Saturday, August 31, 2019

Sunday Parkways follow-up

So a couple days ago I received this email from a fellow I've worked with at Parkways for a number of years. I've chosen to remove his name to protect his privacy.

Hi Beth - Someone in the community sent me your recent blog post on Sunday Parkways.  They were concerned about your message and what I would think about what you wrote.  I wanted to share what I felt about this.

First, you're pretty much spot on.  I know what your role has been as a mobile mechanic, which is distinct and different from the route management crew.  Our team has had to adapt to a growing population interacting with our lovely Parkways Routes.  By getting the events open with the resources we have, I'm quite proud of what we've accomplished over the years.  But, it sure is different than how it was.  I thought your blog was fair and raised good points.  Happy to speak to those if you like, but mainly wanted to say that I support you and this blog.

Second, if this was your last Parkways, I just want to say a genuine Thank you for all your years of service.  You were the reason we kept the Mobile Mechanic position going.  You signed up, rode around and simply made people's days better when you helped them.  We can't do all things forever Beth, so there's nothing but pure gratitude for all that you've give Parkways.  

We've been in the same circles for 15 years, and that's because we both believe that empowering people on bikes is a great life to lead.  If not at Parkways, I'm sure we'll be crossing paths many times again in the future.  

Take care and have a great weekend.

I wrote back to thank him for his efforts and for making me feel welcome each year as a volunteer.
I also indicated that I was going to step aside from volunteering as an official mechanic at future Parkways, for the reasons I'd stated earlier and because it felt like it was time for me to do so.
(I may choose to ride as a Mobile Mechanic, but I won't wear anything connected with Sunday Parkways or PBOT if I do.)

I am grateful for this positive exchange, esecially with someone whose work I really respect.
I hope Parkways will be able to weather Portland's growth, and I really hope the folks at City of Portland will wake the hell up and divert resources to Parkways -- and to meaningful pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure -- because our beautiful badly needs all of the love it can get.

Rubber side down, kids!

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