(Aug. 20, 2013) – Sunday Parkways comes to Southeast Portland this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., opening nine miles of city streets to traffic free bicycling, walking, strolling and entertainment. The hugely popular event is free and is expected to draw about 25,000 participants in addition to involving hundreds of volunteers.
The Southeast Portland route also highlights recently completed city improvements to neighborhood streets and offers a Transportation Bureau “play station” at the Universal Cycles activity center on SE Ankeny and 22nd Avenue. Kids of all ages can play on a snow plow, a two-person patch truck and a sewer cleaning and inspection van and “sewer-cam” that lets people peek into the hidden world of Portland’s underground sewers.
‘It’s grossly fun,” said Suzanne Kahn who manages the Transportation Bureau’s maintenance group.
Above ground, the route highlights other city and neighborhood innovations. The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is featuring six “Green Spots,” or properties that showcase techniques for a healthy connected neighborhood from solar energy to food gardens. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/index.cfm?&a=456372
"As west coast cities like Portland continue to grow and develop, ‘green spots’ like these are essential investments to create more vibrant and livable neighborhoods,” said Alisa Kane, BPS green building program manager.
The route also includes the SE Ankeny and Lincoln “green streets” where the Bureau of Environmental Services installed bioswales, which are planted areas that both beautify the street and filter stormwater. Participants will also travel along 52nd Avenue, a stretch of pavement recently coated with “fog seal,” a technique that the Transportation Bureau began applying this year to neighborhood streets to extend the life of pavement at a cost savings over traditional techniques.
The nine-mile southeast Sunday Parkways route offers all the usual fixings and entertainment that make Sunday Parkways one of Portland’s most popular summer events. Music, vendors, Zumba and yoga classes will be available in the parks along the route.
The route connects Colonel Summers Park, Laurelhurst Park, Mt. Tabor Park, Ivon Park and Universal Cycles activity area. Participants will also travel along four neighborhood greenways – Ankeny, Clinton, Lincoln and Salmon streets - which are quiet neighborhood streets that are designed bicycle routes and offer people a less trafficked route than nearby arterial streets.
Motorized vehicles are allowed to pass through the route at designated crossings and allowed on the route for resident and emergency access.
Sunday Parkways is a series of five free community events held monthly from May through September that open the city's largest public space – its streets – for people to walk, bike, roll and discover active transportation. Each Sunday Parkways takes place in a different neighborhood to spread the fun throughout the city.
Volunteers are a linchpin of the event, serving in a variety of fun and needed roles from photographer and bike mechanic to intersection “superhero,” a role that helps count participants and directs people along the route. Shifts vary in time commitment, allowing people to both volunteer and participate in a single event. To volunteer, visit and sign up at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/449390
Sunday Parkways is organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation with its many community partners, including presenting sponsor Kaiser Permanente, and supporting sponsors Universal Cycles, Portland Parks & Recreation, Metro, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Clif Kid.
For a route map, see http://www.portlandoregon.gov/transportation/article/435127. More information is available at www.PortlandSundayParkways.org or 503-823-7599.