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Microcosm is latest bikey business to open on N Williams Avenue

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
Right off the Williams Avenue bicycle highway.
(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."

(more...)

Today: Islabikes Open House and Rider Appreciation Day on Williams

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
visit to Islabikes-13
Get an inside look at Islabikes at their open house today.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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...)

On Williams Ave, a bike maneuver that ruffles feathers

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013
Conditions on Williams-3-2
Passing other people on bikes can be a risky
proposition on Williams Ave.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you're one of the thousands of Portlanders who has spent time in the bike lane on North Williams Avenue, you have almost certainly seen this happen: When the bike lane is crowded, some riders will move to the left — out of the bike lane and in front of people driving in the adjacent lane — to zoom past slower riders.

This maneuver happens all the time, especially during the evening rush hour when the bike lane bursts at the seams with people on bikes. I've seen it first-hand on many occasions and I cringe when people do it without even looking over their shoulder and with seemingly no care at all about people driving cars behind them.

And it turns out I'm not the only one who has noticed this behavior: On May 1st, reader Laura Holloway emailed me her feelings about it: (more...)

Converted school bus is home to new bike repair shop in North Portland

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Black Bird Bicycle Repair-3
Sherifa Roach, inside an old school bus,
which is home to her new bike repair shop.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

There's a new bike repair shop that's open for business just a half-block off the busy N Williams Avenue bike corridor. Sherifa Roach, a nearby resident, recent United Bicycle Institute graduate and veteran volunteer at local bike shops, has opened Black Bird Bicycle Repair at 104 N. Failing Street (between Williams and Vancouver).

I'd heard from a few sources that someone was operating a bike shop out of an old school bus, so I swung by yesterday for a closer look. Sure enough, there was Sherifa, giving away bags of popcorn as part of the RAD event, and smiling in her apron in front of a big purple bus parked in the alleyway behind her. She was proud to give me a tour of the inside (which I found surprisingly roomy).

Sherifa pointed out how her partner had completely remodeled the inside of the bus. He wired it up with new electrical outlets, built wooden work benches, installed new lighting, added some security bars for the windows, and built a ramp off the rear door so people can roll their bikes right on up.
(more...)

Williams Ave businesses show the love at first ever 'Rider Appreciation Day'

Thursday, July 12th, 2012
Businesses on Williams Ave. made it
clear yesterday: They love bikes!
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Tired of reading headlines about local business owners and associations coming out in opposition to bike access improvements, the folks at Portland Design Works wanted to change the narrative. They knew that on N. Williams Avenue, there are numerous businesses that love all the bike traffic on their street. To demonstrate the support for cycling on N. Williams, they organized an event called Rider Appreciation Day (RAD).

During yesterday evening's commute, 22 businesses on Williams rolled out the red carpet for people on bikes. They offered gifts, discounts, food, drinks, and even live music — all simply to show Portland that there's at least one street where businesses love bikes and the people who ride them.
(more...)

Williams Ave businesses plan bike commuter thank you event

Monday, July 2nd, 2012

In stark contrast to some downtown businesses who have made it clear to the Bureau of Transportation that they have reservations about the value of bicycling, a long list of businesses on N. Williams Avenue want to let the city know that they understand bicycling is great for their bottom line.

Local bike part and accessory company Portland Design Works (PDW) has organized Rider Appreciation Day. The event will take place next Wednesday (7/11) from 4:00 to - 6:00 pm. According to a statement, PDW says the event is being done to "offer a token of gratitude" to the many people who ride up Williams Avenue on their daily commute.

PDW co-founder Erik Olson said, "We watch people ride their bicycles through our neighborhood every day and we were looking for a way to connect with them and say thanks for going by bike." Olson's company is located just a half block off of Williams on Hancock. "Bicycles mean business to our neighborhood." (more...)

Correcting the record on KOIN-TV Williams project coverage

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
Existing conditions on Williams Ave-14-13
Traffic on Williams.
(Photo © J. Maus)

As we reported earlier this month, the Portland Bureau of Transportation has decided to take a few more months before making any changes to North Williams Avenue.

Last night, KOIN-TV (the local CBS affiliate) filed a story on the project. There are a few things of concern about their coverage that I want to clear up. First, watch the clip below... (more...)

Open just a week, 'BikeBar' on N Williams already a hit

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011
HUB Bike Bar on Williams-11-10
Inside BikeBar on Williams.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Hopworks' new BikeBar on North Williams Avenue seems to be an instant hit. The small restaurant in the ground floor of the Ecoflats apartment building between N Shaver and Failing, is just the latest new bike-centric business to spring up on what Hopworks' owner Christian Ettinger calls the "Williams bike highway." (more...)

PBOT issues statement on N. Williams project delay

Friday, June 10th, 2011

"By extending the community process to be more inclusive, by listening with respect to all voices, and by striving for a project that meets the multiple objectives we’ve identified, I believe we can arrive at a preferred project alternative that is well-supported and technically feasible."
— Ellen Vanderslice, PBOT

The Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) issued a letter to stakeholders yesterday to explain why they've decided to extend the timeline on their North Williams Traffic Safety Operations Project.

We shared a report from the most recent Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting when the announcement was first made. During that meeting it was clear that — even though a recent open house showed a strong endorsement for how to proceed with the project — PBOT is still facing stiff objections from some members of the SAC and the general public.

The letter (below) is signed by PBOT project manager Ellen Vanderslice.
(more...)

Based on public input, City will consider lane change on Williams

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011
Existing conditions on Williams Ave-11-10
A better bikeway in this section is
back under consideration.
(Photo © J. Maus)

A report released last night (PDF here) on the April 16th open house for the North Williams Traffic Safety Operations Project shows that, after hearing overwhelming support from the community, PBOT and their project team will further consider reducing Williams to one lane for motor vehicle traffic in the commercial district between known as Segment 4.

PBOT project manager Ellen Vanderslice told us via email today that, "Based on the public input we've received, the project team is investigating options for N Williams that would convert a traffic lane in Segment 4."

PBOT surprised many in the community by showing up at the first open house with the commercial district between N Cook and Skidmore as the only segment of the project where an existing vehicle lane wouldn't be re-allocated to make room for an "enhanced bikeway." (more...)

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