(Photos © J. Maus)
I don’t have an official count; but I don’t really need one (I did talk candidly with City staff who agreed with me). I’ve been to every Sunday Parkways since they began in 2008 and the one that happened today was without a doubt the largest ever.
While the Portland Bureau of Transportation did another stellar job on the event, I think even they’d give most of the credit for today’s turnout to mother nature. The sun showed up in perfect form for a city that has been waiting for summer to start since, well, last summer.
Today’s Sunday Parkways, which offered Portlanders a mostly carfree loop of streets to pedal and walk on from Peninsula Park to New Columbia, saw tens of thousands of people enjoy activities in the parks, food and wares from local vendors, and much more.
The thing that stood out for me today was the ethnic diversity of participants.
On other small note; the route on N. Willamette which put two directions of Parkways traffic on the southern half of the street. PBOT is working on improving bike access on Willamette and that arrangement is similar to what some in the community think would be a good solution so it was interesting to have a test-run. Cars were still permitted to travel westbound in the northern lane. I heard one “old guy in a Camaro” did not heed to police warnings and drove eastbound in the lane, only to be pulled from his car and arrested. Another man I heard I from via Twitter said, “Willamette not fun today. Cars fast. Too many bikes for two ways especially with young riders.”
I don’t want to overstate the Willamette situation. When I rode on it with my family, it was fine.
Congratulations PBOT! I think today showed Sunday Parkways — and our beautiful city — at it’s full and glorious potential and we owe PBOT (and the volunteers, police and title sponsor Kaiser Permanente) a lot for making it happen.
How was they day for you? Please share your experiences in the comments and have a look at more of my photos…
More photos in the gallery.