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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Bureau of Transportation

Phone: 503-823-5185

Fax: 503-823-7576

1120 SW Fifth Ave, Suite 1331, Portland, OR 97204

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Sunday Parkways stories


 Did you come out for Sunday Parkways?

If so, we'd like to hear your story.


What did you do? 

How long did you stay?

How did you get around?

How much of the 6-mile route did you see?

What impressed you, surprised you, made you happy or made you feel otherwise?

Please use the comment form below, so we can share Portland residents' experience with our sponsors, our partners, and with other cities working on similar events.

And thanks for sharing your experience of Sunday Parkways with us!



Add a Comment


Tony Tapay

June 24, 2008 at 1:27 PM

Awesome! Bring this event to other parts of Portland, build a broader base of support for it, and then start to link the routes.

Whooo hoooo!

Oh, and I live on the route and it was great! Everybody was wonderful.


Russell Emmerson

June 24, 2008 at 1:42 PM

What did you do? My girlfriend and I mainly rode around, but we did spend some time at Arbor Lodge Park. At the park my girlfriend tried her hand at unicycling, while I enjoyed a bratwurst.

How long did you stay? We stayed for approximately three hours.

How did you get around? We rode our bikes from Northwest Portland to the Kaiser Town Hall and then rode around the loop at a leisurely pace.

How much of the 6-mile route did you see? We completed the entire six-mile loop, but only stopped at the Kaiser Town Hall and Arbor Lodge Park to walk around and partake in activities.

What impressed you, surprised you, made you happy . . .? I was incredibly impressed with the number of volunteers and police officers involved in this event. I was even more impressed by the number of people who showed up to have a good time and the number of neighbors who embraced the event as a time to be enterprising or just get out into their neighborhood and welcome people. One woman insisted we stop and appreciate it her roses. We bought a new clock from a yard sale. We got homemade ice cream from a family for a modest donation. This event had me grinning from ear-to-ear. The only negative that I really experienced during the day were people riding too quickly, failing to make their presence known, or riding on the wrong side of the road for an extended period of time.

I hope that there will be many more events like this in Portland and that it can be expanded to cover a greater area with some wider roads. All-in-all the event was a massive success.


Veronica Nordeen

June 24, 2008 at 1:53 PM

My friends and I had a wonderful time. Three women, three dogs. We started out at 8:30 a.m. and headed south on N. Concord. In all our combined years of marathoning, we'd never explored the Overlook Neighborhood. Thanked all the volunteers, admired the woman in the tree sculpture and stopped to smell lots of roses.

I was pleased to see large groups of cyclists as the skies cleared up.

I have a great picture if you're taking submissions.


Jonathan Maus

June 24, 2008 at 2:24 PM

My family and I had a fantastic day. We spent most of our time at Peninsula Park because it's close to our house and we wanted to support the Sprockettes (my wife Juli dances with them).

This was simply an historic event that I cannot imagine being only something that happens once a year. The people are clamoring for this type of event and I sincerely hope that PDOT and their partners within the city can figure out a way to make this a regular occurence and to expand the amount of streets it encompasses (vs. moving it around, which I think would be a bad idea).

Thank you to PDOT/Options for taking this behemoth task on and executing it so well. I hope subsequent ones can be done for less money and with less human resources than this initial "experimental" once.


Jiminy Joe

June 24, 2008 at 3:27 PM

What did you do? -- We biked over from the Woodstock neighborhood, started at Unthank park, then biked north following the route in a counter-clockwise fashion.

How long did you stay? -- Stayed for about two hours.

How did you get around? -- Biked the entire route, except when walking the bikes across the overpasses, and walking them in the parks.

How much of the 6-mile route did you see? -- The whole thing.

What impressed you, surprised you, made you happy or made you feel otherwise? -- It was very noticeable how happy people were, we saw smiles everywhere, from walkers to bikers to rollerskaters, to residents on porches, residents having sales of all types, vendors in parks, etc. Penisula Park was glorious! I had not been in a few years and it was beautiful. Everyone seemed to be having a good time, thanking police officers at intersections and volunteers all along the route. My riding partner likened it to the early Bridge Pedals and the plain desire for people to be able to bike on city streets and enjoy the views/atmosphere without being concerned about sharing the road with cars.

I think the signage was very well done. There were numerous two-way arrows chalked in the street which made understanding where to turn far easier. The only problems we ran into were people who would not walk their bike on the overpasses and instead tried to ride them, albeit slowly, but which caused them to constantly stop and start as they could not maintain walking speed. This was even more of a problem when, more than once, a parent would be behind their children trying to ride across an overpass, and the children would constantly stop and start as well.

Like all shared transportation situations, if people would take a bit more responsibility for themselves (e.g. stay to the right, follow signage, don't stop in the middle of the road/path, etc.) then traffic of all types will flow real well.

As for the route, I thought there was a problem travelling through the Kaiser Town Hall area. From the counterclockwise direction, one was directed into the area, but there was no smooth transition to the Failing St. overpass and when I was there numerous bikes wandered around looking for the path/curb cut/driveway to continue. For future events, a route that does not make use of the overpasses would be preferable.

Overall, it was fantastic and thanks to all who made it happen.



June 24, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Both of us felt lucky and grateful. We did the whole 6-mile route, smiled a lot and thanked police folks and volunteers as we rode by. I was impressed by the number of people and the good humor and friendliness of everyone. We NEED this to happen more often. A lot of people in Portland need this kind of event.


Donald Arney

June 24, 2008 at 4:39 PM

We live two blocks off the route and got a fairly early start, walking up to Pennisula with our two pre-school lads riding their little-guy steeds. They got a tremendous kick out of riding in the street, becoming traffic "Like when Dad rides to work!" We wandered around a bit in the park, bummed we didn't bring cash for crepes.

I was struck most by how many folks said "What a beautiful park. I've never been here before." You see, back in the 80s, I used to skip classes from Jeff and hang there with my other algebra dodging buddies, getting into mostly no good. I've seen a lot of changes to the park and the surrounding neighborhood over the years. And this gathering of diverse, healthy and happy folks would have been unthinkable in some years.

So we went back to the house and got the big bikes. Dad pulled the oldest on the trailabike and the younger retired to the trailer behind mom.

We did the whole 6 mile route in about 2 hours. The overpasses were a bit of a drag (especially for our longish bike contraptions). Too many folks in a small space. The price of popularity I reckon. On the flip side, I've seen a lot folks posting that they never knew where the overpasses were, so I can't fault the wisdom in choosing them as routes.

All in all, very impressive. A tremendously positive use of resources in my opinion.

Let's keep at it.




June 24, 2008 at 6:53 PM

What did you do? Got coffee at coffee cart (yay!), called friends to get their butts over to the event, met up at park and smelled the roses.

How long did you stay? 2.5 hrs, from 11:30am until 2pm.

How did you get around? Biked on roads, walked in park.

How much of the 6-mile route did you see? Probably 2 miles. Much less than I intended.

What impressed you, surprised you, made you happy or made you feel otherwise? I was pleased to see the massive turnout, even in the drizzly weather. Once there, I simply enjoyed the feeling of miles of car-free - which is to say, SAFE - roadway.

It's not something that translates well into pictures or video of the event, but the sheer length of safe road available to me was the thrill of it. I imagine that's what made it fun for the kids, too.

Also, the events and displays along the route were pretty vital, both to break it up and give it momentum.

I heard there was a place at which one could practice putting a bike on a Tri-Met bus, which I though was pretty clever. I've avoided using those racks for what is probably the very reason someone thought up this display: it's intimidating to try and figure out those racks when a bus full of people is waiting for you. I'd have liked to have tried out the practice rack.


Dave & Dena

June 24, 2008 at 10:44 PM

we had a wonderful time... thank you to everyone responsible for making it happen.

we totally spaced that it only went until 2pm, so we got started late and only participated for a couple hours until the barricades were coming down... :( those were a great couple hours, and then we rode the rest of route anyway. it would have been awesome if it ran all day. (later, at least). it was convenient for us because we live in NE, but we'd travel it was somewhere else, too.

we'd definitely participate regularly if this was a monthly or weekly event! (it really should be!)

and we're up for volunteering next time, too. we're happy to have been part of such a fun event.

dave & dena
ne portland


Vince Schreck

June 25, 2008 at 8:12 AM

I run the website "Portland Family Adventures" We did an article on the Parkways event with pictures and video. Please check it out! You'll see it in the "Recent Posts" area.



June 25, 2008 at 8:41 AM

I had a fabulous time! My friends started out with a house party as they lived on the route. Then they all rode the loop. I walked it. I saw gardens and houses and things I've never noticed when driving. And I discovered some cool new places.
I hung out at Arbor Lodge park for awhile & listened to music.
I walked from PCC to Kaiser & then back up to N. Greeley & N. Willamette.
I loved seeing all those people and families out enjoying the outdoors and each other.
I hope there are many more of these events! I would love to be able to explore some other neighborhoods I am less familiar with.
Maybe some folks who do chair massage will be there next time :-)


Mike & Jan Hand

June 25, 2008 at 10:21 AM

What impressed us & made us happy?

We made a quick diversion around 2 PM to Di Prima Dolci Italian Bakery on Killingsworth and got talking to a 75 year old man on an old Schwinn bike, who was rewarding himself after his ride with a slab of chocolate cake. This man lives in a mobile home near Beaverton transit center, had put his bike on the MAX to get to the ride, didn't think himself up to the whole 6 mile route, so had limited himself to just a few miles before rewarding himself with chocolate. After that he told us he was planning to experiment by taking his bike on the bus back to Beaverton.
An elderly man taking an elderly bike across town on public transport just to be part of this event is highly impressive. He was obviously enjoying himself immensely after making such an effort.
Hopefully this marks the first of an annual and even larger event.



June 25, 2008 at 10:25 AM

My entire family had a wonderful day at Sunday Parkways. My husband was a volunteer in the morning shift. He was having so much fun, he stayed past closing. My neighbor and I each rode our bikes, with kids in trailers, and did the entire loop starting at 9:30 am. The drizzle kept the kids from being allowed out to play too much, but we did briefly stop at most of the parks and activites.

We finished our loop at Peninsula Park. By that time the weather had cleared and we let the kids play at the park. It was a madhouse (in a good way!). Then we went home and the kids got their own bikes, and we all rode about a mile worth of the loop. All in all we were out on the Parkways for about 4 - 5 hours.

So many things made this a really special day for us. I think my favorite was watching my kids giddily riding down the middle of the street, completely free from the risk of being hit by a car, and with dozens of smiling people streaming by who were all very careful and understanding when my kids would go careening off in a random direction (despite my best efforts to get them to stay right!). I think my number 2, is just seeing the smiles on not just the participants' faces, but also on the faces of almost every volunteer and police officer we passed by. I'm still smiling when I think of that day.

Thank you to all of the organizers, volunteers and other supporters for making this happen!



June 25, 2008 at 11:15 AM

My family and our neighbors all participated together in the event. We had a range of riders from kids in Burley trailers to a new, 6-year-old, biker to former once-in-awhile-racers (the parents). We all loved it! One of the great things for me was that I live in NE Portland but had never crossed I-5 on my bike or on foot. Seeing the connection into the overpasses and using them was very eye-opening. I have the feeling now that I know where they are, what the lay of the land there is and gives me the knowledge and experience that I need to use them again.
We would love to see more of this in Portland.
Way to go!


Scott Cohen

June 25, 2008 at 11:22 AM

While biking on N Montana near the Interstate Freddies I overhead a group of people talking about how pleasantly suprised they were about the neighborhood.

Perhaps they had never been to North Portland (except to drive through) and now that they were getting a chance to really experience the area and interact with the North Portland community, they realized just how great NoPo really is!

Sunday Parkways - a healthy, active (and successful) experiment in community building!


Barbara Plummer

June 25, 2008 at 12:02 PM

It was all great. I didn't get to travel the route as I was staffing at Kaiser Town Hall. I want to send out a hearty thank you to the vendors though! Thanks to:

Cafe Velo, this guy is great and his Stumptown coffee is great, all contained and served on a traditional Dutch work bike.

Northwest Hotdogs, Yum! So glad you were there.

Shimano Coasting Tour had some awesome and comfy cruiser bikes for people to test out.

Safer Routes to Schools had loaner bikes for those without their own bike.

Portland Bike Tours, provides tours but also one on one instruction for those wanting to shift more trips to bicycle but might be concerned or intimidated by learning the routes and the ropes of getting around a new way.

The Lions Club provided free vision, diabetes, and other kinds of check ups - early detection and prevention is key and they provide a great service.

Ride Connection provides important transportation services to elderly and medically fragile individuals.

TriMet had constant line of folks wanting to learn how to put their bike on a bus.

Zip Car was there educating folks that biking or walking more, or living car free does not mean you have to give up the freedom of acess to a vehicle any time you need it.

So many folks came out to participate in the Volkswalk, Volkswalk is a wonderful international walking group you might check out.

Elders in Action was there, and Kaiser Permanente gave out free pedometers. And lots of people took the opportunity to climb in to the drivers seat of a very large working truck to see what the visibility issues are for truck drivers and learn about blind spots and how to stay safe on the road around trucks.

Thanks to everyone who came out.


Rebecca Hamilton

June 25, 2008 at 4:13 PM

What impressed you, surprised you, made you feel happy, or otherwise?

As an intersection volunteer, I had the privledge of watching the grand parade pass by from 8-1:30. Never in my life have I seen so many thousands of people smiling. The atmosphere was one of pure joy. Has Portland ever done anything that was so effective in promoting the public happiness?

Kudos to all the planners and promoters of this event - you gave something truly special to this city.


Grandpa Bob

June 25, 2008 at 10:57 PM

What a wonderful day, and what a wonderful gift from our friends in Colombia, and what smart people Portland has to vote and agree to give this huge project a try, and then help it to work so smilingly.
May the City mothers and fathers, the political decision makers and all the happy voters work out ways of repeating this event many times, and in many new ways and places! And may the Dept. of Transportation staff have enough time and energy to make it happen, together with the Parks people and smiling Police people.



June 27, 2008 at 10:44 AM

Thank you so much to everyone who made this happen. Everyone had huge grins on their faces. I bike to work everyday and usually try not to bike on the weekends, but I'd do this every weekend if I could. The volunteers were wonderful, the cops great, lots of interesting things to see - ran into several of my neighbors. After visiting Spain I've often wondered why we don't have the same enthusiastic family strolls in the evening - this is a good start! Thanks, and when's the next one?


Shamus Lynsky

June 27, 2008 at 9:33 PM

What did you do?
I lead a group ride of (mostly) families down from St Johns to the parkways. Once there we split up to explore the parkways at our own pace. My group did lots - saw a million friends and had a blast.

How long did you stay?
3 hours, but wish it would have been more. We started in St Johns a little after 10 am and got to the parkways by about 10:45. We stayed until just before 2.

How did you get around?
We biked (and walked our bikes).

How much of the 6-mile route did you see?
We saw all but about 5 blocks of the 6 miles.

What impressed you, surprised you, made you happy or made you feel otherwise?
Everything impressed us. We all had a great time. Not having a destination seemed to be key - so you could just meander and enjoy yourself. It was amazing how in such a large crowd we ran in to so many friends from all over the city. this needs to happen 4 weekends in a row next summer at least. Seriously. Thanks sooo much to the city and the volunteers who made this possible.


Dale Chrystof

June 28, 2008 at 9:42 AM

Sounds like a great idea. Wish they'd do something like that in Chicago during rush hours. Looked at the pictures of people biking, walking. Looked like chaos, though. Are there "rules of the road". I'm not sure I'd want to bike on a road with people standing/biking in every which way. Do they obey traffic lights?


Fred Lifton

June 28, 2008 at 10:44 AM

We rode our bikes over from our house in NE and rode the whole course. We had a great time riding through the neighborhoods and taking in the sights. I hope we can do it again soon!



June 30, 2008 at 1:04 AM

What a glorious day! Smiling faces every direction. And so much going on! My partner and I showed up a bit late to take it all in, but we were able to almost ride the entire loop before it was open to car traffic again. Finding that hidden park was spectacular.

This should be a weekly event! Thanks PDOT!


Brian Borrello

July 1, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Excellent, what a great experience for neighborhoods and Portland community to share the "commons"- the streets, at the scale of people, as in peds and people powered wheeled devices, not machines and tonnage.
More often, more mileage, more range-
more "boulevardiers!"



July 5, 2008 at 8:56 PM

make it city wide!!! maybe about once a year? well, i guess drivers would get into a hissy over that. but seriously, it would be beautiful.



July 10, 2008 at 3:46 PM

This was such a fabulous event! We're really hoping this will become a monthly event next year throughout different neighborhoods. We did the entire 6 mile loop and visited 2 of the 4 parks. I loved seeing the smiles on everyone's faces, all the unbeatable community spirit and running in to people we haven't seen for a while. It was fun to see so many residents of neighborhoods hanging out on their porches watching the people go by or offering a drink of water. Portland is a topnotch place because of gracious people and because of unique events like this. Good luck! And count us in for next year!



September 20, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Sunday Parkways was simply awesome. I couldn't believe how much I enjoyed myself. Please do it again, and in some other parts of the city. Several times a year!



December 28, 2008 at 10:27 PM

We biked from St Johns to Arbor Lodge. On the way we stopped at Freddie's for rain ponchos. There weren't many riders at that time but then when the weather cleared it was wonderful to be a part of something big like this. We had seen a film on Cyclovia - I think it was in Columbia - so was excited when we read it in the newspaper. We did the whole route stopping at 3 parks and trying out automatic shift bikes near Kaiser. People were friendly and smiling. We found a couple of geocaches close to the route. We definitely will participate in what we hope is more to come.


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