Portland’s Sunday Parkways
Despite a very dreary and damp first half of the day, Portland's first Ciclovia-style street closure, Sunday Parkways, was a smashing success with countless thousands of city residents participating. It was like a giant community block party with walkers, bikers, joggers, bladers, families, and pets filling the 6 mile course.
There were plenty of fun activities in four northeast parks that were linked by the circuit, which was opened to bikes and pedestrian traffic only from 8 AM to 2 PM. For cities planning their own Ciclovias, here are some things I liked about Portland's event: knowledgeable volunteers, lots of fun chalk messages on the ground, easy to follow directions, lots of music & entertainment, and a huge number of bike stations for bike repair.
Linda Ginenthal: [0:19] We were inspired by the Bogota example where they close their streets every weekend and we just thought that would be a perfect fit for Portland. So we've closed six miles of streets for cars and opened them up for bikes and walking, and the neighborhood just loves it. We've got four parks with lots of activities. We've got jump roping. We've got hula hooping. We had tango dancing this morning. It's just been a party in the park.
Timo Forsberg: [0:45] We've got six miles of streets that we've got closed off. We've got a lot of volunteers out there that have been doing a great job. We call it a soft closure so folks who live on the route, if they need to get their car out of the driveway and get downtown, they can do that. But, by in large, there's no cars along the route. It's just folks on bikes, on roller skates, walking, strollers, you know folks out having a great time. [1:06] [music]
Speaker: [1:09] We love it!
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [1:09] Yeah?
Speaker: [1:10] We're calling Jane, too. [1:12] [horn blowing]
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [1:14] You guys got matching outfits?
Speaker: [1:16] Yeah, I have a sewing machine at home. [1:18] [laughter]
Clarence Eckerson Jr.: [1:19] Wow that's a lot of kid right there. Do you actually have three children on?
Speaker: [1:25] I do, I do and one in front.
Clarence Eckerson Jr: [1:28] How do you accomplish such a feat?
Speaker: [1:30] Biking to work every day. [1:32] [music]
Speaker: [1:36] You know now because of global warming, I had to be on the bike. Here we are in Portland for the first Cyclovia Sunday Parkways, and merry Christmas [laughs] [1:47] [music]
[1:55] [horn blowing]
Andy Thornley: [2:04] I think this is really a fantastic thing. You can see the whole neighborhood has come out to meet the people, be a part of it. This is definitely the future of cities of civilization, frankly. Cities that aren't doing this yet are missing the bet.
Speaker: [2:17] All cities should try something like this. Just the idea of getting people with their families out doing something different than what they normally do. Child: [2:25] I think it's great because it provides a safe way for the bicyclists and people can get more exercise, and they don't use gas.
Speaker: [2:32] I don't bicycle, but I walk and run most of the time. So that's what I'm getting out of this. [2:39] [music]
Speaker: [2:46] I think it's really great. It kind of just brings together the community and gets everyone out, having an active lifestyle. It's really good for just getting out and experiencing the city without having to worry about your safety.
Speaker: [2:58] Yay for Portland! Yay for no cars on the road!
Speaker: [3:02] Everybody from Brooklyn comes to Portland and brings a camera. This is my magic wand! Three, two, one someone from Brooklyn!
Speaker: [3:09] Hey, I'm happy because I'm driving less and saving more, and I'm saving hundreds every week by riding my bike to work and riding my bike to the store and walking when I need to go places. It's awesome!
Speaker: [3:21] Can I get a ride?
Speaker: [3:22] Yes you can get a ride. Hop in.
Speaker: [3:23] How great is this to use for filming because you can just sit in the back.
Speaker: [3:27] Hello. Happy peddlepalooza!
Linda Ginenthal: [3:31] We've had tremendous positive response from the public. We have had just a tremendous response from the neighborhood associations. Our Portland police have been fantastic in helping us.
Timo Forsberg: [3:44] The great thing about it is it's like creating a huge park. If the city tried to build a park as big as the road system, they would never be able to do it. So all you have to do is close the roads and suddenly you've got a great flat space for people to get around.
Speaker: [3:56] It was awesome, total success. I can't believe how many people were here. Beautiful day, beautiful activities, tons of kids, tons of happy people.
Jonathan Maus: [4:05] This is fantastic! I think it's great what Portland is doing on the Sunday Parkways. IAs you can see here, we have everybody, the young children, older people. This is fantastic. I think it's spectacular that Portland's doing the Sunday Parkways. My only problem is I think it should be every Sunday. They need to do this every week of the month for the rest of the summer. [4:27] [music]