It’s been a brilliant season filled to the brim with new routes, new parks, new partnerships and great people. Firstly, we would love to send out a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to everyone. We want to thank our sponsors, donors, vendors, volunteers, entertainers, police, flaggers and participants for making this grandest and most well attended Sunday Parkways season ever. We could not have done it without you.
It has been an amazing year for Sunday Parkways. 28,000 people came out to the last Sunday Parkways of the year, more than double the number that attended our last event in 2014! If that wasn’t big enough news, in 2014, approximately 108,900 attended Sunday Parkways. To see how many people came out this year, keep reading:
• 346 neighborhood associations, schools, community organizations, places of worship, and businesses participated as vendors and volunteer groups
• 41 physical activity and fitness-related organizations and businesses got us moving this year
• 814 individual volunteers volunteered for a collective 5,085 volunteer hours - WAY TO GO!
• And drum roll…………………… 119,000 came out to enjoy the open streets in 2015! Meaning 119,000 people came out to walk, roll, jog, dance, and bicycle along 37.5 miles of Portland's streets for Sunday Parkways. This is our biggest Sunday Parkways season yet!!
Here a few more highlights from all five of our events this year:
Tilikum highlights – The Tilikum Sunday Parkways event was jam packed with “new factor,” for this event, making a short list of highlights is a bit challenging. There was a lot of excitement over this event, due to the opening of the bridge and the new route. In fact, 28,000 people gathered to ride/walk over Tilikum. According to TriMet’s estimates, almost 15,000 people crossed the bridge during Sunday Parkways, almost three times the amount who crossed the bridge during its opening! This new route went into the Sellwood-Westmoreland Area for the first time at Westmoreland Park whereas we collaborated with the Salmon Celebration to celebrate the return of Salmon back into the city as well as our Native American communities in Portland.
Southeast highlights – Our Southeast Sunday Parkways was almost cancelled when smoke from across Oregon and Washington swept into the Portland Metro area on Saturday. Thankfully, strong winds brought the smoke out, allowing for 21,500 to come out and enjoy Sunday Parkways SE this year. DJ Prashant drew 100’s onto the Laurelhurst Park’s grassy dance floor for Bollywood dancing once again. Additionally, the Sunday Parkways August event successfully incorporated protocol used in Latin American “Open Streets” events to control intersections.
Northeast highlights – The beautiful weather on July 26th brought people from across the city and beyond to the 8-miles of Sunday Parkways route located in Northeast Portland. Over 22,250 people joined us in celebrating a grand summer Sunday, with many bringing their bikes in tow. With such a historically high number of bike riding attendees at this event, bike safety was a focus whereas Andando en Bicicletas en Cully, also known as the ABC group, offered a bi-lingual bike and safety fair at the newly renovated park Khunamokwst Park. The inclusion of the Khunamokwst Park unto the route, which aptly means “together” in Chinook, we were able to provide neighbors and attendees with a chance to visit this new green space, try out the new play structures or the skating park during this community event.
North highlights – The love for Sunday Parkways North continues with its yet unbroken record as the most attended of the events with this year’s attendance of approximately 31,000 people. The 9.5 mile loop provided attendees with the opportunity to bike freely across the Willamette Bluff or to weave in and out of Peninsula, Arbor Lodge, McCoy, and Kenton Parks to play with the circus, dance Zumba, or grab a yummy dish or two. One park away from the newly formed marketplace along the Willamette Bluff was the launch site of our community partners from Latino Network, who led a family bike ride to expose families and youth to this fun local event. The day also included games by the Oregon Disability Sports, group rides, and tours of the Peninsula Park Gardens.
East highlights – Our first Sunday Parkways event of the year kicked off with lots of sunshine and smiles. The event drew 16,250, our largest crowd ever for East Portland whereas families and friends gathered for a joyous Mother’s Day and spring afternoon. The day was in full bloom as families and friends swept into the Bloomington Park where Parks for New Portlanders held their second annual Portland World Cup youth soccer match for all to enjoy, along with visits to vendors, fun with the circus, or the art of hula-hooping. The Bureau of Environmental Services also hosted the Foster Flood Plain marketplace creating a fish schooling affect as attendees walked and rolled away with their “fish hats”.
Overall it’s been a grand and wonderful year. Thank you all for keeping us rolling and helping us to bring more happiness, health and community to Portland. See you in 2016!!