“Sunday Parkways events are a great opportunity to get to know your neighborhood and your city. Nancy and I have attended them. As family-friendly events go, these can’t be beat,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.
It’s also a great opportunity to get out and meet and or recruit your neighbors! Time and time again I hear from people who are new to Portland and even from people, who have lived here for years, it is really hard to meet people...or it is really hard to recruit people for community activities! That may be true but ask yourself… what kind of effort have you put into getting out there and trying? I have a suggestion for you…it’s called Sunday Parkways! Sunday Parkways is a series of free community events, put on by the Transportation Bureau.
Essentially the City opens it’s largest public space – its streets – for people to walk, bike, roll and discover active transportation. It takes place one Sunday each month from May through September in a different area of the city and you can find more information about Sunday Parkways at www.PortlandSundayParkways.org and by calling 503-823-7599.
So okay now you know about Sunday Parkways but how is that going to help you get to know your neighbors…well here are my tips to meeting your neighbors at Sunday Parkways:
Hit the front lawn: I know we don’t always hang out on our front lawns but if your house happens to be on the Sunday Parkway route it’s the perfect opportunity to get out and meet people. You could invite some friends and family to join…have a picnic, set up some lawn games, let the kids have a lemonade stand. Last year while hanging out with friends in North Portland their neighbors set up a sprinkler so participants could stop by and cool down.
Dress Up: Costumes are not only fun they are a great conversation
starters. And if you are a little shy about dressing up…dress up your bike or wheels you use to cruise along the route.
Bring a Dog: Borrow one if you have to but people love to talk to dogs and will sometimes talk to the people with them. I hear this also works with babies but they are harder to borrow…I think!
Hand Bills: These are small flyers usually the size of a fourth of a piece of paper, it’s “old school” but still effective. Say you are part of your Neighborhood Association or Your Neighborh
ood Watch…or maybe you want to get a group of folks in your hood together to do some disaster prep
aredness, hand out hand bills!! Make sure to include when and whe
re your group meets and some contact info. Also put it in a large font so it is accessible to everyone. You would be surprised about how many people don’t know about these kinds of neighborhood activities and the handbill gives you a segue to start a conversation about them!
GO: I know it’s the most obvious one… but I know some people think if they are not going for a bike ride Sunday Parkways isn’t for them. There are lots of ways to enjoy Sunday parkways. Bike it, walk it, ride your wheelchair, scooter or Segway, rollerskates, rollerblades…heck hop on a little red wagon and use a pole Huckleberry Finn style! However you choose to mosey through put it on your calendar and “Just Go Do It!”