Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Portland - Sunday Parkways and bicycle culture

(retrospective from 2012)

Sunday Parkways events are held once a month from May to September, in different parts of Portland, to give people a chance to explore their neighbourhood and discover how easy and fun it is to get around by bike.  A circuit of roads connecting parks is designated and side roads are blocked off with barricades manned by volunteers.  There are activities in all the parks, and some along the way, bringing out the multitudes, especially families (and some dogs) on bikes.  See the official website with more information here, and a four minute video from 2008 by Streetfilms here.

The route, at least 7 miles long, is brimming with people enjoying themselves
...and dogs

Quite simply executed, with minimal barriers, mostly with a volunteer present.
Some residents set up a roadside garage sale to benefit from the large number of people about
Or as an audience for their band to play to (but taking a break here)

...or for customers for a coffee cart.
I volunteered to help survey people attending, for the event evaluation.
From speaking with attendees, it seems a very worthwhile way to get people who wouldn't normally do so, out on their bikes and people indicated the experience was going to encourage them to ride more.  Definitely a good model, and by using circuits in different, residential parts of Portland, likely to be more effective at getting people to ride locally, which is probably most effective at getting people to start.  It is also much easier to achieve than closing streets in the city centre.

Bicycle Culture

Symptoms of bicycle culture seemed to ooze from many front yards and street corners of the suburbs of Portland, as I rode around.  Here are just a few examples.

Home made bike racks installed on the front porch, made of old frames
More innovative porch bike parking, hanging from the beam
Bike sculptures adorn the nature strip
And another sculpture
And again
Tell tale sign of being on a bike train (/bike bus) route, locked to a corner pole
And all sorts of bikes, from serious freight bikes, to coffee, and fun tall bikes.

Next post: Vancouver (from 2012 trip, too)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home