This Sunday, six miles of streets in Portland’s northeast Cully neighborhood will be free of cars and open to people walking, biking and rolling. That’s right: Sunday Parkways, Portland’s beloved annual summer open streets event, is back in-person after two years off and it’s almost time for the kickoff.
During the last two summers, the Portland Bureau of Transportation made Sunday Parkways virtual to keep people safe during the pandemic. They came up with some innovative ideas to try to fill the hole, but nothing beats the real thing, so we expect people will be raring to go this summer. And not only does will this Sunday hold Portland’s first big open streets event since 2019 – it also marks the start of the 15th annual Summer Parkways season. Combined with Pedalpalooza’s 20th anniversary bike summer in full-force, there’s a lot for Portland’s active transportation enthusiasts to celebrate this year!
From 11 am to 4 pm on Sunday, people can take over carfree streets and enjoy free activities while hopping between four parks in Cully – from Roseway Parkway on NE 72nd to Fernhill Park on NE Holman and 37th, and K’unamokwst and Wellington Parks in between. There will be food vendors, live music, community mural-making, free bike tune-ups and more.
Don’t have a bike, or want to ride an electric one for the day? Biketown is offering unlimited free 60 minute rides. You can rent a Biketown e-bike free of charge for the whole event – you’ll have to lock it back up within the hour, but you can start another free trip right away.
Adaptive Biketown will be on the scene too, along with Every Body Athletics, CHAP and White Cane Safety, to help people with disabilities who want to check out some of the different mobility devices they have on offer.
Other items on the agenda include a community walk organized by Oregon Walks and Multnomah County REACH that will leave Wellington Park at 12 pm, and the Cully neighborhood’s Andando en Bicicletas y Caminando (ABC) group will be meeting up to ride a portion of the event route with Community Cycling Center.
This is one of the two Sunday Parkways days this summer – the other one will be on August 21 in east Portland. In pre-pandemic summers, there have been five Sunday Parkways events, but we’ll take two over none. Check out some of our stories about past Sunday Parkways to see how cool these open streets days can be.
“This year’s Sunday Parkways events will have a role in reconnecting neighbors, and in celebrating our shared values of health and mobility for all Portlanders,” PBOT Transportation Director Chris Warner said in a press release for the event. “After two years of not having many opportunities to come together as a community, I can’t wait to reconnect and roll with Portlanders on the open streets of NE Portland.”
You can check out the full event program and details here. Keep in mind that it’s poised to be a hot one (almost 100 degrees) this Sunday – so wear sunscreen, drink lots of water and don’t overdo it. (A free Biketown rental could save you some sweat!)
See you there!
Given that Sunday Parkways is now 15+ years old, has the city tried yet closing off long sections of major arterial streets as “open streets” events and forcing car users to drive on back streets like bicyclists and micromobility are currently required?
The current Sunday Parkways is effectively a way to promote existing greenways, combined with street fairs. That’s great for what it is, and a lot of people love it — for good reason! At the same time, I’d also love them to expand their idea of what open street events can be and open up those larger corridors.
Thanks, Taylor. I’ve always enjoyed serving as a volunteer at Sunday Parkways. Unfortunately, I have a family obligation on Sunday and won’t be able to participate. If there are others who can’t participate or would like a preview of the route, here are some snaps I took when I walked the route yesterday. https://pnwphotowalks.com/20220623-ne-cully-sunday-parkways-pre-walk
Some of my photos pertain to housing because that’s been one of my favorite photo themes over the years, along with active and public transportation.