event was awe-inspiring to behold! I was at Arbor Lodge Park, letting seniors try out one of PDOT\’s three wheeled bikes from their Senior Cycle programme.

    The number of people streaming past us out on the street was phenomenal. Bicyclists, joggers, rollerskaters, skateboarders, wheelchairs… you name it, it went past at some point. I was really, really happy to see so many kids out biking, and clearly having a total & utter blast with their friends or parents.

    My one criticism (which isn\’t really a criticism at all) – 8am – perhaps a little early to start this event in Portland, where we are all a bunch of total Sunday slackers. And of course, 2pm – a little early to finish it. The one complaint I heard over & over again from everyone I spoke with, was that it finished waaaaay too early.

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  • JeffW June 23, 2008 at 9:03 am

    mmann (#25), I was on foot and only once was I uncomfortable: A guy obviously trying to set the course record flew right by without any warning. He was fast enough to generate a little breeze and close enough I got a whiff of his stink. Had I accidentally rolled my ankle while running and shifted just slightly left, we would have collided. There was plenty of space at that section, so I felt it was uncalled for.

    One obnoxious guy out of thousands is still significantly better than auto traffic.

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  • Esther June 23, 2008 at 9:17 am

    I can\’t praise all the people who worked so hard on this enough! What a FUN day. I brought along two friends who were visiting from San Francisco on bikes and they were excited to hear more about this being replicated there. I loved all the entrepreneurial enterprises along the route and the route itself. Even though I live in North Portland I learned some new ways to get around (I had never even been on the Failing st. bridge, and finally figured out the best ways to access the Bryant St. bridge).

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  • Fred June 23, 2008 at 9:34 am

    Incredible event. What a zoo! We sat and ate a hot dog at the BTA booth and watched the parade go by. So many beautiful bikes and huge smiles. I\’ve never seen a crowd where even the recumbent riders blend in 🙂

    Huge thanks to all the volunteers, organizers, PPD and everyone who came out. Things like this actually make me proud of my country.

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  • John Beaston June 23, 2008 at 9:35 am

    Ditto Jessica #1. It is really important to let the city council know how great this event was. Get those emails, calls and letters to the city council.

    KOIN is having a poll on \”Do you favor more car-free zone days in sections of Portland?\” It\’s currently running majority NO. Unscientific or not, get over there and vote. http://www.koin.com

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  • […] looks like Portland’s Sunday Parkways program was a rousing success! This is a fantastic effort with a lot of neighborhood support and provides an excellent example […]

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  • Todd Boulanger June 23, 2008 at 9:47 am

    Congrats to Portland and all the volunteers – my family and I had a great time…once we got the kids motivated to leave the house…I think they did not understand the potential of this event until they saw all the bike riders and walkers. (It took us 3 minutes to turn onto the course while the marshalls waited for a gap in the bike traffic halted the new \’sidestreet traffic\’ on Denver!!) They had a blast after that.

    I ran into Leah Shahum (SF BIKE) too – I told her that San Francisco had some bike shoes to fill when they try their event on lter in the summer.

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  • Gary Mac June 23, 2008 at 9:48 am

    KPTV also has a poll.


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  • Alison June 23, 2008 at 9:58 am

    That event made me proud to be a Portlander. I was grinning. Everyone around me was smiling. There was a giddiness in the air.

    It was like when you were a kid and you went someplace new and there were all these other kids and you just started playing cuz that\’s all you needed to do. That\’s what yesterday was like.

    HUGE kudos to Linda and the whole PDOT crew and Mary from the CCC. You all worked so hard for so long and it was better than I even imagined.

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  • Chris Sullivan June 23, 2008 at 10:07 am

    While we were sitting around waiting for the Sprockettes to start, I could overhear everyone around me asking who or what the Sprockettes are. Now there\’s a first.

    This was a huge success…I keep wanting to use the word \’historic\’ to describe it. It touched so many people who normally would never turn out for something like this. For health reasons, for commmunity building, for environmental concerns–we\’ve got to keep this going.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) June 23, 2008 at 10:12 am

    Just an FYI — I\’ve uploaded my Sunday Parkways video. You can watch it embedded in the story above, or watch it on YouTube.

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  • Brian Johnson June 23, 2008 at 10:14 am

    How do you like them apples, Mr. Lars Larson!

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  • kiwimunki June 23, 2008 at 10:15 am

    My favorite sight: an elderly gentleman pedaling his weiner dogs around in a Burly wagon. Lucky pups!

    PDOT treated its volunteers like queens and kings. Thanks to everyone who kept us stocked with sidewalk chalk, Cliff Bars and coffee!

    Has anyone ever loved Portland more?

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  • tonyt June 23, 2008 at 10:17 am


    So good to see what CAN be.

    This really is a community building event.

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  • Lazlo June 23, 2008 at 10:35 am

    That was such a blast. We were on our tandem, and it was good practice negotiating that much bike traffic. So many smiles! One older woman walking said, \”I didn\’t know there were this many bikes in the world!\” It was like an endless, two-way parade. We did the loop twice, which took us nearly 4 hours. Thanks for the link to the KGW story; I saw it last night and thought we were in it, and yes! We were on a black tandem with yellow & red Hawaiian jerseys. More please!

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  • Andy June 23, 2008 at 11:08 am

    You couldn\’t have said it better by calling this a community building event. I didn\’t see much of the route from being in the park all day, but we had people from across the street and across the county taking part in a gigantic neighborhood block party.

    Everywhere I looked people just connected. Whether you were neighbors, friends, or merely sharing the path together.

    My story of the day? Running into someone I hadn\’t seen in nearly 20 years, only to learn we\’re practically neighbors! 🙂

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  • Barb June 23, 2008 at 11:24 am

    Thanks to the sponsors and the volunteers!

    We did the loop with the trailer early on to show support, even though it was misty. REALLY FUN to get a park tour, and have the peanut butter stop!

    However when the sun came out, the kids weren\’t done, so we then took the trike & training wheel bike back toward Peninsula. Thanks for extending my 2 and 4 year old so much courtesy when it was so crowded on Bryant and Kerby. Of course, they wanted the smooth part in the middle of the street. The kids haven\’t had so much fun ringing their bike bells and horns ever.

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  • Jason June 23, 2008 at 11:47 am

    To everyone involved with PDOT / Transportation Options, PPB, and ALL the volunteers: Great job! This was a total success on all levels. Sunday Parkways is the kind of event that illustrates how important the social / active element is in people\’s lives and that streets, as public places, can be used once and a while for other [better] purposes than what we are accustomed to. I look forward to this being a regular occurrence here in Portland and in other U.S. cities.

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  • Axe June 23, 2008 at 11:55 am

    As usual, KATU dropped the ball with the less than stellar (but not unsurprising) reporting. The headline \”Some happy, some not with carfree experiment\” is technically true, since we did see some complaints in their video footage. But you probably noticed they all came from the same two drivers. The report gave an impression that opinion was split when it very clearly was not. We all know that but a lot of folks who saw the news report weren\’t there and they don\’t have the experience to draw from. Boo to KATU for working to divide our communities.

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  • becky June 23, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    A day riding my bike and eating bake sale goods is always a good day. Doing it with thousand of other people: awesome!

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  • Russ June 23, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    The difference in the spin between KOIN and KATU is interesting.

    The KATU video coverage is simply amazing and boggles the mind. I didn\’t know \”for six hours and six miles, cars were not allowed in North Portland\” yesterday. My favorite part is how they threaten the viewer with the idea that it might happen again, and in fact might cover the whole city during rush hour no less!

    Media aside, it looks like it went great. Here\’s hoping for more this year.

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  • Bob R. June 23, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Regarding the KATU coverage, that\’s what my folks saw. When I spoke to my mom today and expressed what a great time we had at the event, she said \”You mean that thing everyone was complaining about?\”. It took a lot of chatting to explain how skewed the KATU coverage was, and I still don\’t think she really understands the true nature of the event. Thanks, KATU.

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  • Mark C June 23, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Check out the write-up and comments at Bojack.org .
    All-in-all, pretty positive experience for Jack and mostly supportive comments.

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  • Tamara June 23, 2008 at 12:39 pm

    I like the idea of getting more vendors next time. And maybe encourage vendors of other kinds. I think it would be kind of awesome if it had sort of a Saturday Market component. Might be a way to get even more people out to try it.

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  • Paul Tay June 23, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    No complaints here. Aaron and I tried to break into Metal Cowboy\’s house. But, no one wuz home to call the cops. Ratz. 😛

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  • Tony Fuentes June 23, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    Let me add to the pile of kudos…

    Thank you to everyone who made this happen. Your energy, effort and vision paid off.

    The event was well organized, well attended and just plain fun. Our family rode the route and took in the sights at different stops…it reminded me of summer Sundays on Memorial Drive in Cambridge – only better…

    Like everyone else, we want to see Sunday Parkways as an on-going Summer Event.

    I would love to see this happen on a Summer Sunday in the Concordia/Woodlawn/Cully area – since I live in that area.

    For instance, a loop that connects Fernhill Park to Woodlawn Park with major stops at Alberta Park and Concordia University in between would be super doable..

    SO, how can I help make that happen?

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  • Stripes June 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    If you are unhappy with KATU\’s reporting, why not contact them and let them know how much fun you had on the event?

    You can write to them at – KATU TV, P.O. Box 2, Portland, OR 97207-0002

    You can call them at – Main Phone (503) 231-4222 or News Desk (503) 231-4265

    And you can fill in their email comment form at -http://www.katu.com/about/contact/index.html

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  • encephalopath June 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    The KATU story was a revolting hit piece. It was fatctually wrong on many points, framed as a bike vs. car throwdown, and used cheap \”man on the street\” interviews to convey a sense of hostility and divisiveness where none really existed.

    The whole KATU story was a disgusting piece of garbage, from the other news anchors saying \”six miles closed to car traffic\” in horrified exasperation, to that guy they quoted at the end saying the event was poorly planned and executed and the organizers should be strung up.

    Really… the organizers should be executed, according to this man. People should be killed because he had to wait for a minute. There is no excuse for a TV station to show eliminationist rhetoric of that kind especially since the reasons for the man saying it are entirely baseless.

    Do TV stations quote drivers saying the Rose Festival comittee should be killed becasue people can\’t drive acrosss the parade route during the parade? It it reasonable for me to want to execute the person holding Stop/Slow sign at a road construction site? Did they ask that man who wanted to go to the store how long he had to wait to cross the bike route? 15,000 had a fantastic time and they quote nonsense, stuff that isn\’t even true, from people in cars for \”balance.\”

    It would be difficult to list something, anything the KATU story got right. People rode bikes in North Portland.

    The KGW story was much better. Factually correct and it captured the spirit of the event nicely.

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  • Tamara June 23, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    I also want to second the comment that it was unlike other bike events or large crowd events in Portland in that there was very little if any impatience or tension (I think Timo said it). It was great to see all kinds of folks, with all different kinds of interests, there.

    I also really appreciated being able to try out the Trimet bus bike rack system in a very friendly, low-pressure situation. I\’ve been using a bike as my sole transportation in Portland for years, but until now have been too intimidated to try out the bus bike racks. It\’s so simple! It was a great resource to offer the public. And the Trimet employee was so friendly and enthusiastic.

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  • Martha R June 23, 2008 at 12:59 pm

    That was sooo much fun! My neighbors and I rode over from SE (we started out with the Woodstock Bike Gallery ride, but then stopped to talk to a friend and then again to put on rain gear, and lost the group but still had a lovely ride over there). I was a bit worried that it might feel like a Bridge Pedal with agro speedsters trying to set time records and too many people trying to push their way through, but the vibe was totally different. Everyone was relaxed and smiling and friendly and happy! Hooray!

    A friend\’s 5-yr old daughter had just figured out how to ride without training wheels Saturday evening, and she rode her own bike around the entire loop on Sunday — the timing couldn\’t have been better!

    Thanks to everyone who made it possible! The smile hasn\’t worn off my face yet.

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  • Scott Mizée June 23, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    What happened to the Streetfilms link in the Media Coverage above?

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  • Nelly Algren June 23, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I don\’t think I can add much to what has been said, but it\’s clear that this event was simply joyous. The organizers did a fantastic job, all the way around. The route was wonderful, and the citizens who participated rocked!

    Our two year old, kept saying, \”Look at all those bikes,\” over and over as we rode along. He had a big grin on his face, as did his parents.

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  • Nelly Algren June 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm


    You hit the mark on the head on that one. KATU\’s coverage is shameful. They clearly wen out of their way to find a couple of cranks, and then paired them up with two of the thousands who enjoyed the event.

    KATU proved that it\’s focus is \”news\” as entertainment, at its worst.

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  • Dennis June 23, 2008 at 1:53 pm

    Most excellent!

    Me and my trailered little boy had a wonderful time. I love how friendly everyone was, and how people started setting up vender booths and such.

    The Portland Police had their hands full, and I for one appreciate their help.

    I looked for Lars Larsen, and for some reason, he was absent. well, perhaps next time.

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  • Andra Brosy June 23, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    I had a great time! I biked and MAXed it out there from inner SE with my boyfriend and friend, and the three of us had a wonderful time. It was so much fun to see a part of Portland none of us had seen before – we especially enjoyed the roses at Peninsula Park. It was also very cool to show them – and myself – how easy it is to get to and from North Portland without a car. Thanks to everyone who made this possible! We\’d love to see Sunday Parkways happen more often… every week would be awesome! And moving it around to different neighborhoods would also be cool.

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  • hanmade June 23, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    I saw a guy filming the event. he was from Streetfilms.org and said the video would be on their website by Tuesday.
    This event was the best volunteer job I have ever had. Nothing but fun and smiles!

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  • encephalopath June 23, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    Using interviews the way the KATU story did is a way skewing a story and injecting unnecessary bias into it while the reporter and her editor get to cravenly avoid responsibility for having done so. That guy said it. We\’re just showing what he said.

    Even if the two cranks were the first two people they interviewed, look around you. Ask a few questions. Try to find some evidence of what they say. Then if what they said isn\’t true, DON\’T put it in the story.

    All journalism contain bias. All journalism contain a point of view. That\’s unavoidable and to pretend otherwise turn journalism into a confidence game. But news stories should not contain blatant falsehoods, especially when the truth of the matter is easily discernable.

    It\’s not like the subject at hand is trusting certain Pentagon \”experts\” that a given set of aluminum tubes are suitable for refining uranium when proving otherwise requires knowledge of nuclear physics. That kind of mistake can be forgiven, at least initially. Did the bike ride make it difficult for people to get to the store? Was it badly planned and organized? Those questions can be easily and quickly answered. And if not true, you don\’t include the footage in the story.

    And including a quote, without comment, that the organizers deserve to be lynched. That\’s just beyond the pale. The KATU reporter and editorial staff owe the Sunday Parkways people an apology, and a public one at that. There is no excuse for the sort of incompetence that allowed that statement on television.

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  • encephalopath June 23, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    End of rant… That said, I had a lovely time. Never have I seen an event that large so well organized and trouble free.

    I was saying the same thing as some of you when I got home, \”When can we do it again?\”

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) June 23, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    \”including a quote, without comment, that the organizers deserve to be lynched. That\’s just beyond the pale. The KATU reporter and editorial staff owe the Sunday Parkways people an apology\”

    I agree. I think that was very irresponsible and tasteless.

    The question to ask is… were those complaints newsworthy?

    Does a story about an event where 99% of the people involved are positive, warrant not only the inclusion of several complaints, but an overall spin that interjects negativity and an untrue perception that the event was controversial?

    i don\’t think so at all.

    as an editor/producer, you can use discretion in your story and include whatever you want, but that was a just really bad piece.

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  • Katelyn June 23, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Thanks for the great story Jonathan!
    Yesterday was so much fun; I saw some friends I hadn\’t seen in a while, visited some parks I hadn\’t been to before, and gave everyone a chance to enjoy the morning free of cars- wonderful! I\’m glad this was such a success and that we as Portlanders get to lead as a positive example for the Parkway trials San Francisco and New York (and where else??!), where Parkway events like this will get a trial-run in August.

    Nice work!

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  • encephalopath June 23, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    \”The question to ask is… were those complaints newsworthy?

    Does a story about an event where 99% of the people involved are positive, warrant not only the inclusion of several complaints, but an overall spin that interjects negativity and an untrue perception that the event was controversial?

    i don\’t think so at all.\”

    I agree… I should have worked out my thinking a little more before posting. I think the complaints can legitmately be included but with some followup. Ask for an example of what the complaints are about. Allow a response to the complaints. Try to find some evidence of what the complaints are about.

    But to quote the complaining people and simple to allow the statements to stand as if they represent an objective reality… no.

    When I wrote the phrase \”blatant falsehood\” I was thinking of the the statement in the story that the route was a big exclusion zone for cars. And then I didn\’t write about that. There was a bunch of stuff in that story that were just plain not true.

    I heard that and thought, \”Damn, must have been a pregnant woman forced to give birth in a taxi cab or something because bikes preventer her from getting to Legacy Emmanuel.\”

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  • Chris Sullivan June 23, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    Compare the KATU coverage with the story in the Oregonian, where Rivera said he expected complaints but found instead overwhelming support for the event. The tagline on the oregonlive webpage now reads, \”North Portland loves Sunday without cars.\” Meanwhile, you can\’t even find the story among the headlines on the KATU site.

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  • JayS. June 23, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I was the volunteer at Failing and Michigan from 10:30 on. Here are some of my highlights:

    As I was waving my whirley flag around watching all the beautiful people roll by. A guy on a bike with a camera told me to \”smile\” his friend riding with him laughed and I responded ,\” I already am!\”

    I met at least two adults who had\” just learned to ride a bike\”

    a woman who spent \”half of 2007\” on her bike.

    Five languages and many folks with various thick accents

    Neighbors who didn\’t participate but said they would love to see some streets permanently closed to cars. I met other neighbors who also seemed perfectly content if not happy about the event…. some participated some didn\’t

    Seeing friends and neighbors out of context.

    Adult passengers on xtracycles.

    More tandems than I could shake a fist at and one triple. Many folders.

    Smiles Smiles Smiles

    Seeing new friends from kidical mass (An event that was nearly as inspiring to me as Sunday Parkways)

    In retrospect I should have bitten the bullet and asked for an early volunteer shift because I didn\’t get to enjoy the event with my family. They had a different and also wonderful experience. My daughter who just started riding on her own after 3000+ miles stoking the tandem, rode the entire route and then homeon her \’70s solid weal schwin pixie.

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  • nick June 23, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    Let\’s do that again, and change the hours to 10am-4pm.

    My family had an awesome time yesterday.

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  • k June 23, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Just to throw in a less homogenous view point:

    I live off of Miss. and found the event to be inconvenient as a pedestrian. I couldn\’t easily cross any of the streets on the route- and it was generally more invasive than it should have been. (also, they closed a number of streets not listed on the webpage)

    I\’m not opposed to something like this in the future, as practice makes perfect- and it seems like a lot of people enjoyed the experience, but… I like a nice quiet Sunday stroll down to the waffle cart, without the danger of getting run down.

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  • Robin June 23, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Well, I sent my letter off to KATU so now I better write one up of city council. The one to city council is the kind I like to write.

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  • SkidMark June 23, 2008 at 4:39 pm

    K, I don\’t think inconveniencing someone for one Sunday walk is asking too much. If it were street construction, and you had to dodge dumptrucks and backhoes for a week, would you complain to the city?

    What if you lived downtown along the Rose Parade Route?

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  • Chad June 23, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    In the last couple hours of the event I found myself watching the clock in much the same way you watch the clock with dread and foreboding before a good friend who is visiting has to leave.

    But like a good friend, I have a feeling Sunday Parkways will return again and again and again.

    (weekly is fine by me)

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  • erin g. June 23, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Regarding media coverage:

    It is time to thank new friends and longtime allies in the media, the #1 being Jonathan Maus of bikeportland.org (also Amy Ruiz of The Portland Mercury; Dan Kaufman of Crank My Chain; Dylan Rivera at The Oregonian; Todd Murphy of the Portland Tribune, etc.) Please contact and thank them all! They will continue to support our community news, especially if we kindly support them, too.

    As for television news stations, KGW has emerged as a leader in evolving to cover shared-road news in a respectful way. Last November, KGW’s sympathetic coverage of the “We are ALL Traffic” rally was groundbreaking in a time of negative bikes vs. cars rhetoric (thank you, Amy Troy!). We should thank them for continuing this pattern of respectfully covering news that impacts pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists:


    It is also time to express our disappointment and concerns toward those who cover our community news in an irresponsible, conflict-inducing manner.

    As for KATU, please express your concerns and disappointment by contacting the station directly (and please pass it on). Please keep in mind that our goal of correcting how news is covered will be achieved if we are strong yet respectful in asserting our feedback. Contact KATU to express your disappointment in their poor handling of a positive community story that should have been framed as an example of why Portland’s leading standard of living is praised by national outlets such as NPR and The New York Times:


    When media outlets opt to take the low road, it is an opportunity for us to lead with the high road. Standards of journalism too often slip in today’s sensationalized media world, but as old-guard outlets struggle to retain their viewers/readers, they must acknowledge that there is a reason why some outlets (i.e. bikeportland.org) are successfully engaging the masses while they increasingly turn people off and away. I have seen many local news outlets ride along with the positive changes that are reshaping our community (quite literally!). The others will follow suit if they wish to sustain themselves.

    Erin Greeson
    We are ALL Traffic coalition

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  • abberdab June 23, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    I think k\’s comment raises a good point, though, and it reminds me of what Gil Penlosa said after riding the Esplanade (paraphrased): anytime you have different speeds of traffic mixing – that can be cars & peds or peds & bikes – people will feel unsafe. It\’s not cool that k felt unsafe walking through what was supposed to be an event that celebrated all types of non-motorized transportation, not just bicycles. I thought about this all the time I was biking the route on Sunday – we have to be very careful to make space for pedestrians in this event. If you look at the Sunday Parkways flyer, the illustration was of 4 pedestrian\’s and 2 cyclists, not 25 cyclists and 1 pedestrian! I\’m sure these kinks could be worked out with greater awareness, but I would think that the last thing we would want to happen is to intimidate people who are taking a leisurely stroll (as opposed to driving!) to a neighborhood business!

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  • Graham June 23, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    I feel like a huge number of the people who came out for Parkways were the ones Gil Penalosa refers to in his keynote as, \”interested but concerned.\” These are the folks who would love to bike more, but are afraid to. That so many of them came out Sunday showed what a volcano of interest was waiting to erupt – and erupt it did once concerns were alleviated.

    I think pedestrians have fewer of these inhibiting concerns than do cyclists, and I think that\’s why you saw so few pedestrians out in the streets. For my part, I know that when I walk in my neighborhood I enjoy it just fine sticking to the sidewalks. I can walk without the fear of being randomly run down, which is a fear that pervades much of my biking time. That\’s why car-free streets appealed to me more as biker than as a pedestrian.

    That said, I think it\’s a real shame that a neighbor (k, #78) in the area felt nervous about walking across a street full of cyclists, but I can totally see how that would be the case.

    Maybe future rides can address such concerms, maybe taking pains to make sure bikers stop for pedestrians waiting to cross at the crosswalks. (Which I\’m pretty sure is what the law says we\’re supposed to do anyway.)

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  • […] 5. I was among throngs of people walking bikes across the Failing Street Bridge. We were part of Sunday Parkways, a trek along six miles of streets closed to cars for six […]

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  • Mark Allyn June 23, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I just got off the phone with the news department at katu. I told the person who answered that I had concerns about their coverage of the event.

    He said,\”Thanks. We will put your comments next to someone who commented directly opposite.\” In saying this, he sounded a little hostile.

    By the way, KATU is owned by Fisher Communications, which is in Seattle. Seattle, as you may know is yet another bicycle friendly city like Portland.

    Fisher\’s seattle station, KOMO, has been generally positive with it\’s coverage of cycling issues in that city.

    So, it\’s not an issue with the owners. It seems to be an issue with the local staff.


    Mark Allyn

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  • peejay June 23, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Wow! I just had a really frustrating conversation with the station manager at KATU. He couldn\’t justify why his station\’s story was slanted so negative when most of the other stations had a more positive story. He kept going back to the complaints of residents, saying in effect \”doesn\’t that prove that it was a badly organized event?\” I asked him if he contacted the event organizers, and if he even knew who the organizers were. He did not. What a shameful performance. Please keep the pressure up on this. Local stations are licensed by the public to serve their communities, and when they don\’t, they should be held accountable.

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  • Andy June 23, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Trust is a funny thing with media. This reminds me of an article I once read in a Time Magazine (yeah, I know, just go with me on this) – like this, it was reporting on something I personally took part in, and so I could see the obvious misleading omissions and errors in something they presented as \”news\”. That one article immediately broke my trust in the accuracy and fairness of anything they reported.

    Over twenty years later, I have not since picked up or opened that magazine again. Tabloids seem more trustworthy – at least they make no bones about who they are.

    (*clicks send on the longwinded comment to station management*)

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  • I just saw this article on the \”San Francisco Bay Guardian Online\” I thought it was informative.

    I especially liked how they said the roads were \”opened up\” to pedestrians and cyclists rather than \”closed to cars/cars were banned.\”

    Sunday Healthways, proposes to open up more than four miles of roadways from the Bayview Opera House to Portsmouth Square in Chinatown along the waterfront for three weekends starting in August


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  • N.I.K. June 23, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    He kept going back to the complaints of residents, saying in effect \”doesn\’t that prove that it was a badly organized event?\”

    The most poignant response to an intended-rhetorical question lacking sound rationale such as this is to say, \”No, it doesn\’t.\” Hopefully you said something along these lines, peejay. 🙂

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  • Tinymeat June 23, 2008 at 10:07 pm

    I overheard two cops at Peninsula Park laughing and smiling and telling each other what a \”huge success\” the day was. It was so nice to ride by them at that moment and I gave them ding of my bell and a \”thumbs up\”.

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  • Andy June 23, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    er. over ten years. Stupid senile brain. 😉

    C\’mon KATU! Even the police had a good time!

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  • Linda Ginenthal June 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    We here at Transportation Options had a spectacularly fun time pulling this together. Thank you to all of you for the love…. Right back at ya.

    And just so you know who were the behind the scenes magicians making this all come off so beautifully: Rich Cassidy – Event and Logistics Manager, Janis McDonald – Volunteer Manager, Mary Dzieweczynski – CCC Community Organizer, Dianne Riley, Marc Bubar, Susanna Bee, and Carolina Iraheta Gonzales – Volunteer Coordinators, and Andrew Pelsma, Danielle Booth, and Abra McNair – Volunteer Supporter.

    Linda Ginenthal

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  • Linda Ginenthal June 23, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Oops! Forgot our intrepid web guy who many of you know and love, Timo Forsberg….
    Linda G.

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  • brettoo June 24, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Thanks to the organizers for a great job and to Jonathan for an excellent report that captured the spirit of the event. However, Jonathan, please amend the original post to eliminate the use of the archaic, inaccurate, and demeaning term \”wheelchair bound\” applied to the woman using a wheelchair. Unless she\’d been tied up and handcuffed to her scooter by a scofflaw (perhaps named lars or employed by KATU), the woman was certainly not \”bound\” to it, anymore than I\’m \”bound\” to my Specialized hybrid when I choose to ride it. She *chose* to use it to get around. Please rephrase the post to something more accurate such as \”the woman using a wheelchair\” or \”riding a motorized scooter.\” Thanks again for the otherwise stellar coverage.

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  • Russ June 24, 2008 at 11:56 am

    I don’t know, but she may in fact be “bound” to her wheelchair by a force called gravity and her debilitating inability to combat it.

    I’m sure Jonathan will fix it to your satifaction though. Myself, I think that intent matters more than language.

    I just pretty much copy and pasted encephalopath’s comments to viewersvoice@katu.com I really couldn’t have said it any better. I gave him(?) the credit that was due.

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  • T Williams June 24, 2008 at 12:13 pm

    When emailing a complaint to an organization such as KATU, it\’s very helpful to research their website fo find a couple or five of their customers who advertise. Explore those customers to get their contact emails.

    Then when addressing your email, CC those customers. Explain that you are not interested in using their customers until you get some satisfaction.

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  • proteanme.com » pedaling June 24, 2008 at 12:46 pm

    […] been to since I moved to Portland. Inspired by CicloVia in Bogota city officials organized Sunday Parkways in which six miles of local streets in North Portland were closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 2 […]

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  • Matthew June 24, 2008 at 1:08 pm

    Both the Oregonian and the City of Portland have said that the event was a huge success. But what exactly does this mean? What did people do there? Did anyone reading this go? Do you think the City should do this again?

    These are some of the eminently reasonable questions posed at the thoughtful Portland Spaces blog. Have a look, weigh in, let\’s keep the momentum going…

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  • Options Guy June 24, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    And while you\’re at it, encourage anyone you know who went to Sunday Parkways to share their story on our special \”SP Stories\” page –
    Thanks everybody!

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  • Graham June 24, 2008 at 6:37 pm

    #99 Matthew:

    Thanks for the link.

    Here\’s what I posted at Portland Spaces:

    \”It was pretty glorious. I\’m comfortable biking on your average road, but with a healthy sense of paranoia. It was nice to be able to let the guard down for a day and just ride.

    Even better was getting to see all the little kids ride for all they were worth in what must have seemed to them like an infinite highway made just for them. I loved my bike when I was a kid, and seeing the little guys get to cut loose, free of the ever-present threat of death or injury us city cyclists live with, brought many smiles to my face. (And I\’m not a naturally smiley guy 🙂

    I attend a lot of bike events, and being that I occasionally drive, and being that I\’m a pretty polite guy, I often have a pang of sympathy for the drivers who get inconvenienced when bikes take over the roads (even while I\’m reveling in the takeover). So it was that at Sunday\’s Parkways event, I glanced at every intersection to see how many cars were backed up: I never saw more than three. The police did a great job of moving traffic in both directions – while also engaging warmly with passing cyclists who were constantly thanking them – and I was stopped several times to let cars go through.

    Just the cyclist/cop love-fest alone made this quite unlike most mass biking events I\’ve attended. I\’ve heard second-hand that police working the event were pretty happy with the whole deal.

    People were giddy. If the Oregonian article seemed rah-rah, then I\’d call it an accurate representation of the experience.

    One point regarding the route: it was only a 6 mile circuit – not 70 miles as you say in your post – that was closed off. Bogota closes off 70 miles, maybe that\’s where you got that number. We\’re not quite there yet :). Also, it\’s not like the people within the circuit were closed off from the outside world – that\’s what the crossings were about.

    I\’m not sure, but I\’m pretty sure even residents on the route itself were allowed to drive in and out of the closed streets. I don\’t believe it was nearly as inconvenient as it\’s been (inaccurately) portrayed to have been on some of the less, er, vigorously-fact-checked reports. It was less of an inconvenience than say, a parade or a road race, and for my money a hell of a lot more fun (and healthy, and community-building) than those other events.

    I\’m going to be there helping to get the next Parkways going, hopefully in my neighborhood this time.\”

    I had no more luck being concise there than I do here 🙂

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  • the "other" steph June 24, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    mom had the greatest time EVER! Linda, Janis and co., thanks for the amazing time. and thanks for taking her for a spin, Greg (and for capturing it, Jonathan!). we saw Gil Penalosa cycle by, a big smile on his face.

    there we were at slammed post-Parkway Amnesia Brewery, and my mom was already on the phone with members of her cooking class recounting her great day on the Parkway and asking when they were going to go biking again. this is the same mother and nurse who two years ago would have required her sniffly daughter to stay at home and recuperate, but who asked on this Sunday Parkway Day, \”we can still ride, though, can\’t we?\” answer: \”wild horses, Mom . . .\”

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  • Matt Picio June 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    What I love about this event is that it\’s basically derived from a successful event in Colombia, a nation which is perceived by many in the US as backwards, dangerous, and corruption-ridden. Bogota not only has Ciclovia (pardon the lack of diacriticals here), but also has the Transmilenio rapid bus network – in many ways they are far advanced over most of the world\’s cities, and proof that the popular (mis)conceptions that have been spread over the last 20-30 years by media coverage and the \”war on drugs\” bear little resemblance to reality.

    For that matter, KATU\’s coverage appears to use an equally large brush when painting their picture of Sunday Parkways.

    Stereotypes are spread because at their heart, there is a kernal of truth – but one should never expect a single kernal to represent the entire field of corn.

    Clearly, there is much that we can learn from supposedly \”backward\” third world countries that seem to know a lot more about community than we do. Maybe we\’ve just forgotten, I don\’t know.

    I\’m just glad I live in Portland, where our sense of community and progressiveness are at the forefront in the US. Now if we can learn the lessons that other communities are teaching, including those we\’ve shunned in the past like Colombia and Cuba, we can enter the world stage in liveability, and not just economy.

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  • Lenny Anderson June 26, 2008 at 11:37 am

    It occurs to me that in parts of the city where there are already bikeways…especially NE and SE, we don\’t need PDOT to organized a day like this. Just announce a route…i.e. Tillamook bikeway to 72nd to Alameda to NE 18th or something like that…and tell everyone to come on out. It would be kind of a \”family oriented critical mass.\”

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  • […] looks like Portland’s Sunday Parkways program was a rousing success! This is a fantastic effort with a lot of neighborhood support and provides an excellent example […]

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  • […] the event’s huge success in 2008, PBOT has struggled to pay for the event from traditional sources. They’ve put out calls for […]

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