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Time to hit the streets for ‘Walktober’

Posted by on October 21st, 2013 at 12:00 pm

Have you heard about Walktober? It’s “Three weeks of fun on foot” and it’s in full swing right now. The event is organized by Oregon Walks and it was inspired by Shift’s bike-centric Pedalpalooza that happens each summer. Similar to Pedalpalooza, the event consists of several individual events created and led by community groups and individuals who add them to a master calendar. Last week there was a walk on the Eastbank Esplanade led by the man who planned the project, George Hudson. There was also the Get Annoyed walk led by our very own Michael Andersen which featured problem solving and cake.

We’ve heard about two events this week that look interesting, so we wanted to share them with you…

Wonk Walk 2013: Crosswalk Crusade! 5:15 pm TONIGHT (Meet on west side of SW 4th between Stark and Oak)
This walk will be led by Lancaster Engineering employees Kirk Paulsen and Brian Davis. Here’s how they describe the event:

“Join a great gang of transportation geeks as we think about how to take back our streets for walkers at the most logical starting point: Crosswalks! During this unadulterated ped-infrastructure wonk-out, we’ll look at the devil in the details, discussing and experiencing what makes a walking environment great, and what makes it, um…less than great.

We’ll contrast auto-centric 4th Avenue to transit-centric 5th Avenue and look at the difference one mere block makes, thinking about the ways land uses and things like dual-turning lanes and curb cuts for parking garages affect walkability…”

Lancaster is the company that created the awesome Oregon Crosswalk Law t-shirt, so don’t forget to bring some cash. More info here.

Commissioner Steve Novick stars in the promo flyer for a walk he’ll lead on Thursday.

Don’t Circle the Block – Park and Walk!12:00 pm Thursday October 24th (Meet at Portland SmartPark at SW 4th & Yamhill)
City of Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick is leading this walk. He’s using the event as a way to encourage folks to stop circling around the block to look for a parking space and instead use a parking garage. If you don’t drive, you may not realize that people actually do this! All the time! “So when we park early and walk,” says Commissioner Novick, “we’re getting healthier. And in turn, we’re cutting down on traffic and pollution, and can even save a bit of time. Now that’s a win, win, win.” More info here.

We’re big fans of walking because places that are comfortable to walk in are places that are comfortable to ride in.

If you haven’t participated in one of the events, there are more scheduled through Halloween and you can find them all on the online calendar.

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DaveAaron BrownJoseph EdwainedibblyChris I Recent comment authors
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Joseph E

“encourage folks to stop circling around the block to look for a parking space and instead use a parking garage”

This problem is technically easy (but politically difficult) to solve. Right now curbside parking is underpriced (often free) compared to garages. The solution is to charge more for curb parking in the central city and other busy neighborhoods.

See “The High Price of Free Parking”, by Donald Shoup http://shoup.bol.ucla.edu/CruisingForParkingAccess.pdf
or this Siteline series: http://daily.sightline.org/blog_series/parking-lots/

Aaron Brown

Hi Joseph! Hope you can come to the event and talk to Commissioner Novick about parking policy yourself!


…or charge LESS for garage parking.

Chris I
Chris I

So people will drive more?

Joseph E

That won’t work when the street parking is already free or really cheap.
But yes, the garages need to be priced slightly below street parking. The advantage of having your car out of the weather is outweighed by the time it takes to drive into the garage and up or down the ramps, and then walk back out.


Once we get people used to the idea of not parking on the street, it will be easier for cities to claim that space for bicycling infrastructure.


LOVE Novick’s park and walk idea!