(May 27, 2021) The sun is out, and summer is almost here! As Multnomah County moves into lower risk, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is inviting the public to Get Outside to Get Going. The new campaign, launched today, invites Portlanders to make climate-friendly transportation choices as they get out and explore all the amazing opportunities post-pandemic Portland has to offer. Among those offerings are numerous new public plazas around the city, showcasing some of Portland’s great art, culture, communities, and small businesses.
After a year of separation and isolation, PBOT seeks to inspire Portlanders to walk, roll, bike and take transit this summer to care for one another and our climate. More than 40% of Portland’s local carbon emissions come from transportation and those emissions are on the rise. The first in a series of videos features The Unipiper riding a TriMet bus across the Burnside Bridge to Pioneer Courthouse Square to showcase his unique unicycling skills and highlights how easy it is to get downtown by transit and cycle, whether uni-, bi- or tri-. The campaign is also collaborating with local dance academy, Hip Hop Soulsation, the Community Cycling Center and Andando en Bicicletas y Caminando (ABC), an advocacy group that promotes biking and walking in Portland's Latinx community. Additional videos will be released in the coming weeks and shared on PBOT’s social media channels throughout the summer.
What better way to use climate-friendly transportation than to visit a new Portland plaza? This summer PBOT is rolling out numerous public plazas around the city in partnership with local organizations, businesses, and communities.
“As Portland’s Transportation Commissioner, I envision a sustainable Portland where every community across the city has a gathering space where we can convene and get to know each other. Where small entrepreneurs and business can thrive. Where our artists have opportunities to inspire. These new plazas are a wonderful first step towards this vision and I’m so proud of all the work PBOT has put into prioritizing this work. Portland has been through a lot of trauma recently. As we safely open back up, this creative use of public space will allow us to come together, heal, and celebrate the beautiful diversity of community and culture that makes Portland such a special place,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
These community-led plazas are a key component of PBOT’s Safe Streets Initiative, PBOT’s Covid-19 response framework. As Portland begins to emerge from the pandemic, the bureau will continue its work connecting communities and supporting economic recovery and reinvestment as we work toward a more resilient, sustainable, and equitable future. PBOT staff have already dedicated hundreds of hours to the effort through organizing and planning plazas across the city in partnership with local organizations, businesses, and communities.
“As a bureau, we are committed to supporting Portland’s economic recovery,” said Transportation Director Chris Warner. “We hope Portlanders will join us in working towards a better future for our city by choosing climate-friendly transportation and supporting our diverse community organizations and local businesses.”
“Inviting residents to get out and get going, visit all of the new attractions, and safely explore Portland is in direct alignment with Prosper Portland’s work to create spaces and events that further activate the central city and neighborhood commercial districts,” said Prosper Portland Executive Director Kimberly Branam. “We are excited about this collaboration and we look forward to creating more activations throughout the summer that focus on building an equitable economy while showcasing Portland’s vibrant community spaces.”
Lots of Plazas to Choose From
Portland’s first plaza of the summer, the Dream Street Plaza, a Black-centered Space for community and microenterprise in historic Albina, opened on May 15 and will continue to run every Saturday throughout the summer months. The Dream Street Plaza, now in its second year, is located on the 300 Block of NE Sumner Street, just west of NE Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
The Numberz at Madison Plaza, opening on June 18, will feature local Black radio station The Numberz FM which is continuing its partner residency with the Portland Art Museum. The Numberz FM is the anchor of this new community plaza coming to SW Madison Street in the South Park Blocks in front of the Portland Art Museum.
Prosper Portland is leading the development of two new plazas at the North Park Blocks Plaza in Old Town China Town and the Tilikum Plaza on SE 2nd Place near OMSI and Tilikum Crossing, both of which will open on June 4. Throughout the month of June, the North Park Blocks Plaza will be hosting components of the 6th Annual Vanport Mosaic Festival, with features like the Zine Machine, a vending machine distributing free zines, CDs, and other resources amplifying local histories and community initiatives. The plaza will also host the History Is Now collaborative exhibit with a series of displays on storefront windows - a collaboration between Vanport Mosaic, the Design as Protest Collective and other museums, artists, and grassroots groups. The month will culminate with a “WE, THE PEOPLE” weekend at the plaza from June 25-27 with live music by Albina Music Trust, as well as intergenerational conversations about activism and social change.
Portland’s classical radio station, All Classical Portland, will be broadcasting at Tilikum Plaza at SE 2nd Place between SE Caruthers and Tilikum Way all summer long. The plaza will also offer skate rentals from the Rose City Rollers, Portland’s own World Champions of Roller Derby! Their unique, socially distanced outdoor skating events will be coming to both Tilikum Plaza and the North Park Blocks Plaza alternating weekends through the month of June. Tickets are limited to 100 attendees per session and go FAST, reserve your spot in advance. Additional details are available online at: https://www.merctickets.com/112024753/skatemobile-pbot--prosper-portland-event-pop-up
The Parkrose Marketplace, located at NE 108th Avenue just off NE Sandy Boulevard in the Historic Parkrose neighborhood, is being led by Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative and community volunteers. The Marketplace will serve as a community platform for local entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses, whether it's a hobbyist wanting to take it to the next level or a growing business that is going from online to in-person marketing and everything in between. The Parkrose Marketplace will have over 60 vendors, as well as live music and a beer and wine garden put on by local purveyors. The plaza will be open monthly on weekends through fall 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 26-27, July 24-25, Aug. 21-22, Sept. 25-26, and Oct. 23-24.
The Pride Plaza at SW 12th Ave and Harvey Milk Street, opening June 26, will be a new LGBTQ+ friendly neighborhood gathering space with street art, public seating, community activities and expanded space for businesses into the street.
The NW 13th Ave Plaza, active now, features local restaurants with outdoor seating and continues to host First Thursday art vending and activities. Future enhancements are expected to support neighborhood and community activities in the plaza throughout the summer.
Additional plaza locations are still in various stages of planning and are expected to open over the course of the summer. Follow PBOT on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for the latest updates on new plazas and events.
Rooting for our Blazers? Climate-friendly travel to the game is cheap and easy thanks to Portland Streetcar, TriMet, BIKETOWN, Bird, Bolt, Lime and Spin
Planning on Getting Outside to Get Going to the Moda Center to cheer on the Portland Trail Blazers? PBOT has organized numerous discounts for Portlanders looking to choose climate-friendly transportation to get to the game:
- Biking to the Blazers has never been easier! PBOT is sponsoring BIKETOWN trips to and from the Moda Center (up to an $8 value). Use either the BIKETOWN or Lyft app to get rolling: https://www.biketownpdx.com/how-it-works/get-the-app
- Riding your own bike to the game? The Moda Center’s main bike parking area has 30 bike racks and capacity to secure 300 bicycles and is located around the corner from the box office windows, about 30 yards west of the bag check container.
- Bird is offering 20% off on Saturday. Use promo code is: BLAZERS20
- Bolt is offering a $10 ride credit (in Bolt Bucks) on Saturday. Use promo code: RipCity10
- Lime is running a $2 off 2 rides to and from the games on both Thursday and Saturday. Use promo code: LIMETOTHEGAME
- Spin is offering $5 off for new and existing users. Use promo code: BLAZERS
- All Portland Streetcar rides are FREE on Saturday, May 29, for everyone in Rip City!
- TriMet will be running extra service and have staff on hand to support riders. Visit their website for more information about social distancing and mask requirements for buses, MAX and Portland Streetcar.