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Thursday, July 8, 2010

East side Sunday Parkways may have to pay "volunteers"

Sunday Parkways -- the program in which the City of Portland turns streets over to bicyclists on selected summer Sundays -- has expanded to five Sundays this year, but the pool of volunteers to stand at the key intersections and keep an eye on things has not grown so quickly. The city recently hired a "volunteer coordination" firm, Good Sport Promotions, to marshal the troops for the events, and it's put out an urgent call for the East Portland bikefest scheduled for the 18th. A reader copied us on that message:

Hi Everyone,

We're a little over a week away from the Sunday Parkways in East Portland. Unfortunately, volunteer recruitment has been a bit challenging. We all want this event to succeed, and volunteers are the #1 way to make this happen. Intersection Superheroes are the life-blood of the event and while we need to fill 130 shifts, we have only found the volunteers to take care of 41.

Without volunteers, this is simply not going to work and the community will take notice. We can't let this happen. Fortunately, we still have time and you all have connections.

You all helped bring this event to your neighborhood and you are the biggest supporters of this event, so I'm calling on you to help us get the word out for a couple different opportunities.

1. Send out the word to volunteers.

* Groups you know
* Listserves, websites, facebook pages, twitter - everything you have in
* Churches, schools, social groups.
* Non-profits and small enterprises - they can be both volunteers as exhibit on the street. A great way to market their ideas and services!
* Friends and family
* Call in personal favors - Janis is bringing her mother. It's that serious right now.

2. Plan F - we will compensate groups of volunteers - volunteer for fundraising.

* We don't want to do this, but this may be a last resort. We're looking for teams and groups of people who would be willing to work for SP for fundraising. The requirement is that these groups need to be adults (no school groups or teams).
* Sports teams are ideal, as they usually are looking for quick fundraising and would be great for the job - Rugby teams, Dragonboat teams, etc.
* Churches may be good too. We have an afternoon shift from 11:45-3:30pm that may be perfect for folks just getting out of church.
* If you know of any groups, please let me know. 5-55 people is a great size. You can either contact them with the info or make an email introduction and I'll take it from there.
* I would love to have groups who live near the SP event and will give them preferential selection of volunteer location However, I may have to reach out to the Greater Portland area to fill those spots.

Thanks for all the help. I would love to hear from you with any thoughts, questions or suggestions.

Have a great week,
Neal Armstrong
Good Sport Promotion | 503.473.3547
Coordinated Events |

I wonder what Good Sport is getting paid, how much the pot of money for the "volunteers" is going to be, and whether it will be coming out of sewer bills.

Comments (27)

Recently my neighborhood in N Portland was encircled by one of these events.

Including cops and "volunteers" I was stopped or rerouted 6 times (3 in 3 out) on a trip to the store.

It struck me as an expensive restriction on my freedom of movement. This, in light of the fact that walking and biking around my part of town is popular and pervasive on all days of the week. I didn't feel the unwonted constriction was worth the exchange.

Including cops and "volunteers" I was stopped or rerouted 6 times (3 in 3 out) on a trip to the store. It struck me as an expensive restriction on my freedom of movement.

I'll play the world's smallest violin as they take you away in the waaaaaaaaaaahmbulance.

and they need to pay someone to send this message out? Why can't the planners of this event do it? what a load

"I wonder what Good Sport is getting paid, how much the pot of money for the "volunteers" is going to be, and whether it will be coming out of sewer bills."

Nah, why would 'they' only indirectly impact the retail price-index (Sewer), when 'they' can go straight to your wallet (Fed money earmarked for commercial transpo)?:

There is no such thing as commercial highway traffic, only rich white males in GM Hummers. There is no such thing as poor, hungry, people, only expatriate Californians with wads to drop on corporate 'organic' food. Besides, rent isn't high enough yet to warrant forcing renters to absorb the loss of revenue directed at municipalities like sewer. I mean c'mon, there's only 1600 homeless people in the 201 alone!

Dave J. - I know, huh? Stupid civil-rights, and personal liberty anyway! Of course 'freedom' only pertains to you. What the hell are 7.2 billion OTHER people thinking when your life is so swell?!

These BikeFests are sucking money from several sources besides fed and state dollars. It is hidden under Sam's notorious "shell games".

For example our Oregon gas tax money, under the STIP dollar pile administered by ODOT, has sent Portland alone over $185 Million. These dollars fund bike enhancement programs like these Sunday Parkways. Vehicle gas taxes fund many programs not benefiting vehicles while there has not been one lane increase (actually a decrease) in any of our street and freeway capacity since the 1960s.

I know, some of you will respond that for every bike on the road means one less vehicle. Sure.

Last year's parkways seemed to be a Who's Who of Tram Adams' stellar staff roster. From the looks on their faces, they were volunteering for Parkway duty in the same way that Kunta Kinte volunteered to go to America.

"I'll play the world's smallest violin as they take you away in the waaaaaaaaaaahmbulance."

Dave, you seem to feel that this event takes precedence over other activities.

I take it then that you are signed up as a volunteer.

Sheesh, what a bunch of killjoys and curmudgeons! Have any of you actually GONE to one of the Parkways? Maybe in some cases better notice could have been given to residents affected by the street closures, but even so it was only for half of one day out of 365.

That being said, I did think the City was being too ambitious ramping up from three Parkways last year to five this year, especially with the economy the way it is. I'm not surprised they're desperate for volunteers. Between folks on summer vacations and others tapped out from volunteering for so many other great causes (or to fill in gaps in civic services the city used to be able to afford) the well for voluneer labor is running dry.

Hope that compensation is for a living wage. We wouldn't want to do anything less here in Portland. Would we now?

And better get Dave J. his whinnercycle while we are at it and a propeller for his beanie.

Looks to me like these bicyclists are not too into volunteering or giving service to even the biking community.

Some here may be curmudgeons because the potholes are rampant, lane divider stripes are nearly invisible on streets. . while bikes get state of the art whatever. .

The bicyclists will continue to support our Mayor and Council as long as they get perks.

One day they too might be upset with the city as so many of us are. That day is when the many bike lanes they think are free to them now will become toll lanes to use them. Don't think the scheming Mayor is above it, of course all this after his next election.

For what little it's worth, I think all this nonsense that is done in the name of bikes and pedestrians is beyond stupid. I appreciate knowing the days and areas so that I can avoid them. But that is not what this rant is really about.

What truly drives me nuts is how 'volunteer' no longer means volunteer. In this case we are going to 'pay' the volunteers ... well from where I come from, these folks are no longer VOLUNTEERS; look up the definition in the dictionary. In some places (NY, parts of Canada) they REQUIRED students to 'volunteer' to be able to graduate from high school. Sorry, paying people or requiring people to do something is NOT being a volunteer.

"Sheesh, what a bunch of killjoys and curmudgeons! Have any of you actually GONE to one of the Parkways?"

I live within the boundaries of one of the bikeways. Our street is one block long and usually on a summer Sunday is quiet, very little traffic, just pleasant. Now imagine that all 20,000 people who participated in the bikeways decided to park on this street. We had traffic jams all day long, not just a half day. Cars were parked bumper to bumper, leaving no space for residents. People had bicycles strewn over lawns and sidewalks putting wheels back on, etc. They were talking on cell phones, and not quietly. It was a most unpleasant experience. I am sure everyone who participated in the bikeway had a wonderful time without a thought to their impact on the neighborhoods.

For the record, I live on the path of one of the parkways. In fact, I live two doors down from one of the busiest intersections of one of the parkways. It is constant, constant people in front of my house, from the moment it starts, to the moment it finishes. It is also awesome. We brought our kids out front, and they waved at everyone streaming past. We invited friends over and had snacks. Oh noes! We couldn't drive our car from exactly in front of our house for 7 hours on one day of the year! It totally cramped our lifestyle! Uh...except it didn't: we parked our car a couple blocks away in the event we needed to use it.

People need to lighten up and chill out. The world won't end because you can't park in front of your house for 7 hours one day and because some hippie fixes his chain in front of your house.

Dave J. ....
Lot's and lot's of cars needed to "bike" for an afternoon? I don't get it. Awesome logic, dude.

Yeah...I love it how bicyclists load all their bicycles into a motor vehicle and go where they won't have to work to get to and from...

It's rather like the arrogant attitude that bicyclists have about frakkin' destroying Forest Park by riding their 'mountain bikes' off the trails.

It's rather like the arrogant attitude that bicyclists have about building a chair lift to accommodate bicycles to allow them to coast down Mt. Hood.

It's rather like the arrogant attitude which bicyclists have about ignoring the laws which govern bicyclists' use of public roads and they blow through stop signs, signals, weave across multiple lanes, and generally act like shipheads.

There are, amongst the masses of bicyclists, those who will alienate many, if not most, of those they do not count amongst their numbers. These are the those who, were they part of the wildlife which was once sustainable (unlike bicycles) in these parts, would be considered "most likely to be culled from the herd."

I'm heartily tired of arrogant shipheads on two unmotorized wheels. Get over yourselves. Share the road.

I don't know what Action Sport is being paid, but for comparison, a one person position, the co-coordinator for EPAP (terrible acronym, imo. East Portland Action Plan. Seems like "action" is the operative term these days.), the budget is over $100,000.

It's Good Sport, not Action Sport. Action Sport is in the men's room.

I don't understand what's wrong with loading my family and our bikes in the car and driving to a Sunday Parkways event. Like most people, we're not absolutists. I bike three days a week to work, drive two. The family bikes to get ice cream sometimes -- except when it's raining or we just don't feel like it. Then we take the car.

I like bikes. I like cars. I like bike paths. I like smooth streets for cars. I LOVE Sunday Parkways, and plan to drive the next one.

on topic, off topic. your gonna laugh anyway. we won.

Good Sport it is. Bette check my bifocals.

The first year they had one Sunday Parkway. Next year they had three. This year, five. The amount of organizing,fundraising,managing,etc has to be taxed by holding five. Lesson learned, I bet they won't have five next year.
If you have ever organized anything, the second one is usually better than the first. But somewhere, you overstep and have to pull back. Its not that you are a bad organizer, you just found your limit.
the folks doing SP are probably there. It is a fun event many enjoy, but undoubtedly there are those who don't. Deal with it. Like I've learned to deal with the motorheads making noise all summer at PIR. Life is too short to spend sniveling.

Joe Adamskli:

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
-Thomas Jefferson

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"
-Thomas Jefferson

Lawrence, snappy quote, but the connection to this thread is perplexing/confusing/making me scratch my head in wonder...

Some people don't get the connection, so here's another quote to help you out:

"All Tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent."


I will fight tyranny by not volunteering for sunday parkways. Riiiight!

Joe Adamskli,
I believe that the "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance" quote had to do with your sentence - Life is too short to spend sniveling.

. . . and not with the Sunday parkways.


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