We were grateful to read the comments from those who took the time to email the Bend City Council about prioritizing active transportation for the coming biennium. It is so gratifying to see folks engage with their local legislative process. After all (as we outlined in this blog post), making a statement regarding City Council goals for the next two years will play an important role in helping shape our city's budget. Without budgeted monies directed towards active transportation, we will likely see little progress in developing a more walk-able and bike-able Bend.
Here are a few excerpts from folks who made their voices heard to City Councilors: (in no particular order)
"Many homes and families have multiple bikes but seldom use them for transportation due to safety concerns. With Bend's increasing populations comes increases in traffic congestion. Bikes have a dramatically smaller transportation footprint and encouraging folks to bike will save money while reducing a widely recognized and worsening traffic issue. Completely protected bike lanes should connect all segments of the city (N, S, E, W) so that folks could go to any part of town in protected bike lanes." - Dan Pliver
"I’m writing to urge you to place safe infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian transportation as a top priority goal for this coming year. I am one of many in our community who feels vulnerable on our streets and would greatly benefit from dedicated, safe, separated bike paths that are continuous throughout Bend." - Courtney Van Fossen
"Being able to zip around town safely on a bike is a simple yet effective solution to our increasingly frustrating traffic situation not to mention a super fun and healthy way to get around town." - Tim Neville
"It is time to take action. My many friends and I are paying attention to your budgetary priorities." - Karen Moyes
"We need to engage more people in active transportation to better their life and health by walking and riding their bike around town. The better the infrastructure the more likely people are to use these active modes. Better pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure also creates a safer environment for all road users by lowering speeds and reducing conflicts." - Alice Drobna
"It is a good time to consider how we move humans not how many cars can we move across town." - Carol Delmonico
"This is a time of opportunity. We have a population that loves to ride bikes. We have community support--all four of the neighborhood profiles in the Bend Bulletin in the last month have mentioned the need for improving biking infrastructure. We have a need to reduce congestion on our streets. We have continuing development which will bring new streets and should include well planned and safe bike lanes." - David Green
"I'm certain many Bend residents would love to incorporate commuter biking into their weeks on a regular basis ... if only it felt safer with protected bike lanes, increased bike lanes, consistent bike lanes, and better lit bike lanes after dark." - Alicia Hall
"All I want to be able to do is to ride in a semi efficient path from North East Bend from around where the hospital is over to downtown Bend or the west side and not feel like I'm putting my child's life at risk while towing her behind my bicycle." - Jeremy Brodhead
Many thanks to all those who sent in their comments to City Councilors at this critically important time in the city's goal setting process. Eric King, Bend City Manager, has asked City Councilors to give their final feedback to him about goals by March 8th.