Since it was platted by Edwin Russell, William Page, and George Williams in 1872, the city of Albina (now Eliot) was set up with a Manhattan-style grid with long east-west blocks that are 2.5 times as long as the north-south blocks. This, combined with the steep cliffs separating the neighborhood from the river made all the north and south streets important connections for a huge area north of Eliot over the last 140 years. In 1888, the Steel Bridge opened and life on the east side was booming. Electric streetcars started running over the bridge in 1889 on the original Albina line. In the early 1900s, streetcars ran up and down Williams and Union (now Martin Luther King, Jr.) Avenues. The speed limit before cars came along was 6mph, with streetcars allowed to go 12mph. Crossing the street was no big problem for the early residents of Albina.
Do you need a bicycle helmet? Here is a great opportunity to get one! Discounted helmets provided by grants from Legacy Foundation, Legacy Portland Hospitals Medical Staff, and Trauma Nurses Talk Tough.
With the Portland biking community growing rapidly and with Williams and Vancouver being a designated bike route, it is not too surprising to see a new bike shop spring up on Williams. Metropolis Cycle Repair moved from SE Portland to Eliot Neighborhood in October.
The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is looking at Northeast Rodney Avenue as a future bike boulevard.
Such a designation could mean a variety of changes to calm traffic. Speed bumps, traffic circles and street resurfacing would be possibilities.
A bike boulevard designation could also include improvements to help bicyclists and pedestrians cross Fremont at Rodney.
As part of the Platinum Bicycle Master Plan Update, Commissioner Sam Adams and the City of Portland are holding three town halls in June to discuss:
– Current cycling conditions in the city, especially in less bicycle-friendly areas
– Safety concerns
– How the City is working to increase bicycle use