Ride along with me through Sunday Parkways Northeast

(Video and photo gallery (below): Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

I hope everyone had a wonderful time at Sunday Parkways. I was out there Sunday and enjoyed every minute of it. The people, the serene streets, the parks full of vendors and vibrancy — Sunday Parkways showcases Portland at its best. And it’s the Portland I want to make more common than just 15 hours a year!

This was the second of three open streets events organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation this year. The next one is September 22nd and will be focused on southwest Portland. You can learn more about the events on PBOT’s website.

In my video (watch it above) you’ll see folks dancing to DJ Prashant’s Bollywood beats, hear a short poem from writer and Street Roots vendor “Dumpsta D,” get to pet sweet little pup “Ocho,” meet William Francis from Community Cycling Center, sit down with a volunteer from Extinction Rebellion (whose name I didn’t get for some reason), and a few other scenes and surprises. You can watch it above or via our YouTube channel (which you should totally subscribe to!).

Scroll below the ad for the photo gallery.

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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.

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Nick
Nick
24 days ago

72nd and Prescott is like that just about every non rainy Friday weekend now, it’s been great seeing the new coffee shop and beer place move in along with 3 new food carts! The place is extremely activated. I think a lot of this is made possible by zoning changes, that place probably couldn’t exist as it does if there were parking minimums.

Unfortunately that intersection is not great, lots of honking and aggressive driving that makes it stressful to cross the street (it’s not even a nice place to drive through). There’s a ton of cars that cut through all the way from the rose city golf course to get to the highway there. Really hopeful that the new greenway developments will make it better.

Andrew S
Andrew S
23 days ago
Reply to  Nick

Gotta love seeing the activation here! I think most people (drivers, bikers, walkers) would agree that intersection sucks, hence the honking. Does anyone have an update on the status of the Cully Connector Project? There were a couple of BP articles, and then this emergency ordinance in June 2023. Any progress currently being made?

https://www.portland.gov/council/documents/ordinance/passed/191322

For reference, here’s one of the BP articles. https://bikeportland.org/2021/05/11/time-to-weigh-in-on-cully-connector-a-key-piece-of-70s-greenway-330963

I wonder if the recent activation of the space around the intersection justifies a different intersection design than what people were thinking back in 2021. Would love to see some of the north end of the park redesigned to build a traffic circle. I think the sheer distance across this intersection makes stop signs a really bad choice. It’s 154ft across, basically asking folks to negotiate with someone halfway across a football field. Accordingly, the intersection backs up, and normal 4-way stop rules are out-the-window. With more people on foot/bike milling about and accessing the businesses here, I think it would be really cool to have a traffic circle that functions as a mini public plaza. I’m (obviously) not a transportation engineer, but here’s an example of what I’d like to see.

72-Prescott
Matt
Matt
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew S

The 72nd and Prescott intersections are a fascinating dichotomy of Portland transportation in 2024.

The coffee shop/beer hall concept has added loads of bike parking and a lot of folks walk or roll to the space. Yet, for all that nice vibe engenders, even sitting there for a modest time, gazing up from languorous sips, will introduce you to autos moving at high speeds beyond the speed limit, numerous drivers ignoring the stop signs, and routine moments of aggressive driving. All textbook examples of far-too-commonplace driver impatience and indifference.

Hunnybee
Hunnybee
23 days ago

Is there any evidence that Sunday Parkways has resulted in a marked increase in the number of bike riders in Portland?

Watts
Watts
23 days ago
Reply to  Hunnybee

No.

Andrew S
Andrew S
22 days ago
Reply to  Hunnybee

This seems to come up year after year. It seems like the assumption is that if these events don’t directly increase mode share, they’re not worth pursuing/funding. This is where Watts’ answer of “no” doesn’t really tell the whole story. I am not aware of any controlled studies that demonstrate a causal link between Sunday Parkways or other Ciclovia-style events and cycling mode share. I also think these are lovely, fun, well-attended events that are great way to build social cohesion, explore your community, and get some exercise while doing so. Keep in mind that Ciclovia was originally established in Bogota as a health and fitness program, not necessarily an urbanist thing.

If anything, evidence seems to suggest that the frequency and scope of Sunday Parkways is not sufficient to fully realize the benefits they can provide.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7828741/

Watts
Watts
22 days ago
Reply to  Andrew S

I agree — I don’t think the measure of success should be producing new bike riders, but rather in creating an event that brings people joy.