PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland’s “Sunday Parkways” program is back, and judging by the turnout for the first weekend it appears to be a hit among cyclists and pedestrians.
Several times during the spring and summer the city shuts down certain neighborhood streets to cars and lets walkers, runners and cyclists have free reign of the road.
Sunday’s seven-mile route was in East Portland near Lents, Gilbert Heights and Bloomington Parks.
The neighborhood was farther out than the program went last year. That’s a purposeful move by city planners to reach outlying neighborhoods where people often don’t feel included in community events like this.
“It’s wonderful,” said neighbor Robert Brito. “I think it speaks very highly of Portland and makes this a really unique community, something that’s not done elsewhere.”
The Sunday Parkways idea started in 2008 with the goal of getting people active in their communities and thinking about alternative ways to get around town.
Sunday’s ride and walk was just the first of five Sunday Parkways planned for this year. This year all the routes are between six and eight miles, which is longer than before.
The next Sunday Parkways is June 26th in North Portland. After that they will be held in Northwest, Southeast and Northeast.