This weekend Portland will celebrate the 10th year of Sunday Parkways with an official proclamation making June 25th “Portland Sunday Parkways Day”.
The beloved community event began on June 22nd 2008. Staff from the Bureau of Transportation were inspired by “Ciclovia” events in Bogota, Colombia and began planning for a Portland version in July 2007.
With no experience in doing such a large open street event, they weren’t sure how it would translate. After a few hours they got their answer: It was a resounding success. Over 15,000 people flocked to north Portland streets and a new tradition was born.
Since 2008, PBOT and their partners (most notably Kaiser Permanente, who has sponsored the event from the start), have hosted 39 events that have drawn nearly 700,000 people out of their homes and cars and into our streets — which PBOT rightly likes to refer to as “our largest public space.”
Here are some photos from that first event:
I also made this short video…
Through all the budget debates, elections, and myriad changes to our city, to have a program like this so solidly institutionalized and all but unassailable to political whims is no small feat. The fact that Sunday Parkways is still around and stronger than ever is a testament to PBOT and the people of Portland who support it.
My only complaint about the events is that there aren’t enough of them.
Congratulations Portland! Long live Sunday Parkways!
Learn more about the route and all the fun activities planned for this weekend’s event at the city’s website.