n williams avenue
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)
Last night on N Williams Avenue, a man was injured when he was involved in a left-hook collision with another road user. The incident happened around 5:30 at the intersection with Tillamook. I happened to be riding by and was able to stop and talk to one of the riders who saw the collision.
As a courier for the Portland-based soup delivery service, Vanlue — a former BikePortland contributor and Bicycle Transportation Alliance communications manager, a talented photographer and one of the most courteous and mindfully upbeat biking advocates in town — spends many of his daytime hours traveling the city’s streets in an upright city bike with a trailer full of fresh soup.
Also with him: a smartphone camera he’s been using for months to share street design shortcomings on Twitter.
There was a collision on N Williams this evening at around 5:30 pm.
It happened just south of Fremont right outside New Seasons market. Fire and police units responded but there were no serious injuries.
I happened to roll up on the scene about a half-hour after it happened. The driver and the bike rider were still at the scene. I spoke to both parties and they were both very shaken up by what happened.
According to the man who was driving the car, he was coming up Williams in the left lane. He works off of NE Broadway and lives in Vancouver. Just north of Cook, he noticed another driver who was “nosing out” of the New Seasons parking lot. (There is a major construction site between Cook and New Seasons that has fencing and other materials coming right up to the bike lane. In order to see around the construction zone, people in cars must nose out in order to see oncoming traffic.) (more…)
change is already impacting traffic.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
Yesterday I got two separate reader emails about the same issue just a few hours apart. Whenever that happens it gets my attention.
In this case, the issue is the increased amount of auto traffic diversion onto NE Rodney as a result of construction and lane configuration changes on Williams Avenue.
Most of you are well-aware by now that the Bureau of Transportation has finally begun construction on the North Williams Safety Project. With the redesign on Williams there is less space for driving and the backups of cars in the past week or so has been a lot worse that usual (and that’s saying something on a long-chaotic stretch of road).
(Photos by J Maus/BikePortland)
What often gets lots in emotional planning meetings and divisive media headlines is that, in reality, many business owners in Portland not only support bicycling, they embrace and encourage it. Nowhere was that more evident than last night’s Rider Appreciation Day on N Williams Ave. (more…)
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The local bike-friendly bookstore that also happens to be one of the country’s largest zine distributors and publishers has grown again and joined the row of bike-friendly businesses on North Williams.
“Once we built lofts in our storefront to store books under, and filled up a storage unit down the street, we knew it was time to get serious about finding a new building,” Microcosm Publishing spokesman Tim Wheeler wrote in an email Monday. “Since we’re bike commuters and our customers are bike commuters, we didn’t want to move hundreds of blocks outside the city center or away from our own homes and lives, so we narrowed our search to affordable commercial spaces in inner Portland.”
New Seasons Market hosted an open house this morning for the media and community members to get a sneak peek into their new store on North Williams Avenue. I wouldn’t usually devote my morning to the opening of a new grocery store, but given the location of this store and its potential to impact the streets around it — from both a public space and traffic operation perspective — I figured it was worth getting an insider look. (Disclaimer: New Seasons is a BikePortland advertiser.)
What I found was a very pleasant surprise: New Seasons staff and management has made public space, community access, and bicycling convenience a top priority in the layout/design and retail offerings of their new store.
Set to open August 28th, the new store is located in the northern half of the lot bound by Fremont, Vancouver and Williams. It’s smack dab in the middle of one of the busiest bicycle corridors in the city and the evening rush hour on N Cook (to the south) and Williams is widely known as a chaotic headache for both drivers and riders. And the traffic demands will only intensify in the coming months as there are many new commercial and residential buildings popping up all over the place (including on the south end of the lot shared by New Seasons).
From a livable streets perspective, Williams Avenue has a lot of problems. Its outdated bicycle lane is so inadequate that the City of Portland prioritized it for an upgrade a few years ago. That upgrade won’t happen until next year, and thankfully, that’s not the only thing that will be be changed. The North Williams Traffic Operations and Safety Project will also come with many other design changes that should make it nicer to walk and bike on the street.
In the meantime, a longtime BikePortland reader who frequently walks on Williams says the way many people ride on the street has made him a “weary, weary pedestrian.” He wrote us via email to share his perspective and I’ve pasted it below:
I have lived off of Williams (N of Skidmore) for over 10 years and fully embrace anyone riding a bike on Williams or anywhere for that matter. I’m a huge bike fan and love nothing more than admiring a great vintage bike or beautiful lugwork on a frame.
Unfortunately my love of bikes is slowly diminishing due to more than a handful of cyclists who choose to ignore traffic signs and markers. I can be found walking my dog, or by myself, at all hours, and find myself more and more astounded by the behavior of folks who fly through stop signs, lights, around corners and most especially through very visible pedestrian crossing areas all over Williams.
There are two events today you won’t want to miss (actually three, but we’ll share the third one in a separate post later today).
Islabikes, the UK-based purveyor of fine children’s bicycles is hosting an Open House event at their new store in southeast Portland (which we visited back in May). Islabikes established their North American headquarters at SE 7th and Lincoln in March and they’ve found a healthy business niche so far.
Islabikes North American GM Tim Goodall will open up his shop for a day of fun (a unicycling juggler), sweet treats (“farm fresh ice cream” from Salt & Straw) and test rides. The founder of the company, noted bicycle designer Isla Rowntree, will also be in attendance. (more…)