Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Sunday Parkways North Portland recap and slideshow

Posted by on June 28th, 2010 at 9:01 am

Sunday Parkways North Portland-1

Slideshow below
(Photos © J. Maus)

Huge crowds filled the streets to bask in the sun and the Sunday Parkways spirit yesterday. People walked and rolled on a seven-mile loop of carfree streets in North Portland that stretched from Piedmont, to the bluffs of Willamette Boulevard and north to Kenton Park.

It was the second of five Sunday Parkways the City of Portland has planned for this year (the next one is in East Portland on July 18th). Like we noted in our report on the Northeast edition last month, there were lots of kids and families out yesterday.

Here’s a few things that caught my eye as I rode the loop…

Sunday Parkways North Portland-18

The Bryant Street Bridge
got a bit jammed up.

On N. Delaware, members of the Portland Recorder Society serenaded passersby with beautiful music played by an interesting collection of wind instruments. I also rolled by a tree-costumed mascot of Friends of Trees, who was happy to pose for photos.

Perhaps my fondest memory from the event was a bike wedding in Peninsula Park. Michael Jones and Evelyn Barnes tied the knot, after riding into the park atop a custom pink tall-bike. Michael is known for his bike creations (last year I photographed him and Evelyn on his Xtracycle tall-bike) and his pink wedding rig turned lots of heads. Here are a few photos of the happy couple:

Sunday Parkways North Portland-28

Sunday Parkways North Portland-29

Sunday Parkways North Portland-30

Sunday Parkways North Portland-32

What did you see out in the streets yesterday? For more photos, check out my slideshow 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. Thank you.

  • craig June 28, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I and three of my kids rode from Irvington over to the NoPo Sunday Parkways, and had a terrific time.

    We wish the street closures continued until 5:00 instead of wrapping up at 3:00.

    When we stopped for lunch options in Arbor Park, we were disappointed by the lack of variety and the small number of food vendors. There were just four food vendors (excluding dessert-only purveyors), and those had extremely few menu options. Where the heck was Burgerville???

    On first arrival, once we crossed the the traffic barriers, we pulled over and removed our helmets, and left them off for the duration of our ride on the no-car streets. A question: what is the law enforcement view of kids in the streets without helmets during the Sunday Parkways events? So much else is allowed during these events that would normally generate a citation, or at least a stern warning. I want to use these events to deliberately campaign for the virtues of helmetlessness (I and the kids *always* wear helmets on the streets at all other times).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jack June 28, 2010 at 9:38 am

    With the threat of high speed collision with motor vehicles virtually removed, I think Sunday Parkways is a great opportunity to take a break from the helmet, especially when it’s so hot.

    It’d be hard to argue that Parkways by bike has a significantly higher likelihood of head injury than Parkways on foot.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • A.K. June 28, 2010 at 9:59 am

    I highly doubt the police would be ticketing kids (or their parents) for not wearing helmets inside the Sunday Parkways route. They have better things to worry about, plus it would be fairly bad PR. Though I could see them asking people to put them back on.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Gabriel June 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

    As a supporter of bike helmets (not mandatory helmet laws), I just have to throw in my 2 cents:

    “With the threat of high speed collision with motor vehicles virtually removed…”

    Unfortunatly, the vast majority of cycle crashes where the helmet plays a positive role are low speed and single vehicle (rider falling, or striking a stationary object). When high speed motor vehicles are involved – your strofoam hat is going to do very little.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ely June 28, 2010 at 10:26 am

    had such a great time but got sooo sunburned!!! Thanks for the wedding pics; the bride and groom biked by too fast for me to snap my own. 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • OuterToob June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Craig, I found this link to OHSU about the helmet law in oregon, apparently under 16’s are required by law to wear helmets at all times while on a bike.


    I don’t think they suspend this law for Sunday Parkways. Not to take a position on wether one should or shouldn’t wear a helmet, but I think it would be foolish to believe a piece of foam full of holes with straps on it would save anyone in a high speed motor vehicle collision as Jack mentioned. It was always my understanding that a helmet is supposed to protect your noggin from all of the other types of impacts and crashes that can occur while on a bike.

    There are also many instances of someone simply falling over, hitting their head on something and incurring brain injury or potential death (remember Gary Coleman). Increase that fall by 10 – 20 mph that can be achieved on a bike and all of a sudden that piece of foam might have some value.

    Again, not saying anyone should or shouldn’t wear a helmet, but attempting to offer a POV that protection from automobiles shouldn’t be the main reason to wear one, there are lots of easier ways to crack ones head open.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • borgbike June 28, 2010 at 10:33 am

    I thoroughly enjoyed coming across the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement booth.

    This was a pleasant change of pace. Maybe a little to honest for most of use to deal with.

    Thank you for not breeding!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Tonya June 28, 2010 at 10:46 am

    My family and I had a fantastic time again at Sunday Parkways! Thanks to all who volunteered and worked to make this a great event for our city.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Michael M. June 28, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I spent the morning at a quiet intersection on Wabash, thinking that the turnout seemed pretty low compared to past years. But once relieved from volunteer duties, I rode part of the route and discovered much bigger crowds. I guess a lot of people don’t ride the whole route; OTOH, at last year’s SE SP I remember being surprised by how many people did scale Mt. Tabor.

    Given that lack of resources (money, volunteers) seems increasingly to be an issue, I wonder how adversely these events would be affected if the routes were shorter. If something has to give, I think I’d rather see shorter routes than fewer events or shorter lengths of time.

    Meanwhile, favorite bit was a little girl riding a tag-along chastising her father, “Daddy, don’t you EVER go so FAST again!”

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe Kurmaskie - Metal Cowboy June 28, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I wan to thank everyone who stopped by the table in front of my house to visit, preorder Mia’s forthcoming book, grab up copies of mine and got free tour guides for rides for the rest of the year and all the folks who waved, hollered out sa they went by etc. it feels like such a community on these days, It was great to wave, visit and chat with so many friends… rolling right up to my doorstep. Having just gotten back from California where I picked up a wicked summer cold, everyone on bikes and foot raised my spirits.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • craig June 28, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    @OuterToob #6

    Thanks. I’m aware of the law, but wondering whether the PPB will ignore that one during Sunday Parkways like they seem to do with other similar (i.e. peds and skateboards in the roadway, etc.).

    I agree about injury risk when riding normally. However, this is such slow-paced riding, I agree with Jack #2 that there’s virtually equal risk for me and my kids on bikes as compared to pedestrians.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • craig June 28, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    So, Joe, how’d you swing getting the route to pass by your front door? 🙂

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • beth h June 28, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    @ craig (#1):

    The food vendors that sell at Parkways tend to be local, independent vendors. I like to think that the reason for this is to promote local, independent businesses right in the neighborhood — a great reason to enjoy Parkways.

    Of course, you can also do what I did yesterday, which was to bring snacks along on the bike.

    Either way, I had a GREAT time at Parkways (though I, too, forgot to reapply my sunscreen and ended up getting a little pink…).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • joey June 28, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I ALWAYS where my helmet. Even to bed. It’s just to risky to go without it. The world is a dangerous place.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rrandom rider June 28, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    My wife, two kids (6 and 8) and I had a great time. The only bad part was the hipster couple flying down the route weaving through traffic and yelling “get out of our way”. I saw them nearly collide with a few other riders and scare the heck out of many others, including young kids. But we didn’t let two knuckle heads ruin the experience of thousands of other peaceful and fun loving folks.

    IMO, the Sunday Parkways are one budget item that must be preserved at all costs. Besides just people on bikes, there were tons of folks out walking, pushing strollers, etc. These events are probably the most high-profile way of showing your average non-bike devoted residents how wonderful a car-free neighborhood can be.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Red Five June 29, 2010 at 6:16 am

    Shouldn’t hipsters be banned from these events? A bunch of skinny jean wearing, Pabst drinkers. Worthless.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim June 29, 2010 at 10:34 am

    {your strofoam hat is going to do very little.}
    That is about the stupidist coment I ever read. A helmet can make the difference between being spoon fed for the rest of your life or being normal

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • craig June 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    @jim #17

    Jim, I like to think my comments aren’t made from stupidity, i.e. having no clue. Here’s one for you: rather than respond emotionally, get some information.


    This link above provides links to reports that show that helmet user doesn’t improve cyclist safety overall, and in countries where helmets aren’t required/promoted, cycling injury rates and severity are lower and ridership is enormously higher.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rigormrtis June 29, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    @1 Craig….

    so was there anything you actually enjoyed? Sheesh.

    As for kids not wearing helmets, should that first be enforced by the parents instead of the police? I’m guessing you’d also complain if they DID enforce.

    Virtuousness of not wearing a helmet? Sure…and I’ll go around campaigning about the virtuousness of not wearing a seatbelt.

    You wear those things because you can’t control the actions of others.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • craig June 29, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Gee, rigormortis #19, I’m sorry for not blogging just to say how perfect everything is. I view this as a discussion board, and while Sunday Parkways is one of my favorite things about Portland, I always view constructive feedback as (wait for it) … a POSITIVE thing. If you reread my remarks with some alertness, you’ll notice I didn’t put anything down, only asked for *more* of a good thing in several cases.

    Ref helmets v. seatbelts, here’s where they don’t compare: the seatbelt laws don’t discourage people from driving (but if they did, fewer cars on the road doesn’t translate to more accidents–fewer bikes on the road DOES lead to more accidents–of all kinds). Helmets do discourage people from biking–or so I’m led to believe by the research on the subject.

    I said in my first post that I and my kids ALWAYS wear helmets on the road, except when riding on closed-to-cars streets. I’m not down on helmets, per se, I’m in favor of increasing the bike presence–and thereby the safety of all–on the roadways. Downplaying helmets translates to increased numbers on bikes, or (once again) so the research would have me believe.

    I did not use the word “virtuousness”, but you do your thing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • nana on a bike June 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    In regards to helmets….once I took the grandchildren out on the bike path at the beach in OC. There were very few people on the path and they didn’t have their helmets so they went without. We rode not more than 200 yards before my granddaughter (7) fell over on her bike onto her forehead. She had such a hugh knot on her head now and was fearful of riding back so we had to ask some campers nearby to help us get her bike back to the beach house. I worried for the rest of the evening about a concussion and the damage I had done to her self-confidence as a rider. I should have had helmets for them all.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • jim July 1, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Craig #18-
    You should go to Emanuel hospital sometime (level #1 trauma center) and talk to a nurse in emergency. She will change your mind about if its not stupid to not wear a helmet

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • TomTrottier July 1, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    A helmet will protect your head if you fall on something hard like pavement or a curb, or if you collide with something solid (like a tree or post) at about 10mph. These impacts could kill or severely injure you.

    I think it’s better to always wear a helmet, especially when out with kids. Kids are 10x more likely to have an accident with a bike, whether just falling down, hitting another bike, or ….

    Kids are also used to doing protective things without much thinking or worrying.

    Studies so far have shown that helmet laws for adults cut cycling by 30-50% and result in a more toxic environment for the remaining cyclists. But helmet laws don’t deter kids, at least the pre-adolescents, and they need them most.


    Recommended Thumb up 0