Sunday Parkways begins a new season
By Mindy Cooper/The Portland Observer
In northeast Portland on Sunday, residents discovered what the neighborhood was like when cars became the minority on the street’s loops, which were filled with vendors, music, and activities at the first Sunday Parkways event of 2012.
“I have never seen so many bikes in my life,” said Kellie Haplon, who was visiting northeast on Mother’s Day with her daughter at Alberta Park.
The family-fun event closed streets to open up a designated eight mile route, which connected Woodlawn, Alberta and Fernhill parks for people to roll, walk, and bike all day, when residents enjoyed a plethora of community activities.
Liliana Thirdgill, a resident of northeast Portland, said the event was the perfect way to spend time with her son on Mother’s Day. “I came for the Sunday Parkways, and I brought my son. It creates an atmosphere where you can take your kids outside and have fun without it being structured.”
“It is a beautiful day,” said northeast resident Rahel Steward, on a break from biking to take a drink of water with her children Lydia and Emanuel. “They closed off the streets so we can feel safe to ride.”
Her daughter Lydia, 7, said her favorite part of the day was that she kept running into friends from school and within the neighborhood.
The event, organized by the Portland Bureau of Transportation and community partners, including Kaiser Permanente, Universal Cycles, Portland Parks and Recreation, and Metro and Bike Gallery, offered free Zumba classes, healthy food options and a chance to relax in the park with family and neighbors.
“This event is unique because it builds community for people outside of their cars and gives them a chance to meet their neighbors,” said Anna Curtin, who worked the Portland Farmers Market booth at Alberta Park throughout the day.
“The goal is to have a good time and meet neighbors in a car free environment, and for us, as an organization, to let people know about farmers markets and buying local, and supporting our farmers.”
Sunday Parkways is held in various neighborhoods from May to September, when thousands of residents partake in the carless festivities.
“Over the past four years, Sunday Parkways has been an incredibly popular civic celebration,” said Mayor Sam Adams. “The annual event honors Portland’s unique culture, and encourages friends and families throughout our community to build relationships, and inspires healthy outdoor activities.”
The next Sunday Parkway event will be held in north Portland on June 24. For more information about locations and highlights, visit portlandsundayparkways.org.