Sunday Parkways comes to SE Portland this weekend

PORTLAND, Ore. - There's another Sunday Parkways happening this weekend - this time in Southeast Portland.

Sunday Parkways is where the city shuts down a few roads so bicyclists and pedestrians can have a car-free day. The idea started back in 2008 with the goal of getting people active in their communities and thinking about alternative ways to get around town.

The nine-mile Southeast Sunday Parkways route will offer all the usual fixings and entertainment that make Sunday Parkways one of Portland's most popular summer events. Music, vendors, Zumba and yoga classes will be available in the parks along the route. The event will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The route will also highlight recently completed city improvements to neighborhood streets and there will be a 'play station' at the Universal Cycles activity center on Southeast Ankeny and 22nd Avenue. Kids of all ages will get a chance to play on a snow plow, a two-person patch truck and a sewer cleaning and inspection van and "sewer-cam" that lets people peek into the hidden world of Portland's underground sewers.

"It's grossly fun," said Suzanne Kahn, who manages the Transportation Bureau's maintenance group.

Above ground, the route highlights other city and neighborhood innovations. The City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is featuring six "Green Spots," or properties that showcase techniques for a healthy connected neighborhood from solar energy to food gardens.

"As west coast cities like Portland continue to grow and develop, 'green spots' like these are essential investments to create more vibrant and livable neighborhoods," said Alisa Kane, BPS green building program manager.

The route also includes the Southeast Ankeny and Lincoln 'green streets' where the Bureau of Environmental Services installed bioswales, which are planted areas that both beautify the street and filter stormwater. Participants will also travel along 52nd Avenue, a stretch of pavement recently coated with 'fog seal,' a technique that the Transportation Bureau began applying this year to neighborhood streets to extend the life of pavement at a cost savings over traditional techniques.

The Southeast Portland route connects Colonel Summers Park, Laurelhurst Park, Mt. Tabor Park, Ivon Park and Universal Cycles activity area. Participants will also travel along four neighborhood greenways - Ankeny, Clinton, Lincoln and Salmon streets - which are quiet neighborhood streets that are designed bicycle routes and offer people a less trafficked route than nearby arterial streets.