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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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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!

Sunday Parkways makes a 'Big Jump' in East Portland this Sunday

PBOT News Release:

Outer Northeast neighborhoods looking to triple bike ridership over three years

(Aug. 17, 2017) – This Sunday, Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the City of Portland Sunday Parkways presented by Kaiser Permanente will host a brand new Sunday Parkways route in Outer Northeast Portland neighborhoods. This free, family-friendly event organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation is a great way to get the whole family out on a bike ride or walk for healthy, fun activity, kicking off the second decade of Sunday Parkways.

Outer Northeast Sunday Parkways is part of PBOT’s effort to provide residents with greater options for walking and biking in the Gateway district.  In the next several years, the City of Portland plans to build nearly $20 million worth of biking and walking infrastructure to allow neighborhood residents to more easily connect to jobs, schools, parks, and local businesses.  With a three-year “Big Jump” grant from People for Bikes, Sunday Parkways route will showcase upcoming neighborhood greenways, crosswalks, and safety improvements in the neighborhood.  Learn more on PBOT’s “Gateway to Opportunity” project website.

The six-mile Outer Northeast Portland route includes sections of Neighborhood Greenways in the 130s corridor, and shows where new crossing are being built along NE Halsey and NE Glisan streets.

The route highlights four beautiful Portland Parks and goes by the University of Western States campus. Knott Park will have the Parks for New Portlanders Cultural Celebration.  Hazelwood Hydro Park is the starting point for the Walk with Refugees and Immigrants starting at 11 a.m. along the Sunday Parkways route from Hazelwood Hydro Park to Knott Park. Thompson Park will be strewn with hula hoops and a bouncy house where participants can pick up a Kaiser Permanente Passport to Health sticker hunt. Participants can get their Zumba on at East Holladay Park.

To make it easy for residents and visitors alike to join in the fun this weekend PBOT has created a detailed Sunday Parkways route map with all area bikeway routes and bus and light rails routes plus the BIKETOWN boundaries and stations to help area everyone get to Sunday Parkways by biking and taking transit.

All parks are packed with activities, food, music, and community businesses and organizations to connect with at the event.  Find the list of music, food, community organizations, sponsors and scheduled classes and activities on our Outer Northeast Portland Sunday Parkways webpage.

About Sunday Parkways

Sunday Parkways is a series of free community events opening the city's largest public space—its streets—for people to walk, bike, roll and discover active transportation. The events are beloved by Portlanders of all ages. Total attendance for the ten years has topped 690,000 over 38 Sunday Parkways events. Residents and visitors say they come to enjoy the traffic-free streets connecting parks and schools filled with activities, music and vendors. It’s safe, family-friendly and a chance to meet neighbors.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is the steward of the City’s transportation system, and a community partner in shaping a livable city. We plan, build, manage and maintain an effective and safe transportation system that provides access and mobility.www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation

Guest Article: Dylan Rivera