As of this summer, Portland has six years of open-streets festivals under its belt. If Sunday Parkways were a kid, it’d be in kindergarten. If it were a bad relationship, it’d be fraying around the edges.
Fortunately, Portland has a pretty great relationship with these remarkable summertime events that have become popular across the country thanks in part to our successful experimentation. All the more reason to try spicing things up with some interesting tweaks.
On Monday, BikePortland reader Gutterbunnybikes was one of many with some great suggestions. These seemed particularly creative:
I’ve always loved the Parkways. Always will.
Though I got to agree, with a few of the comments here.
1) Fairs not on the main route. Though the root beer floats were awesome, and frankly I would have missed it if it wasn’t on the route. Thanks Oregon Public House.
2) A few side routes, making smaller loops for kids on bikes. Perhaps a bigger one for the more experienced riders, perhaps even a few that duck down some alleys, smaller trails, unimproved roads.
3) More varied routes, connecting different neighborhoods and different routes each time. They really haven’t changed very much in the last few years.
4) More education stuff. Why not bring in people to talk about the effects of bike riding on personal economics, global warming, safe road use, packing groceries, how to use TriMet with a bike, or even simply how to ride a bike for kids and another for adults, skill courses, etc…the list goes on.
5) Have it end at dusk with the last event being a bike “drive in” with the Movies in the Park program. Though unfortunately I can’t think of a bikey movie that I’m glad I watched the first time, let alone sit through them a second time.
And I too would like to thank (especially those that were too busy for me to say thank you as I rode by) all the organizers, volunteers, police officers, and the people that live on the routes for doing such a good job with this. It really is amazing.
What do you say, Portland? Maybe test one or two of these concepts for one ride next year?
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.