25th Sunday Parkways shines in north Portland (photo gallery)

25th Sunday Parkways shines in north Portland (photo gallery)

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-22

People stopped to enjoy the view of Mt. Hood from Willamette Blvd.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

They say it’s never as good as the first time, but somehow Sunday Parkways seems to just get better and better.

This weekend marked PBOT’s 25th Sunday Parkways. Six years ago (to the day) PBOT tried this experiment for the first time on the same streets we enjoyed yesterday. Since that day in 2008, the event has grown in both frequency and attendance and Sunday Parkways has become a revered civic institution that shows Portland at its finest — a living, breathing, example of active community building unlike any other event on the calendar.

Given how short the event is — just five precious hours — I started pedaling the loop at exactly 11:00 am and soaked up every second until the “road closed” barricades started coming down at around 4:00.

As I rode and looked out at the mass of pedaling Portlanders streaming through the streets, I saw a cross-section of our community I never see in the bike lanes when I’m riding to work. It’s the same cross-section we’ll have to see more of if we intend to meet our goal of 25% bike ridership by 2030. In some ways it seems daunting to create a city where people from 8-80 years old can cycle in such a relaxed and enjoyable way — any time of day, any day of the week. But in other ways, it seems tantalizingly simple: just create spaces with little to no contact with automobiles and create enticing destinations along the way.

The result is an environment that transcends mere transportation. While these “open streets” events originated from transportation visionaries, their benefits and impact go way beyond simply getting from a-to-b. There’s an immense amount of good that radiates from this event. It brings us closer to ourselves, our neighbors and our neighborhoods in thousands of (mostly) tiny ways that add up to something that feels much larger.

My only quibble about Sunday Parkways is that we don’t do it more often, in more neighborhoods, and for more hours each time (can you imagine it on a warm summer evening?).

For now, thank you PBOT for 25 amazing events!

Check out more photos below…

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-1

This street painting on the west side of the Bryant Street Bridge was given a fresh coat of paint prior to the event by the Piedmont Neighborhood Association.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-5

I’m not sure who’s more brave — the rider or the dog.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-6

This woman is clearly enjoying her ride, and it’s all thanks to the senior cycling program run by the Parks Bureau (using trikes donated to them by PBOT).
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-8

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-12

The music of Mr. Ben was a huge hit with families at Arbor Lodge Park.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-15

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-17

Piedmont neighborhood resident David Harris always stands out.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-18

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-19

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-39

The views from Willamette Blvd are always a highlight.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-26

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-27

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-29

Free bike repairs and advice (being given here by Ben Helgren of Block Bikes in St. Johns) are a very popular feature of the event.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-28

I think my kids spun about 100 prize wheels throughout the day.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-31

Go ahead! Practice your tricks in the middle of the road!
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-32

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-33

The event gives Cynergy E-Bikes owner Rich Fein a perfect opportunity to offer test rides and boost his business.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-35

One of my favorites things about Sunday Parkways is watching people come together in the street and enjoy one another’s company.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-37

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-38

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-41

When its not 11:00 – 4:00 on one Sunday a year, this stretch of Willamette Blvd is known for high-speed cars and a narrow, white-knuckle bike lane.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-43

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-42

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-44

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-45

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-46

My little three-year-old just chillin’.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-49

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-50

Veteran St. Johns neighborhood activist Joe Adamski and the head of Sunday Parkways, PBOT staffer Linda Ginenthal.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-51

As this photo shows, Linda will do just about anything to keep Sunday Parkways alive and well.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-53

This family wins the costume award.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-54

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-55

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-56

Sign says: “My name is Pepper. Chime your bell if you love sheep poodles.”
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-57

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-60

Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-58

Perfect spot for a Sunday Parkways selfie.
Sunday Parkways North Portland 2014-64

This was the second (of five) Sunday Parkways for the 2014 season. The next one is in northeast Portland on July 27th. See PBOT’s website for all the details.

The post 25th Sunday Parkways shines in north Portland (photo gallery) appeared first on BikePortland.org.

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