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Portland will celebrate 10th year of Sunday Parkways: Here’s what the first one looked like

Posted by on June 20th, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Official proclamation will be passed by city council Wednesday.

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:

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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.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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7 Comments
  • Clarence Eckerson June 20, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    10 years ago I was there!!
    https://vimeo.com/12499993

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) June 20, 2017 at 12:22 pm

      yes! and it was fan-tas-tic as mr. Penalosa would say (and I’d try to imitate). 😉

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    • Kevin June 21, 2017 at 9:33 pm

      I didn’t attend the first one (living in Beaverton and working a consulting gig), but I’ll be there to celebrate 10 years!

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  • Ryan June 20, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    I know the Gresham version will never become even close to what Portland has done, but I’m so glad that they are stepping up and trying. I was excited to hear that they’re planning on having it be a regular thing for Father’s Day every year! The whole metro area needs more stuff like this.

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  • 9watts June 21, 2017 at 9:29 am

    I’d be curious for folks to weigh in on the politics of Sunday Parkways. As I’ve noted here in comments over the years, the original impetus was very much inspired by global warming, moving beyond automobiles, behavior change. But it seems to this observer and participant that a few years in all that went out the window, and now it is 100% about fun.

    Thoughts?

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    • Champs June 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm

      Pride used to be a protest march. Make of that what you will.

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