It’s official: For the first time since 2012 Portland’s Sunday Parkways event will happen on the west side of the Willamette River.
I looked back at 2017 and decided it’s probably best to start looking ahead.
Not everything about last year was bad. We (and by “we” I mean BikePortland and our community in general) had some triumphs and we learned a great deal about important issues; but it was not our best year.
Looking ahead however, we see plenty of reasons for optimism.
The four things below are infrastructure-related. And yes, I’m fully aware that a city’s transportation culture is defined by much more than roads and bridges. I’m thinking about those other issues as well, but I’ll save those thoughts for a different day.
Here’s my list…
If you care about bicycling in Portland and want to see its benefits spread across the social, racial and economic divisions that exist in this city, you should consider taking part in Sunday Parkways this weekend.
That’s because the Portland Bureau of Transportation has put together a brand new route that will highlight neighborhoods, commercial districts and parks east of I-205 and just south of I-84. This is a place about eight miles northeast of city hall that looks and feels much different than the central city. The streets are wider and people drive faster (and more people get hurt and killed on them as a result), there isn’t a bike shop on every corner, and you won’t find nearly as much bike-specific infrastructure.
Please consider lending a hand! See the alert below for the details…
You gave us 10 years of Sunday Parkways For it’s 10 birthday, we need your help again!
We need your help to bring Portland another 10 years of sunny open streets starting this weekend: we simply do not have enough volunteers for North Sunday Parkways.
Sign up to join us for a few hours this weekend in North Portland, and then tell the world why it matters so much to you that you’d give your time to help make it happen. Forward this newsletter, share our Facebook posts, spread the word on Nextdoor, call your family and friends. The forecast for Sunday is calling for temperatures in the high 90’s, making it harder for some of our regular volunteers to sign up for a shift and leading some others to withdraw– Sunday Parkways needs your help now more than ever before.
Today, we need you to show your support by doing two things:
2) Commit to helping us create the next “generation” of Sunday Parkways volunteers. How? Share the registration link, and persuade a friend to sign up for a shift themselves. You can also find the volunteers of the future among your family members, co-workers, and social networks. You can find them at your neighborhood associations, walks in the park, book clubs, and at Sunday Parkways itself. Invite them to see Sunday Parkways for themselves if they’ve never been, and if they’re regular attendees, ask them to lend their support by volunteering their time.
Thank you, for all that you do. See you on Sunday!
(we’ll bring the sunscreen and the popsicles)
This weekend Portland will celebrate the 10th year of Sunday Parkways with an official proclamation making June 25th “Portland Sunday Parkways Day”.
The beloved community event began on June 22nd 2008. Staff from the Bureau of Transportation were inspired by “Ciclovia” events in Bogota, Colombia and began planning for a Portland version in July 2007.
With no experience in doing such a large open street event, they weren’t sure how it would translate. After a few hours they got their answer: It was a resounding success. Over 15,000 people flocked to north Portland streets and a new tradition was born.
Since 2008, PBOT and their partners (most notably Kaiser Permanente, who has sponsored the event from the start), have hosted 39 events that have drawn nearly 700,000 people out of their homes and cars and into our streets — which PBOT rightly likes to refer to as “our largest public space.”
Here are some photos from that first event:
I also made this short video…
Through all the budget debates, elections, and myriad changes to our city, to have a program like this so solidly institutionalized and all but unassailable to political whims is no small feat. The fact that Sunday Parkways is still around and stronger than ever is a testament to PBOT and the people of Portland who support it.
My only complaint about the events is that there aren’t enough of them.
Congratulations Portland! Long live Sunday Parkways!
Learn more about the route and all the fun activities planned for this weekend’s event at the city’s website.
Here’s a sign that support for carfree urban spaces is growing: The main organizer of Gresham’s first-ever open streets event is its chamber of commerce.
Gresham is Portland’s eastern neighbor. On Sunday June 18th, from 10am to 2pm, the city will host what they hope becomes an annual Father’s Day tradition: an event they call Sunday Parkway. Inspired by Portland’s similarly named events that began nine years ago, the Gresham version will offer a relatively carfree, 8-mile loop with three “pit stops” where people can enjoy food, live entertainment, activities and more.
Here’s how they describe it:
Feel comfortable, safe and enjoy walking, strolling, bicycling and rolling along the city’s beautiful trail system and historic downtown… Slow down, play on our trails, connect with your neighbors, meet new friends and have fun on the trail…
Gresham Chamber of Commerce CEO Lynn Snodgrass told us she thinks it’s completely natural for her group to spearhead this event. She sees it simply as a way to have fun and promote the beauty of her city.
Sunday Parkways season is less than one month away (first event is in southeast May 21st)! But to make the fun happen, the City of Portland needs a lot of volunteers to help pull it off. Check their notice below to find ways to plug in and do your part. See you out there!
Portland Sunday Parkways needs your help again this year to open up our public streets, introduce folks young and old to the wonders of car-free afternoons, and show our neighbors how resilient, interconnected and caring communities can light up all of our lives. We need ~350 bike fun enthusiasts like you at each event to help more than 25,000 participants have the best ride ever— whether it’s their thousandth, tenth, or even their very first. Sign up to volunteer for another Shift (on wheels, feets, hands, chairs, wings– anything you like as long as it’s human-powered) at our first event of the year on May 21st in (Inner) Southeast Portland!
Sign up here to volunteer.
Here’s how we need your help…
-Mobile Superheroes to ride the route, keeping a watchful eye on the neighborhood and backing up the Intersection Superheroes
-Intersection Superheroes to monitor the barricades, making sure participants are safe from cars and neighbors are happy to host us
-Info Booth Ambassadors to help all our participants get the most out of Sunday Parkways
-Interested in helping another way? Come down to the office! We’re hosting two more fundraising nights this week to keep Sunday Parkways happy and healthy, join us! We need help in between events too— schedule some time to help out behind the scenes.
…and here’s (just a few of the ways) we can show our appreciation!
Every Sunday Parkways volunteer receives:
– a HEATHER PURPLE Sunday Parkways event t-shirt
– refreshments before and during your shift
– support before, during and after the event
– a 2017 Sunday Parkways bandanna – any three shifts across the season and it’s all yours
Sign up here: PortlandSundayParkways.org.
Thanks again folks! See you in Southeast Portland!
We love Sunday Parkways, so what better day to announce the 10 anniversary season than Valentine’s Day!
The Portland Bureau of Transportation is bringing back the events for the 10th time with a new route and a special birthday celebration.
We know it’s stiflingly hot right now but the forecast is for cooler temps on Sunday. It should be a perfect day to enjoy your streets the way they intended to be used — by walking, rolling, and riding on them during Sunday Parkways.
The International Open Streets Summit will bring many people who work to humanize street space to Portland State University from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Saturday, Aug. 20. The draft program includes speakers from Philadelphia; Dallas; Los Angeles; Missoula; Toronto; Cape Town, South Africa; and Santiago, Chile, among others.
The “tactical urbanism” thread is newly added to this conference, reflecting the fact that fast, flexible changes and demos on city streets are a growing trend among community groups and city governments alike. Mike Lydon, a planning consultant helping produce this conference, literally wrote the book on that subject.
As bike theft has become the only major category of crime in Portland that’s on a long-term rise, cable locks have been going the way of the station wagon and the wristwatch.
The Portland State University Bike Hub doesn’t even sell them. When Mayor Charlie Hales briefly started biking to work last fall, Willamette Week wrote an entire online article about the fact that he used a cable lock. (His wife Nancy, a regular bike commuter, told us at the time that it was because they’d misplaced their U-lock keys that day.)
Apparently the Bike Theft Task Force at the Portland Police Bureau agrees. In a tweet on Wednesday, the team said they’ll be offering a lock exchange program at North Portland Sunday Parkways this weekend: you give them a cable lock, they give you a U-lock.