n vancouver avenue
Starting Monday, February 25th, the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services will close North Vancouver Avenue from Russell to Hancock.
The closure is part of the Eliot Sewer and Stormwater Project that’s giving a much-needed upgrade to about 10,000 feet of century-old sewer pipes in the southern section of the Boise-Eliot neighborhood.
Unfortunately their work will close the second busiest cycling route in the entire city: North Vancouver at Russell. According to Bureau of Transportation counts, 4,705 people pass by this intersection every day (second only to the N Interstate/Lloyd/Oregon (Peace Park) intersection which has 4,890).
While the majority of people riding southbound on Vancouver (it’s one-way) are headed westbound to the Broadway Bridge, BES will set up a detour that leads riders east two blocks to the neighborhood greenway on NE Rodney Avenue (car and truck drivers will use MLK Jr. Blvd). See the map at right for details.
A serious injury collision Tuesday evening has resulted in a citation for the bicycle rider. Police say the rider was under the influence of alcohol when the collision occurred.
It happened around 6:15 pm on North Vancouver and Tillamook. We first saw it reported via Twitter and then got an email from a reader who lives and rides nearby.
“I was getting off the bus when it happened,” the reader shared with us. “The guy was not moving at all although he seemed to be alive… I heard the driver saying she didn’t see him. It’s possible the bus blocked his view of traffic and he tried to dart across Vancouver.”
Tillamook is an east-west neighborhood greenway that is a busy feeder route onto Vancouver — especially during peak commute hours. There is no traffic signal at the intersection. Users of Tillamook have a stop sign and people going south on Vancouver (a one-way street) have the right-of-way. Vancouver also has yellow “Bikes XING” caution signs on both sides of the street at this location.
“We’ve been talking about this for three years now and we feel like it’s time to pull the trigger.”
— Wendy Cawley, PBOT traffic engineer
North Vancouver Avenue is one of Portland’s busiest — and most popular — bikeways. It serves as one side of the north-south couplet with Williams Avenue. And similar to Williams prior to its major redesign three years ago, Vancouver’s outdated road design has led to concerns about bike safety.
The Portland Bureau of Transportation revealed at the city’s monthly Bicycle Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting last night that they want to fix one section in particular: A tricky weave between Fremont and Cook. This is the block that includes; traffic from New Seasons Market, a busy bus stop, a new multi-level apartment and retail building, and traffic from ramps onto Interstate 405 at the Fremont Bridge.
Golden scissors, a red ribbon, coffee and pastries, television cameras and a large crowd that included Bureau of Transportation staff, business owners and neighborhood advocates.
From the looks of this morning’s event at the intersection of North Vancouver and Cook you’d think the city was celebrating the completion of a major project or milestone.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)
Now that New Seasons Market has opened on a busy block of the N Vancouver/Williams couplet, we weren’t surprised when a reader emailed us about a traffic safety concern. The streets on both sides of the new store were already busy thoroughfares for buses, bikes, and cars — so adding in the traffic of a popular grocery store was almost certain to raise some issues.[Read more…]