n williams ave
The other day while biking home up North Williams Avenue I got a surprise. As I crossed Killingsworth, the usual cut-through I used to enjoy was gone. Instead of the bike lane leading me to a curbside channel with a median island buffer between me and people driving in the opposite direction, I had to ride head-on into traffic. I didn’t think much of it because it was an active construction site, but I wanted to find out what was going with this very busy intersection in the north/northeast Portland bike network.
A man died early Tuesday, Portland police said, two days after a collision between a motorcycle he was riding and a Red Cross blood delivery truck turning left off of North Williams Avenue at Monroe Street.
It happened at about 2:30 a.m. Sunday on the corner just outside Urban Nest Realty, one block south of the Waypost and immediately west of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center. According to a police statement on Tuesday, the man in the motorcycle had been trying to overtake the truck on the left, presumably by entering the bike lane, when the truck made a legal left turn.
This is to my knowledge the first traffic fatality on Williams since its late 2014 redesign that created a wide left-side bike lane and various crosswalk improvements, and restricted auto traffic on many blocks to a single lane.
PBOT will move the bike lane over and add a median island at Williams and Stanton.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)
The “three-year journey” (to use the City of Portland’s phrase) to make North Williams Avenue work better for cycling isn’t quite over yet.
NOTE: 5 and 1/2 years later, I have decided to delete this cartoon because now I fully understand how inappropriate its contents were. In hindsight, I regret publishing it. I’m sorry to everyone that was offended by it. — Jonathan Maus, 2/10/17.