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Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 800, Portland, OR 97204

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The Return of Salmon

The Epic Story of Salmon's Return Home

ReturnoftheCohoEvery fall, we watch and wait for the return of coho salmon to Crystal Springs Creek. Before development, before culverts, and before hatcheries, salmon came to Crystal Springs Creek by the thousands.  But over time their populations declined.  Only a few long-time locals, few knew that salmon once lived and thrived here.

Starting in 2000, Reed College began restoring the canyon at the headwaters of Crystal Springs Creek.  Environmental Services and partners removed or replaced nine culverts that blocked fish passage for juvenile salmon and trout along the length of this humble stream.  In 2014, Crystal Springs Creek in Westmoreland Park was transformed into a healthier place for salmon and people. 

On a cloudy, cool day in October 2014, a group of people who believe that Crystal Springs is an extraordinary urban waterway, gathered together to celebrate the return of salmon to Westmoreland Park.  

We waited for them to arrive…and they did.  On display for us all to see: a pair of coho salmon waiting for their time to spawn, despite the crowds, dancing through the stream.  While it was only three salmon, these are the seeds for future generations of salmon and for regional salmon recovery as a whole.

The Salmon Celebration comes a bit earlier in the salmon season this year, but if you look closely, you see other signs of a healthy watershed: native freshwater mussels, plentiful vegetation along the banks, and cold water. 

The fourth annual Salmon Celebration is set for Sunday, September 24th in Westmoreland Park to celebrate restoration of Crystal Springs, Portland’s first Salmon Sanctuary.  Salmon Sanctuaries are locations that support salmon populations and where a substantial investment in their habitat has been made.

Ronda Fast

Bureau of Environmental Services



Open Streets Everywhere~!

A Celebration of 10 years of Open Streets Event, Partnerships, and More

Bike DudeBack in 2006, Portland Sunday Parkways was just a twinkle in my eye. Cities all over Latin America had created something wonderful where people could literally play in the streets together. It hasn’t taken long for cities and towns across the USA to embrace the power of opening streets and connecting communities. When the City of Milwaukie approached me and our Sunday Parkways team with the idea of pairing up to bring this to their lovely city just over the border, we jumped at the chance to spread the love.

Our partnership has been about growing the program all across the region. We set this partnership up so that our Portland Sunday Parkways team would work with Milwaukie for a couple years, so they would be ready to run their own. I have been so impressed the with enthusiasm, community and business engagement and, of course, the high level of support and action by Mayor Gamba and City Council member Lisa Batey. Beyond the logistics and traffic control and vendors and community outreach, leadership is one of the most important ingredients to a Sunday Parkways success, and Milwaukie has this in abundance.

I’m looking forward to 2018 when I can go to a Milwaukie Sunday Parkways as a participant!

Linda Ginenthal

Sunday Parkways Program Director 

Sellwaukie: Two years in Partnership

As the second “Sellwaukie” Sunday Parkways event on September 24th draws near, it’s bittersweet – we in Milwaukie have learned SO much from the Portland Sunday Parkways team the past two years, but are not quite sure two years was enough time to learn all the ropes!  Next year, Portland moves on from Sellwood to the new Green Loop route, and we in Milwaukie will be doing our own, as-yet-unnamed, open streets event. 

Various folks in Milwaukie have talked about wanting to do a Sunday Parkways-type event for several years, but it always seemed too daunting a task, and no one was ever ready to step forward and take the lead.  Then one night I met Greg Raisman of PBOT over a card table, and mentioned that interest.  That eventually led to a meeting between Parkways Impresario [Grand Poobah?  Mastermind?] Linda Ginenthal and some Milwaukie cycling advocates, and then morphed into the great city-to-city collaboration we have today.  We all really appreciate the willingness of Linda and her crew to share all the lessons they’ve learned over a decade of building Sunday Parkways into the beloved institution it is today.

The Sellwood-Milwaukie event last year was great fun, and I’ve heard from lots of Milwaukians who can’t wait for round two – especially now that the 17th Lets DanceAvenue multi-use path is open.  In Portland, Parkways is all about using greenways and other neighborhood streets.  Using our future Monroe Street Greenway was an important part of Milwaukie-Sellwood route, too – but running the route past the bustling Milwaukie Farmers Market and down Main Street is something unique in the Portland Sunday Parkways world.  One of my great memories from last year was watching Love Bomb Go-Go Marching Band come down off the stage in front of Milwaukie City Hall and march through the Farmers Market – not something you see everyday! 

I always describe Sunday Parkways as a rolling block party.  I love the way of thinking that underpins open streets events, which are gaining momentum across the US and around the world.  As Greg puts it: “Cities are for people. Our cities were built that way. Prior to the adoption of motor vehicles, streets were bustling public spaces. Today, Sunday Parkways reopens our streets to people. The event strengthens the commons and frees people of all ages and abilities to explore and share their neighborhoods in a whole new way.”

That community recapturing of the streets was evident last year from the wide range of ages of participants -- from kids in bike trailers or on training wheels to elderly and alternately-abled riders, Parkways is a mellow event for riders of all skill levels.  And I’m told that we had the largest percentage ever of walkers on our Parkways route last year – and don’t think of this just as a bike event, you can walk, rollerblade, skateboard, etc,  Some motorized wheelchairs and scooters are always seen out and about, too.

KidsThis year will be even bigger, with more kids’ activities both on Main Street and at Water Tower Park – including the charming, oh-so-Portland minigolf course and the “Kidical Mass” bike skills course.  We’ll also have the Milwaukie Police Department joining us at Water Tower Park, live music at both locations, fabulous food and great vendors like IKEA and AAA Oregon.  Oh yes, and although I’m focusing on the Milwaukie half of the route, there’s the return of the amazing Salmon Celebration at Westmoreland Park, in partnership with the Native American Community Advisory Council, as well as zumba classes, disc golf, and vendors including AARP and BIKETOWN. See the full brochure here

It’s kinda sad to realize that the Sellwaukie event will be no more after September 24th.  But in its place, you have two cool new routes and events to watch for in 2018.  From all of us in Milwaukie, thanks so much to PBOT, it’s been a great ride!

Lisa Batey

President, Milwaukie City Council

Help Kids Like Alex and Fatuma Earn a Bike!

Hear their stories! 

bike clubBike Club, an after-school program run by the non-profit Community Cycling Center in Northeast Portland, has helped hundreds of children like Alex Thenglao and Fatuma Osman learn to love bike life and take home their own hard-earned set of wheels. Last year alone, 32 kids went home with new bikes!

After completing the six-week program, participants go home with a refurbished bicycle, a helmet and bike lock, and a bicycle repair kit. Kids leave Bike Club with the knowledge and tools to ride safely, be their own bike mechanics, and become more confident behind the handlebars.

Some students, such as Alex, even learn how to ride a bike for the first time. “In the past, I didn’t know how to ride a bike and my family made fun of me about it,” Alex said. “So, I’m going to get my bike and show them that I can ride a bike!”

Fatuma, who graduated from Bike Club along with Alex, had more great things to say about her experience in the program. “The group is fun and funny and nice, and there are people that help you there,” she said. “I love riding my bike because it’s just fun riding!”

The two also shared why they think bikes are so good for you and eco-friendly. “Bikes are important because they help the environment,” said Alex. “Fatuma adds, “They take you places. You don’t need to pay gas and you don’t have to run or walk to get there.”

Want to help more children like Alex and Fatuma join Bike Club? Our Sunday Parkways Presenting Sponsor, Kaiser Permanente, is hosting a communityBike club 2 benefit sticker hunt at Sellwood-Milwaukie Sunday Parkways on September 24.

Just pick up a Kaiser Permanente Passport to Health from any info. booth at the ride and collect six stickers from the sponsor booths on the map. When you show your completed Passport to Health, you’ll get a prize and Kaiser Permanente will donate $5 to the Bike Club. Then you can share your achievement and photos on social media with #KPBikeClub.

Need one more reason to ride? “More people should bike,” said Fatuma. “It gets you places easier and you get exercise. You don’t have to think about anything. You can just ride your bike. It takes you places.” We agree!