This summer, Northeast Going street will be home to a bike block party every Sunday. Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Portland Clean Energy Fund, Bike Loud PDX will host a mini-Sunday Parkways they call “Sundays on Going”. The goal is to build community around carfree spaces and create a more people-centered neighborhood.
Bike Loud Chair Kiel Johnson says the weekly event will be a continuation of the block parties he put together on 7th in 2019, but even bigger.
The plan is to start with a “slow roll” bike ride from the King Farmers Market at NE 6th and Going to Kʰunamokwst Park at 52nd and Going, with diverters along the way to force drivers off the greenway. The mini grant from the Clean Energy Fund, which is part of a program designed to support activities “tackling climate action while advancing racial and social justice,” will allow Bike Loud to pay for a coordinator and buy supplies.
For the past few weeks, Bike Loud volunteers have been going up and down Going to knock on doors and encourage neighbors to apply for Healthy Block Permits on a weekly basis to close off their blocks to car traffic.
“There is a kind of magic that happens when you knock on someone’s door and they very hesitantly open it, fearful that you are there to talk about religion or vacuum cleaners, but the only thing you are selling is connecting with your community,” Johnson wrote in May’s Bike Loud newsletter. “There is such pent-up energy to connect with people right now. People are so appreciative when others reach out to them.”
Johnson says they’ve already partnered with electric scooter company Spin, who will be providing helmets and rides, and the Hacienda Community Development Group is also on board to help out. There will be group bike and pedicab rides, and Bike Loud will connect with neighbors to set up temporary street installations like bouncy castles and water features.
If all goes as planned, this could be a launching point for similar events on different streets throughout the city in the future.
Check out Johnson’s video of the ‘Sundays on 7th’ events from 2019 to get excited about what’s in store for Going this summer. You can get in touch with coordinators to help out by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or joining the Bike Loud Slack group.