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City announces 2015 Sunday Parkways: New route will cross Tilikum Bridge

Posted by on February 18th, 2015 at 7:00 am

Sunday-Parkways-SE-2012-29

Mark your calendars!
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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):

parkwaysgraphic

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.

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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.”

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Chris Anderson
Guest

Awesome to see a route crossing the river!

Dave Hoch
Guest

I know why they skipped SW. See ALL your articles last week. Stoked for Sellwood and the crossing. Ideally, every route would be open each weekend in the summer like ciclovía.

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

every weekend should be a free Bridge Pedal… close the bridges and some of the freeways… they’ve been doing the Bridge Pedal long enough that the planning part of it is already done…

Nick
Guest
Nick

Totally. Though we still had a lot of fun with the SW Parkways last summer.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

I thought about doing the SW Parkways last year, but was concerned about the road conditions and safety, so I ultimately ended up skipping it. There really was no safe way for me to get to the route other than putting my bike on a bus.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Couldn’t you have just ridden there from Terwiliger? You live in Goose Hollow, right? There are bike lanes almost the entire way.

soren
Guest

And terwilliger has a fully-separated path that goes from all the way from sheridan to capitol highway.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Washington County is removing parking lanes on SW Oleson Road near BH Highway to turn into bike lanes. Long-time, elderly residents are even pleased to see the changes being built this week.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

They’ve been getting shy about the hills. SE no longer has the Mt Tabor option. Last year didn’t either? 2 years ago there was lots of huffing up the hill, but I didn’t see any major carnage either up or down.

So SW and they don’t want hills? Its got to be Barbur and Terwilliger, counter clockwise.

9watts
Guest
9watts

“Its got to be Barbur and Terwilliger, counter clockwise.”

That may be your/our/PBOT’s problem, right there. Barbur could be awkward, if you know what I mean. The Platinum/Pot metal thing.

Nathan Hinkle (The Bike Light Database)
Guest

I volunteered a full day at SE two years ago when they had Tabor on the route. There were definitely some non-trivial logistical hurdles caused by the steep hills and long distances between intersections. We dealt with a lot of people getting off route and a handful of cars getting on route, which was largely due to inadequate signage and sparse volunteer coverage. You really need to have one volunteer at every intersection or possible turn on Mt. Tabor to ensure it goes smoothly, and unfortunately I don’t think Parkways gets quite enough volunteers to reliably pull that off.

There was one significant crash that occurred. An older participant crashed coming down a steep section near the top of Mt. Tabor. He briefly blacked out and when he regained consciousness, didn’t remember falling, where he was, or what year it was. We had to call an ambulance, which necessitated briefly closing a small section of the route.

I grew up near Mt. Tabor and love exposing more people to it. I’m disappointed that they took Tabor out of the SE route too. But I can understand why – it’s a logistical challenge and it does increase the safety risks. There were also not nearly as many people on the Tabor section of the route as others. Parkways is an event for casual bikers, and many of them don’t feel like they’re strong enough to go up such steep and long hills, so I can see why PBOT decided to eliminate those types of routes.

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

Easy solution: close all of Mt. Tabor to cars – every day, all year.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Yep, old folks shouldn’t be allowed to see any of those views……
They should earn them!

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Build a road to the summit of Mt. Hood!

davemess
Guest
davemess

There’s a pretty big difference between building a new road in a wilderness area versus closing an already open road in a nearby city park.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

You already can’t drive all the way up.

A few extra days of restrictions at least shouldn’t be too bad. Maybe a car free weekend day?

Nathan Hinkle (The Bike Light Database)
Guest

The road to the top is in fact closed to cars, and much of the park is closed to cars. I would love to have car-free days more than just once a week (currently it’s closed to cars on Wednesdays) too, or at least have a weekend in addition to Wednesdays.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

I would love someone…other than me as I already bug my friendly neighbors to the south about enough things bike related….to propose this to the Mount Tabor Neighborhood Association and see what they say. Car free Sundays?

Kyle
Guest
Kyle

This is awesome! I live on the inner SE route and I’ve enjoyed the festivities each year. Perhaps this year I’ll venture out to some of the other ones…

Rick
Guest
Rick

No parkways for SW despite the completion of the million dollar projects on SW Vermont Street, SW Oleson Road bridge over Fanno Creek, sidealks and swales on SW Terwilliger, new bikes stores opening and expanding, and the overhaul of parts of SW Multnomah Blvd? None even though SW Trails has been slapped with a horrible trails policy from the city? No parkways even though businesses have opened in the Raleigh Hills “town center” and Multnomah Village and Hillsdale town center?

Paul Souders
Guest

Does feel like kind of a thumb in the eye. My family rode it every year and while it’s not as busy as the eastside parkways you *never* see that many people out on SW streets at any other time. It’s a great gateway drug for our car-centric neighbors who always say things like “I had no idea you could RIDE YOUR BIKE to Multnomah!”

Adam H.
Guest
Adam H.

I’ve always been wary about riding my bike in SW, but last week’s coverage here cemented my decision: I will never ride my bike in SW until the city gets serious about improving safety.

Ben Funkhouser
Guest
Ben Funkhouser

I figured some would have this reaction, but honestly I think it’s an over-reaction. Sure, it isn’t up to par with other areas of Portland, but it’s far from un-rideable. I was entirely new to urban biking as of last summer (2014), but I’ve been riding all over SW since then and have never even had a close-call with a car. The scenery is beautiful and it’s a good workout. I’d invite you to experience it for yourself. If you don’t like traffic take Terwilliger instead of Barbur and stick to low-traffic routes.

To those skeptical of biking in SW I’d say, just try it! If there were more people biking out here maybe that would force the city to invest in more cycling infrastructure!

davemess
Guest
davemess

Amen Ben!
I’ve known a number of people who picked up biking when living in SW.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Then join SW Trails and help get the solutions.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

I commuted from Goose Hollow to near the Barbur Transit center for five years in the early 2000’s. Now, I will admit….riding home at night on Barbur was the closest I have ever come to death on a bike due to a fallen tree limb…..but Terrwilliger is great. You can also get to Council Crest fairly easily if you take the Washington Park MAX to the top and come over Skyline to SE Hewett. Just make sure your breaks are in fine functioning order coming down Vista.

lahar
Guest
lahar

It is nice to see a little bit of the love is being shared but still it mostly the same old routes in the same old locations.

Brad
Guest
Brad

My wife and I ventured to SW last year and had a good time. It was our first time ever going to Multnomah Village. Sad that they’re taking that route out. It’s a part of town we otherwise never get to experience.

dave
Guest
dave

We need to contact Novick and get him to add a SW Portland Parkways. If enough people push the issue, he will bend, look at the street fee issue.

Mitch
Guest

Sunday Parkways is one of the best things about living in Portland.

dave
Guest
dave

Unless you live on the west side of town. Not so much this year apparently.

Reza
Guest
Reza

Excited for the Sellwood route, if only to help illuminate the complete lack of safe on-street connections from the north. The nascent “19th Street Greenway” project is not a suitable alternative to bike lanes on SE Milwaukie or 17th.

Shame, it also seems like there is no desire from the City to ever return the Parkways to Northwest.

rick
Guest
rick

SE 17th is getting a makeover.

Nathan Hinkle (The Bike Light Database)
Guest

Northwest was one of my favorite routes the one year they did it. The route that went to Chapman school and down Naito. I wish they would bring that route back!

dave
Guest
dave

Not having Sunday parkways in Southwest Portland continues to demonstrate the lack of commitment to cycling Southwest Portland. The vast majority of the cycling infrastructure is on the east side. I know people will disagree with me but the west side continues to get short-changed. I don’t know how you can have FIVE on the east side and none on the west side. That sends a message loud and clear.

Rick
Guest
Rick

A district-based city government is needed. A slap in the face to the entire westside.

Reza
Guest
Reza

I find it amusing you bring this up again when SIXTY PERCENT of the council lives in Southwest Portland…

davemess
Guest
davemess

“I don’t know how you can have FIVE on the east side and none on the west side.”

Lots of hills and/or downtowns on the west side?

Rick
Guest
Rick

It is partly due to a lack of district-based city council government.

dave
Guest
dave

Novick lives on the west side, making it even worse.

Rick
Guest
Rick

The SW Capitol Highway redesign was shown, in one form, in 1996.

dave
Guest
dave

So westsiders shouldn’t ride their bikes since it’s too hilly???

davemess
Guest
davemess

Not at all. I can just see the reasoning for avoiding putting a somewhat (mostly?) family-oreiented event in a hilly location.

dave
Guest
dave

Didn’t hear a single complaint about the hills the years that I did it. Those who live in the SW are used to hills. It’s not an issue. It’s just really disappointing that the city chooses to collect taxes from everyone equally but schedules five family oriented cycling events and fails to hold any of them on the west side of town. Your attempt to justify their actions adds to the disappointment.

davemess
Guest
davemess

You’re really taking this personally. If we want to get into taxes: 80% of the city’s population lives east of the river. https://www.portlandonline.com/portlandplan/index.cfm?c=52257&a=288621

More than the hills, I’m guessing the lower comparative turnouts previously was another big factor. It’d be great to have one in the SW every year, but it shouldn’t be shocking to have one every other year or so.

Respect for sticking up for your neighborhood though.

dave
Guest
dave

And something like 50% of the property taxes are paid by landowners on the west side.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Do you have a source for this? I’m having trouble finding one.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

SW Portland residents demonstrated their lack of commitment by posting the lowest attendance numbers every year a ride was hosted in SW.

Rick
Guest
Rick

Does it help that city council hasn’t taken executive action on the horrible situation with the SW Coronado Street right of way, the propsed trails policy from PBOT, approving the new storage place on SW 45th Ave, calling Spring Garden Park a “park” for years near Barbur Blvd yet leaving it as a weed-infested park? Who wants to walk or bike along SW Dosch Road in just the 30th block of the city?

The 2013 SW event was cancelled due to a massive downpour of rain.

http://swtrails.org/2015/02/12/draft-sw-trails-policy-february-11-2015/

dave
Guest
dave

There was a rain out one year. I saw tons of people the other years. The population is also smaller on the west side. Very weak excuse. Due to higher property values, don’t westsiders pay more in property taxes???

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

Riders/ Population?

Also, I might ride to the nearest 2 or 3, but I’m unlikely to end up on in the hills wanting to ride at a family pace. I accidentally ran into the north Portland one a few years ago, not fun when you’re not expecting it.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

No one east of 82nd where over 120,000 residents live, has ever been on council. These are some of the lowest income tracks in the city. SW has 65,000 residents and four council members.

If you look at the comprehensive planning map, the projects in SW are VERY expensive since they all require sidewalks, ROW expansions, retaining walls and water retention facilities. SW residents want the infrastructure, yet they are fighting the added density needed to support the infrastructure. You can not have it both ways, particularity in a low/flat tax state like Oregon where prioritization is incredibly important.

It is a question of where the most good would go….do you want to spend millions on one mile of sidewalk/cycle track or provide greenways/bike lane striping for 10,000’s residents?

dave
Guest
dave

You are 100% incorrect in that this city appears to favor inner North, NE and SE Portland these days, because it’s trendy. They blow off the far east and the west side outside of downtown.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

I live just about a mile east of the very geographic center of Portland and ride…basically in every direction. Other than some high profile regional projects, most everything built recently is in the inner areas. Foster and outer powell which will happen soon are LONG OVERDUE.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Did you mean “100% correct”?

davemess
Guest
davemess

Totally agree with your post, but wasn’t Randy Leonard from East Portland?

davemess
Guest
davemess

Although I don’t think neighborhoods should have to be super dense just to have sidewalks.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

I think you are right, for a short time.

Gary
Guest
Gary

“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.”

Huh, that’s odd. As my dear friend Achoo might say, “I’m on one side, I’m on the other side. I’m on the east bank, I’m on the west bank.”

(And no, I don’t think doing it on the other side of the bridge is preferable, just funny that she said they “couldn’t”.)

Rick
Guest
Rick

A slap in the face to the residents and businesses on the entire west side.

Grimmfan
Guest
Grimmfan

…More like a loud, all-caps, boldfaced, underlined “F-U” to residents and businesses on the west side.

Eric
Guest
Eric

Very sad and not at all surprised about SW. Not even a loop back across the Sellwood bridge? “Couldn’t” indeed.

davemess
Guest
davemess

Where would that go? Up the through the cemetery? The trail along the river isn’t completed yet, right?

Eric
Guest
Eric

Close one Northbound lane of Macadam up to Hamilton Ct on a Sunday? Even with the MUP closed to Willamette park, you should be able to get off Macadam before leaving the 25mph zone. And then side streets or ride the riverside rooty MUP to the moody “bikeway”, etc. Without that segment, why all this effort to ride back and forth across a bridge which is always closed to cars anyway?

davemess
Guest
davemess

I’m guessing just because it’s new.

Dwaine Dibbly
Guest
Dwaine Dibbly

Not having Sunday Parkways in downtown shows the City’s lack of commitment… blah, blah, blah. We loved it when they did it there, but there were simply to many intersections to man, resulting in a huge bill for police overtime. I understand why it’ll probably never happen there again. My point? Just because the event leaves a part of town it doesn’t mean that the City isn’t committed to supporting bicycling in that area or that it’s an intentional snub, etc, etc.. Let’s just enjoy the rides and thank the sponsors, ok?

rick
Guest
rick

Not when the city pulled the plug on the 1996 Capitol Highway overhaul project. Nothing for the hundreds of thousands of people who live on the westside. Nothing to push Safeway to the edge to put in bike lanes on their side of SW Capitol Hill Road.

dave
Guest
dave

Or boycott the sponsors until things change. Skipping the west side does send a message whether you want to admit it or not.

rick
Guest
rick

Even Tigard has been having a Street Fair even before the redesign of the southern half of Main Street.

eli bishop
Guest
eli bishop

It’s too bad this route won’t loop across the Sellwood & Greenway trail. When will that be finished?

doug B
Guest
doug B

Ok I get it many of you that live in the SW are disappointed that it does not go back there this year. Would it be great exposure and maybe get a few of your neighbors thinking about getting around in a different way if there was another one out there this year, probably. Ideally it would be great if we had them much more often and in many more locations. However, I think it is great that we have them at all. Also, as someone who lives in a different area of the city it doesn’t really bother me that the SW is skipped this year. I would prefer to have the whole family ride to wherever they are located, and I don’t think that is possibly or safe when they are in the SW and I don’t want to load everybody up and drive somewhere to help promote safe streets. It defeats the purpose.

dave
Guest
dave

So in other words, it’s OK for westsiders to drive to the east side but not OK for you to drive over to the west side. Double standard man.

rick
Guest
rick

No wonder the leaders in SW like at SW Trails and elsewhere have so much to fight.

doug B
Guest
doug B

Personally, I would just assume nobody drive anywhere for a recreational ride.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

What is your perspective on mixed use buildings on main corridors in your neighborhood? Do you support the added density, which brings in development charges, to fund the infrastructure improvements?

The last time the comprehensive plan was updated SW NA’s fought added density tooth and nail, hence why everyone was pushed to the east side….and is now dieing crossing roadways without crossings in some of the densest housing tracks outside of the central city.

dave
Guest
dave

Honestly, you can build high density anywhere on Barbur, on in Hillsdale. I’ll probably get nasty comments over this but you can replace every building in Hillsdale with 4-5 story buildings. It’s car centric today with an undersized parking lot. The 50s model is outdated over there.

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

We agree here. SW should get some nice throughways, capital vermont and barbur come to mind, but sidewalks are really expesive, so it needs to be targeted.

rick
Guest
rick

The entire westside has zero Parkway events. All of the thousands of dollars only goes to the east of the Willamette River. Portland just lets SW Shattuck Road crumble apart with potholes and non-existent bike lanes.

Psyfalcon
Guest
Psyfalcon

To be fair, there are roads on SE with more waterfowl than pavement. Not all of SE Portland can be lumped together.

Personally, I like the lack of cut through traffic and the waterfowl, but others do not.

doug B
Guest
doug B

I doubt the streets I ride to the grocery store and take my kids to school on are any better than any you ride on in the SW.

doug B
Guest
doug B

though maybe flatter and less scenic 🙂

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

You really need to spend some time in outer east-Portland. I grew up in SW, currently live in NE, and work in outer-east, and outer-east, by far, is the most neglected area of the city. Just look at the pedestrian and cyclist deaths in the city. See a trend by geography at all?

Scott B
Guest
Scott B

Uh, the Southwest route is the leftovers after Downtown and Northwest Businesses protested and shut down those routes 3 years ago.

I never went to the Southwest Route for that very reason and the fact that it’s a 15 mile ride round trip to get to it over hills and other obstacles.

As a Northwest Resident I LOVED the Northwest and Downtown Routes and my hope is that Sunday Parkways would bring it back.

At least this gives the Downtown and Northwest riders someplace close by,

rick
Guest
rick

As if it is a huge bike ride on SW Terwilliger to the start of recent SW Parkways. By the way, Western Bikeworks is opening a store in the Tigard Triangle of all places and they will be serving both suburbia, PCC, and SW Portland.

Nathan Hinkle (The Bike Light Database)
Guest

Do you have some more info you could share about “Downtown and Northwest Businesses protesting those routes”? The NW route was one of my favorites and I’ve lamented its absence. Is there a specific business group or something that lobbied for its removal?

soren
Guest

Perhaps a very modest progressive street fee might have helped free up some funds for additional sunday parkways…

Lenny Anderson
Guest
Lenny Anderson

Tillikum Bridge connects SW and SE, so it seems reasonable to have some of both in the route…maybe across the Gibbs bridge and over to PSU and back via Moody or something like that.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

Exactly. The Lair Hill or Corbett areas have never had a Parkways event…

Terry D-M
Guest
Terry D-M

Across the Gibb’s Bridge…with that stupid stairwell? Oh that will work well….I have NEVER seen a stairwell work for bikes. They are all bottlenecks in this city…..both this one and Waud Bluff were mistakes to save money as is the Lafayette crossing to 17th. At least with this one it will force the city to put Holgate on a diet….If this crossing was double ramped, it could have turned Gladstone into a main east-west bikeway from Brooklyn east….but no, it has TWO elevators….

Until they are ramped, I consider them great pedestrian projects are only marginally useful for bikes. The only elevator I think is was good BIKE project in this city is the Washington Park MAX stop.

Steve Weddle
Guest
Steve Weddle

I love S.P. but always feel it would be safer if we were all going the same direction. Couldn’t we at least encourage, if not enforce, one-way traffic around the loop?

Barbara Kilts
Guest
Barbara Kilts

No one has mentioned that this is the first time for a Sunday Parkways in the Sellwood neighborhood, I’m looking forward to it!

We attended the first SW SP, riding from our home in the Mt Tabor area, it was an adventure for us ‘east-siders’. I remember the traffic control was quite a challenge and, yes we had to walk our bikes up some ‘epic’ hills (disabled son on the back of the tandem), but it was fun to see a different part of town. We missed last year (out of town) – I really wanted to check out the walking trails, too. Hopefully, they’ll bring it back to SW and NW. We’re fortunate to have these events, free of charge.