Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am
The Portland Bureau of Transportation will break new ground with its eighth annual Sunday Parkways events in 2015. PBOT announced this year’s five events today with an exciting new route in September that will venture through Sellwood neighborhoods and across the Tilikum Crossing Bridge just a few weeks after it’s slated to open for the first time.
The events begin on Mother’s Day in southeast Portland and happen each month from May to September. Last year over 108,000 people showed up to walk and roll in the events.
Here are the routes, dates and brief details on each of the 2015 events (via PBOT):
East Portland Sunday Parkways May 10, 2015 ~ 11am-4pm (7 miles) The party will start on Mother’s Day in East Portland with a celebration of mothers, families and friends on our first Sunday Parkways of the year. The route will highlight some of the beautiful natural areas that are located in East Portland, such as the newly finished Foster Floodplain Natural Area as well as Lents, Ed Benedict, Glenwood and Bloomington Park.
North Portland Sunday Parkways June 21, 2015 ~ 11am-4pm (9.5 miles) It’s a family affair. Sunday Parkways continues it celebration of family and communities through our June 21st event that occurs on Father’s Day and focuses on North Portland. This 9.5 mile double loop course will highlight gems across the route, such as the scenic Willamette Bluff, the Peninsula Rose Gardens, the universally accessible Harper’s Playground at Arbor Lodge, as well as the activities offered at the Kenton, Columbia Annex, and McCoy Parks.
Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways July 26, 2015 ~ 11am-4pm (8 miles) Explore the Northeast Neighborhood Greenways while you make your way around the Northeast Portland route. Don’t forget to stop by Woodlawn, Alberta and Fernhill Parks along with Rigler Elementary School where a collection of fun activities, festive music, and delicious food awaits you.
Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways August 23, 2015 ~ 11am-4pm (7 miles) Spend a warm summer day walking and rolling around the Southeast Sunday Parkways route. While you’re at it, take a few moments to explore Laurelhurst, Colonel Summers, Sewallcrest and Ivon Parks to grab a bite to eat, listen to tunes, and jump into a dance or activity or two.
Tilikum Crossing-Sellwood Portland Sunday Parkways September 27, 2015 ~ 11am-4pm (7 miles) End the Sunday Parkways season big by exploring the new Tilikum Crossing Bridge of the People and the Sellwood area. This new route will include the Tilikum Crossing and circle the Sellwood area introducing participants to the Westmoreland, Sellwood Parks plus Brooklyn Park where music, food, and fun are waiting.
Sunday Parkways participants won’t be the first people to walk and roll across the new Tilikum Bridge. It’s slated to open to transit users, walkers, and rollers on September 12th. And TriMet has agreed to let Bridge Pedalers get a “sneak peek” on August 9th.
While a Tilikum/Sellwood route is an exciting addition to the schedule, PBOT has decided to not take this event to southwest Portland this year (we’re waiting to hear why – see below for update). The topography and route options in southwest have been a challenge for PBOT ever since they first ventured into that quadrant in 2012. After that debut year, the 2013 southwest edition was cancelled due to a severe weather forecast. Last year, Sunday Parkways Southwest had the lowest participation rate of the five events with 10,600 people (the largest, north Portland, had 31,100 attendees).
Kaiser Permanente returns in 2015 as presenting sponsor of the events and PBOT says two new major sponsors include AAA Oregon/Idaho and Umpqua Bank (so expect lots of plastic freebies from all three of those companies). Other new sponsors this year include Recology Portland and Spinlister. Sponsor support is key for PBOT because it accounts for two-thirds of total Sunday Parkways funding (the city of Portland picks up the tab for the remaining third).
UPDATE, 10:01 am: Linda Ginenthal, the PBOT staffer who manages Sunday Parkways, has told us why the agency won’t have an event in southwest Portland this year: “We just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to be on the Tilikum Crossing Bridge this September when it opens. We couldn’t do both southwest and this new route.”