Sunday May 16th was the first of 5 Sunday Parkways for 2010. Portland's signature summer car-free event, Sunday Parkways have been growing in popularity since they started 2 years ago. This year was no exception; despite early rain, there was a strong turnout all day, and even after the saw horse barricades came down, there was heavy pedestrian/bike traffic in the neighborhood surrounding the route.
Last week I posted a preview of the route; I was happy to see that I was pretty close in my suggestions. Alberta Park seemed to be the busiest park; the intersection of Prescott and 37th was secured with police officers, and the addition of Woodlawn Park was enthusiastically embraced. The exit from Woodlawn Park up 13th street was probably the narrowest constriction point on the route; Ainsworth was the most pleasant riding - the median made for divided traffic, and it was mostly parked-car-free.
I visited all the parks starting at 10am. There was ebike-related action at each park. While I was at Woodlawn Park, it rained a bit, but SoupCycle, who delivers in Souplandistan via ebike, was already slinging soup.
Alberta Park at 10:15 was already crowded. Wake at The eBike Store was up and running - not surprisingly, RainMates chaps seemed a popular item. With the broad open ball field, music venue under cover, jungle gyms, and copious food carts, Alberta Park promised to get busy quickly.
On the way to Wilshire Park I spotted someone on an ebike - an eZee conversion kit. It's rider wasn't actually using the motor, though, as he was riding with his son. Wilshire Park sported a Best Buy booth, where they were demoing their ebikes.
The ride down 37th to Fernhill was a nice downhill. At Fernhill, Singing Planet eBikes was doing brisk test ride traffic, answering lots of questions, and enjoying their cul-de-sac location.
Riding back up Ainsworth, I saw another ebike - an older gentleman riding a Currie conversion with his sons on non-ebikes.
Doffing the PDXebiker helmet, I ventured out later with a big mix of friends and family. We had a great time at Alberta Park, eating epic burritos and free Clif bars, enjoying face painting and a brisk game of frisbee. As the route closed, we headed to Woodlawn Park to volunteer to help with folding up tables and chairs.
In conclusion, Sunday Parkways kicked off this year in a big way, and I was glad to see ebikes seamlessly fitting into the mix. I'm already planning for the North Portland route. If you're considering going, please consider volunteering - it's easy and makes a huge difference!