On Sunday, we attended the final (and our first!) 2009 Sunday Parkways event in Southeast Portland. For those who may be unfamiliar with Sunday Parkways, it's an opportunity to experience the streets, parks and neighborhoods of Portland without any cars. Neighbors are invited to walk, run or roll their way around a 7-8 mile activity zone in designated neighborhoods.

To say that this event was fabulous is an understatement. Neighbors of every age tackled the route their way—by foot, paw, stroller, wheelchair, Segway, bike, or skateboard. Some neighbors wore costumes, but everyone we encountered wore a smile. The true magic of this event seemed to be that it brought out the best in its participants—everyone was downright neighborly. The route was a breeding ground for enthusiasm, courtesy, encouragement and engagement. 

Many times during the event, I found myself thinking "this is how Portland should be every day." 

As we ambled along the route, taking in the lovely homes and tree-lined streets of Southeast Portland, we made stops at local parks to refuel and rest. We listened to live music, snacked on Voodoo Doughnuts [among other things], visited vendor booths and chatted with our neighbors. The day's slower pace enabled us to see Portland from a totally different perspective, and we fell in love with our city all over again.

According to Mayor Adams, the 2010 Sunday Parkways events will be increased from three to five. Just 360 more to go...

 

A Sunday Parkways Special Announcement from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

 

sunday parkways

 Sharing the road

sunday parkways

 The climbing wall at Laurelhurst Park

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 No matter how you roll, Sunday Parkways is a hit.

2009 Southeast Portland Sunday Parkways from Neighborhood Notes on Vimeo.

 

sunday parkways

 Bixi bike sharing system

sunday parkways

 The Bike Share Group system for community bike sharing.

sunday parkways

 Arrrrrr!

sunday parkways

 Spotted! Icicle Tricycles

sunday parkways

 Fun, games and learning opportunities at Colonel Summers Park.

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 Taking hitched to a whole new level.

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Colonel Summers Park 

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 Families love Sunday Parkways.

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 This is exactly how we felt at the end of the day!

View the slide show for more more images of Sunday Parkways or visit our Flick gallery:

 
Photos © 2009 Kenneth Aaron Neighborhood Notes