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Parkways set to take over downtown Sunday

Posted by on July 20th, 2011 at 9:28 am

The scene on NW 13th during last year’s event. Expect bigger crowds if the sun holds out through the weekend.
(Photos © J. Maus)

This Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, the Bureau of Transportation will host their third of five Sunday Parkways events of the year. The route (see it below) is a 6.4 mile loop that spans through upper Northwest Portland and the Pearl District and south to Waterfront Park and SW Naito Parkway.

Riding on SW Naito will likely be a highlight of the route. PBOT will make the southern portion of the route — from SW Taylor to SW Columbia completely carfree, but will allow southbound motor vehicle traffic between Taylor and and NW Overton. Another high point will be NW 13th, a street that blossomed while carfree last year (and a street I think should be considered as Portland’s next carfree plaza).

The shops and character of NW 13th would make it a perfect carfree street.

PBOT Director Tom Miller (left) enjoying a carfree NW 13th at last year’s event.

The route looks to be a great tour of downtown Portland, and as usual, PBOT has lined up a stellar mix of activities in parks along the way. In future years, I’d love to see our major downtown streets go carfree for this event. I think it’d be both very fun — and an important symbolic gesture — if PBOT would close Burnside or Broadway to car traffic. Perhaps, if we get a massive turnout on Sunday, it will convince businesses that thousands of people moving by their storefronts at a leisurely pace is actually good for their business.

The gates to Chinatown are a great photo op!

Last year some early morning drizzle kept crowds away, but if this sunny weather holds, we could be in for an epic day of carfree streets downtown.

See you out there!

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4 Comments
  • Chris Smith July 20, 2011 at 10:36 am

    PBOT was dropping off barricades at corners this morning to get ready. I’m looking forward to it!

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  • peejay July 20, 2011 at 11:03 am

    I used to live on NW 13th (you can see my building in that photo) and I fully agree about it being a perfect candidate for a carfree street. Probably have to allow some kind of loading dock access, though, for those businesses that have not been converted into expensive housewares boutiques.

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  • middle of the road guy July 20, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    See you all out there….and respect my authoritah at my intersection!

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  • Paul Hanrahan July 20, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Sunday Parkways could always use more volunteers. Its only for a few hours, it’s a lot of fun and you get a great t-shirt. Check it out at their website.

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