Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on February 14th, 2017 at 12:00 pm
We love Sunday Parkways, so what better day to announce the 10 anniversary season than Valentine’s Day!
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is bringing back the events for the 10th time with a new route and a special birthday celebration.
In a statement today, new Transportation Commissioner Dan Saltzman touched on the Valentine’s theme when he said, “In every neighborhood and at every event, we discover a new reason to fall in love with our city all over again.”
Saltzman seems to have come around to the event since he last spoke up about it in 2012. “I’m not OK with guaranteeing support for funding Sunday Parkways,” he said back then, “there are a lot of other pressing transportation priorities.” Saltzman was speaking at a City Council meeting during a time when the city’s funding of the events came under fire. Saltzman did not see Sunday Parkways as a core city priority and felt paving and bike/walk safety projects should come first (note: they always have and always will). Satlzman even suggested a reduction in Sunday Parkways events or a “hiatus” until funding recovered.
We’re glad he’s a big fan now!
And thankfully our budget is stronger, not to mention the fact that Sunday Parkways is such an unqualified success that questioning the relatively paltry amount Portland pays to make it happen (about $150,000 or one-third the entire annual budget), makes even less political sense now than it did then. (Or about as much sense as having the transportation commissioner question its value.)
This year’s schedule will once again include five events. The kickoff will happen in southeast Portland in May and will end with a Sellwood/Milwaukie loop (on the new 17th Avenue path) in September. Here’s the full schedule:
PBOT says the official birthday celebration will happen at the North Portland event on June 25th.
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated event will be on
July 23rd August 20th when a new route heads to outer northeast Portland. This will give the city a chance to showcase the Gateway area — which has made lots of exciting news lately. Last month we shared how a national organization chose PBOT’s “Gateway to Opportunity” project for a grant that will help the city boost biking in the neighborhood. The project could help trigger over $20 million in infrastructure spending including 39 miles of new bikeways. Gateway’s major commercial couplet – on NE Halsey and Weidler — is also slated to get high-quality protected bike lanes as part of a Portland Development Commission project that’s already underway.
And when you attend the July Sunday Parkways make sure to leave extra time in your day (and bring extra wide tires!) to ride the dirt trails at Gateway Green (which will open June 23rd).
PBOT says over 690,000 people have enjoyed Sunday Parkways at the 38 events we’ve had since 2008. That’s a lot of happy people. Here’s to 10 more years!
Learn more and view higher-quality maps on the City’s website.
CORRECTION, 2/16 at 8:53 am: This story originally published with the wrong date for the outer Northeast event. It will be on August 20th. We regret the error.