n williams avenue

Microcosm is latest bikey business to open on N Williams Avenue

Avatar by on January 28th, 2014 at 8:03 am

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.”

[Read more…]

A sneak peek at the New Seasons Market coming to North Williams Avenue

Avatar by on August 6th, 2013 at 1:15 pm

New Seasons on Williams sneak peek-5

First time the bike racks have
been open for use.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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).
[Read more…]

View from a Williams Avenue resident: “A weary pedestrian”

Avatar by on July 22nd, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Bikes on N. Williams Ave-2

(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.

[Read more…]

Today: Islabikes Open House and Rider Appreciation Day on Williams

Avatar by on July 17th, 2013 at 9:09 am

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. [Read more…]

On Williams Ave, a bike maneuver that ruffles feathers

Avatar by on May 8th, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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:[Read more…]

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

Avatar by on July 12th, 2012 at 2:30 pm

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.
[Read more…]

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

Avatar by on July 12th, 2012 at 11:07 am

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.
[Read more…]

Williams Ave businesses plan bike commuter thank you event

Avatar by on July 2nd, 2012 at 5:07 pm

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.”[Read more…]

One man’s harrowing brush with a TriMet bus on N Williams Ave

Avatar by on February 15th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Buses on Williams Ave. are a constant
concern for people on bikes.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

In the coming weeks, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee for the North Williams Traffic Operations Safety Project will hammer out a formal recommendation to PBOT on how to improve bike access on the street. One of the considerations they’ll take into account is the safety of the bicycling environment and how people operating cars, bikes, and buses interact on the street.

Today I got an email from reader Craig H. that underscores one of the urgent public safety issues the Williams project aims to address — the dangerous proximity of humans on bicycles with multi-ton steel vehicles that pass by just inches away.

Here’s Craig’s story:[Read more…]

Correcting the record on KOIN-TV Williams project coverage

Avatar by on June 21st, 2011 at 2:23 pm

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… [Read more…]