The woman who made Sunday Parkways a Portland institution is retiring from PBOT

Sampling her handiwork, Ginenthal would often bike the Sunday Parkways course, as she does here in 2009.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Bureau of Transportation employee Linda Ginenthal is retiring after more than 23 years with the agency.

Throughout her career, Ginenthal has been a force of nature in promoting biking, walking, and livable streets. Among the many programs, projects and events she played a major (often leadership) role in were SmartTrips, Safe Routes to School, Portland’s push for a Platinum award, the 2016 Open Streets Summit, and of course, Sunday Parkways.

Read more

Portland wins bid to host 2016 National Open Streets Summit


Hot off the presses!
(Photo by Linda Ginenthal)

Next August the open streets movement will come to Portland.

Over the weekend we heard the news that Portland has been granted the right to host the 2016 National Open Streets Summit. Bureau of Transportation staffer Linda Ginenthal attended the 2015 event in Atlanta, Georgia over the weekend and shared the news with us yesterday after she flew back to oversee Sunday Parkways.

2016 will be third annual Open Streets Summit. The event is organized by the non-profit Open Streets Project in partnership with DC-based advocacy group the Alliance for Biking and Walking. The goal of the event is to bring together national and international leaders working to implement events like Portland’s Sunday Parkways, where streets are “opened” to people and closed to auto use. The Atlanta event over the weekend drew 125 leaders in the movement. The first summit was held in Los Angeles in 2014.

Read more

City’s new Sunday Parkways traffic plan: fewer police, more volunteers, lower costs

Buffered Bike Lane with a bike symbol and arrow pointing forward

PPB Sgt. Robert Voepel and Sunday Parkways
Manager Linda Ginenthal.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

NOTE: Since posting this story I have learned more from PBOT. Please see the extended note at the end of the post. — Jonathan

In an ongoing effort to make Sunday Parkways as efficient and cost-effective as possible, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will unveil a new traffic plan at their southeast event this Sunday.

Under the new plan, modeled after open streets events in other cities like Bogota, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, PBOT will use fewer uniformed police officers and more citizen volunteers to control traffic at intersections. This reduced police presence will save PBOT thousands of dollars while freeing up police resources for higher priority assignments.

PBOT’s Sunday Parkways Manager Linda Ginenthal shared in an interview this morning that they’re looking to be “more creative” with their traffic control.

When Sunday Parkways first started in 2008 the events cost about $150,000 each. For the past several years however, as the city has found efficiencies in how they deliver the events, the current budget for each one is about $85,000 — with about $8,000 of that going to pay for police. Using fewer police, Ginenthal says, is likely to save the city another several thousand dollars.

Read more

Five questions with Sunday Parkways manager Linda Ginenthal

Sunday Parkways NE-8

The woman behind Sunday Parkways,
Linda Ginenthal.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Everyone’s getting excited about the Sunday Parkways event coming up in East Portland this weekend. Despite a change to the route due to a repaving project on the Springwater Corridor, it will still be an excellent opportunity to enjoy carfree streets and explore neighborhood parks with thousands of fellow Portlanders.

However, unlike previous Sunday Parkways events that rolled through areas where people on bikes are common, the East Portland edition reaches places where biking — or the infrastructure that goes with it — is not nearly as established. I’m curious how the event will look and feel in a part of our city not known as a cycling haven.

To learn more, I asked PBOT’s Transportation Options Division program manager Linda Ginenthal (she’s the big cheese behind the event) a few questions (emphasis mine):

Read more