Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson, Jr. was recently in Portland, OR to cover the city’s first Sunday Parkways event. The Portland event is patterned after Bogatá, Columbia’s Ciclovía “street opening” festivals, where cars are periodically banned from the streets to make way for pedestrians, cyclists, bladers, joggers, and all manner of happy people. From all reports, Portland’s event was a resounding success and a grand time was had by all.
From Portland Car-Free Day:
Ever wondered what it would be like to live, dance, and play in the middle of a bustling city street? That might sound intimidating, but now imagine that the bustle comes from other pedestrians and cyclists like yourself, roaming the streets free, and not a single automobile! That’s the spirit of Ciclovia, a weekly street opening festival in Bogotá, Colombia, where the public’s right-of-way is celebrated as a safe and very alive space in which to cycle, walk, dance, and sport.
Sunday Parkways will be a day-long inclusion of everyone —people who walk, dance, ride bicycles —allowing all citizens to share life in the street. On June 22nd, a circular route of traffic-free streets in north Portland will link four parks —Arbor Lodge, Peninsula, Unthank, and Overlook —to create a 6-mile loop for pedestrians, cyclists, rollerbladers, skaters, dancers, and aerobics and tai chi classes. Bring your stilts if you have them! While streets will be closed to automotive through traffic, a soft-closure will assure that neighboring residents have access to and from their homes.