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The Williams Ave Project
Welcome to our comprehensive coverage of the City of Portland's North Williams Avenue Traffic Safety Operations Project. Browse the posts below and click on a headline for the full story. If you have tips or feedback, please contact us.

Rodney Avenue neighborhood greenway gets open house next week

Thursday, March 26th, 2015
New traffic diverter at Rodney and Ivy-2
NE Rodney at Ivy.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Rodney Avenue, already a decent low-stress alternative to the Vancouver-Williams couplet, is lined up for an upgrade to full neighborhood greenway status.

At an open house next Wednesday evening, the Portland Bureau of Transportation will be asking people for their thoughts on the plans.

To make the route comfortable for all riders, the city will need to find good ways to help people navigate two jogs in the street grid, at NE Alberta and NE Fremont (pictured below).

(more…)

One rider’s Twitter crusade shows the ‘City that works’ what doesn’t

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015
vanlue
Vanlue on the job.
(Photo: Asta Chastain)

Maybe the All-Powerful Bicycle Lobby had something to do with it, but the day Will Vanlue decided to start delivering for SoupCycle was an especially good day for the rest of Portland.

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.

(more…)

PBOT hopes new signs, markings fix tricky Williams Ave intersection

Friday, December 19th, 2014
Williams Ave & Stanton - observations-4
The person in the truck was legally required to turn left at this intersection; but a weak design — coupled with a bad decision by the vehicle’s operator — led to an abrupt merge in tight quarters with other road users.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Now that construction of the North Williams Safety Project has nearly wrapped up, it’s time to address how specific parts the new design are working — and how they’re not.
(more…)

In letter to PBOT, BTA says Williams Ave work zone has led to injuries

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014
zones-BTA-lead
Current conditions on Williams Ave.
(Photo by Carl Larson/BTA)

The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is fed up with the dangerous work zone conditions on Williams Avenue. Claiming that bicycle riders have been injured and put in danger due to misplaced construction materials and a poorly implemented traffic control plan, the Portland-based non-profit group penned a letter today to the Bureau of Transportation with a laundry list of demands to improve the situation.

While the BTA supports the city’s North Williams Avenue Safety Project and says they are excited to see the finished product, the letter (written by BTA Engagement Manager Carl Larson) points out several specific and ongoing safety concerns — some of which have led directly to injuries.
(more…)

Thoughts on “passing chaos” on new Williams Ave bike lane

Thursday, November 6th, 2014
Williams Avenue-7
No reason to panic.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The new lane configuration is very different than the old one. And that seems to be causing some discomfort among those who use it.
(more…)

PBOT, via blog comments, responds to “difficulties” of Williams project

Friday, October 24th, 2014
Williams Avenue-1
Williams and it’s brand new, left-side bike lane has been a hot issue this week.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

“I ride N Williams every day and am experiencing some difficulties myself.”
— Leah Treat, Director of PBOT

This week marked a very positive milestone for the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT): They seem to be opening up a bit about joining the comment section here on BikePortland. I think this is a great development because it shows they understand the value of direct online engagement with their customers (us) and it could be a sign that they’re gaining confidence around the bicycling issue.
(more…)

Reader mailbag: Confusion reigns on Williams Ave while City urges patience

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
williams-ted
Reader Ted Buehler sent in this photo
yesterday with the subject line: “Lifeboat facility.”

Thanks to PBOT’s N Williams project, our mailbag has been pretty full lately.

Last week we shared some feedback we’ve received about how traffic back-ups on Williams are impacting users of NE Rodney — a street the city has tried to set aside as a lower-stress alternative.

And yesterday we received several more emails from people who are still trying to ride on Williams. Most of the emails have to do with concerns over how the project is being phased-in and the general confusion about where and how to navigate the newly striped bike lane — which is now on the left side of the road instead of the right.

For the city’s part, PBOT says they understand the concerns. Reached by phone this morning, agency spokeswoman Diane Dulken asked for patience. “It’s still an active construction site. We’re in an awkward phase of switching from right to left and we’re dodging the weather.” (more…)

Readers share concerns as Williams Ave traffic spills onto Rodney greenway

Friday, October 17th, 2014
new bike lane on Williams Ave
The lane redesign isn’t done yet, but the
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).
(more…)

PBOT: N Williams restriping will begin tomorrow (10/4)

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Looks like PBOT will finally begin the lane restriping on N Williams Ave. Check out the news advisory they just sent out below:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATE + TRAFFIC ADVISORY
North Williams left lane closure begins on Monday, October 6

(October 3, 2014) – The contractor for this project will prepare to restripe the left lane of N Williams on Saturday, October 4 and begin to close the left lane for restriping on Monday, October 6. By Thursday, the entire left lane from NE Broadway to Killingsworth Street will close for restriping.

Travelers should expect delays. Motorists are advised to use alternate routes, such as NE Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Bicyclists may continue to use the right bicycle lane on N Williams Avenue this week or may use NE Rodney Street as an alternate route. Construction hours will be 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day but the lane closure will be in effect around the clock.

Additional details about the North Williams Safety Project may be found in the news release below and at www.northwilliamssafety.org. . View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” banner campaign. View the “A Safer Place for Everyone” brochure.
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Eliot neighborhood gets temporary diverter on Rodney as part of Williams work

Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
zef rodney diverter
The new temporary traffic diverter at N. Rodney and Ivy.
(Photo: Zef Wagner)

People using the future neighborhood greenway route on North Rodney Avenue got a surprise last week: a temporary diagonal traffic diverter at Ivy Street, designed to reduce cut-through auto traffic.

Project manager Rich Newlands said in an interview Wednesday that the city installed the diverter as part of its Williams Avenue traffic safety project after months of pressure from the local neighborhood association.

(more…)

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