Sunday Parkways season kicks off in east Portland

Portland’s 2023 Sunday Parkways season is off and running.

On Sunday, the first in a series of three open streets planned this year, was held and thousands of people turned out. They took advantage of (mostly) carfree streets on a 3.3 mile out-and-back route that connected to three parks: Gateway, Ventura, and Lincoln. Each park was full of activities and food vendors and there were fun surprises and welcoming neighborhoods around every turn.

I rolled out to check the vibes and didn’t cover nearly as much ground as I’d hoped. Turns out when trying to make video and stopping to talk with so many people makes the day go by very quick (so does having to leave early to coach a basketball game!). From what I did manage to see, the Sunday Parkways spirit is alive and well.

You might recall that it was the east Portland event last year when a road-raging man flashed a gun at a volunteer at a traffic checkpoint and drove through the course. Thankfully, so far I haven’t heard of anything that terrible happening yesterday. On the contrary, I saw a lot of joyous Portlanders who seemed happy to emerge from winter hibernation and see their friends and neighbors.

Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. (Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Even Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson was out with her family. Riding a light orange Specialized road bike, Pederson seemed very in her element. “Today’s been a fantastic day. I’m so happy the first Sunday Parkways starts in east Portland. The route starts right near my house.”

A big goal of these events for the Portland Bureau of Transportation is to show off recent street updates they’ve made to make it easier and safer to walk and bike. I chatted with Chair Pederson at the new enhanced crossing of NE Glisan and 108th where PBOT has added protected bike lanes around an off-set intersection. “We have so many more designated pathways that are separated from the traffic,” Pederson noted. “We’ve got so many green routes that are going in. And I think that shows that people who live out here can do a lot more cycling then they might think they can.”

On that note, the route gave me an opportunity to see the new little connector path between NE 107th and 106th. NE Wasco used to dead-end just one block from (the absolutely amazing) Gateway Discovery Park. Luckly it was blocked by a parking lot (not a private residence), so PBOT was able to cut out a bit of right-of-way and make a bike path. We first wrote about this project two years ago, and here’s how it came out…

If you missed this one, there are two more Sunday Parkways coming up: June 25th in northeast Cully and September 10th in southwest. More info on the City’s website.

More photos below…

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

6 Comments
oldest
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago

It was pretty fun. Did see one driver ignore the volunteers and continue to drive around two barriers but at least no speeding or gun waving.

Wonder if we will ever get back to a full complement of Sunday Parkways in all
parts of the city or will that require another tax?

https://bikeportland.org/2023/05/04/city-of-portland-shares-idea-for-transportation-utility-fee-that-could-raise-54-million-374497

Randi J
Randi J
1 year ago

Oh forgot to mention seeing all the helpful volunteers was the best part. If you were one of them thanks so much for giving your time and making it a fun and safe event.

ochos dad
ochos dad
1 year ago

it was a great day to ride, perfect weather. but Please bring back the NOPO route! we want to have a house party, Kilpatrick and Chautauqua.
#OCHOAPPROVED

PacificSource
PacificSource
1 year ago
Reply to  ochos dad

Love seeing Ocho’s little face at all the rides

el timito
el timito
1 year ago

Love the video and especially the soundtrack by DJ Doc Rock! He always has the best sounds going. So good to have Parkways back live and in person.

Jordan
Jordan
1 year ago

Always nice to see you out there. The new crossing at 108th Glisan is great! It makes it a lot safer to access the Gateway area from further south.