PORTLAND, Maine – The gravel path that circles scenic Baxter Boulevard has long been a great place to stroll or jog. When a major construction project last year shut down a section of the boulevard to automobiles, folks discovered the extra space on the car-free paved road was an even better place to play. The city noticed too, and partway through the eight-month work project officials started “Sundays on the Boulevard,” officially turning the roadway into a temporary park for four hours each Sunday. In autumn, when the work was completed, the road would be permanently returned the automobiles.
But the “urban oasis” proved to be such a big hit that it has now become a regular event — with longer hours. Now, every Sunday from Mother’s Day until Veterans Day, bicyclists, roller skaters, and even little kids who want to ride their three-wheelers down the middle of the road can enjoy a mile-long stretch of open road from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Photographer Robert Bukaty visited the Boulevard earlier this month.