Come the Fall of 2019, Bend voters will likely be asked to fund the largest transportation bond in the city's history. Now is the time to voice your support to include active transportation in that bond. Your input is critical right now. Read on to understand why.
Goal Setting is Underway
The Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) is in the process of refining the goals that will shape their recommendations to Bend City Council. These goals will likely form the backbone of other important planning documents such as the Transportation System Plan (TSP), and will be used to inform which projects are included in a 2019 bond measure.
CTAC's goals are already in their second draft and better bicycle commuting infrastructure is still missing. The current draft, to be presented on June 11, states:
"Bike Lanes: increase total miles of bike routes /facilities"
This is essentially a recipe to continue the status quo, which, as every cyclist and potential cyclist in Bend knows, is neither good nor safe enough. We have over 80 miles of bike lanes in Bend and yet the largest problem we face is that they aren't a seamlessly functioning network of safe routes for those from 8 years old to 80. Pedestrians and bicyclists make up 35% of traffic fatalities in Bend, which is twice the state's average. More miles of standard bike lanes means more of the same.
Source: Ryan Martinson on Twitter.
Another missed opportunity in the draft goals is taking a strong stand on demanding that transportation planners do more than, "Reduce serious injury and fatality rates," as the goals currently state. We should strive to eliminate serious injury and fatalities for all road users. Are we really doing ourselves any favors aspiring to less than that?
You can see the first draft of the goals on page 18 of this document, and the second (current) draft is available below
Your Thoughts are Wanted
In person: The City of Bend will hold an open house from 6 - 8pm on Monday, June 11th at the Bend Park & Recreation District Office at 799 SW Columbia Street. Here's their invitation to you to join the open house:
The City of Bend is working with residents and stakeholders to create Bend’s Transportation Plan – a blueprint for a transportation system that will provide more options for getting around while protecting the quality of life that makes Bend a great place. Bend’s Transportation Plan will identify needed transportation projects and a strategy to fund them. As we start to develop our plan, we need to hear from you.
Online: You can also provide insights and comments by going online. Starting June 11 and going through July 6, visit http://www.bendbikes.org/betterbiking to review materials, provide feedback, and leave comments on an interactive map.
Without strong public support now for better active transportation infrastructure, it may be a long time before we again have the chance to make it a reality.