Bend Bikes

Candidates answered four questions from Bend Bikes

The stakes are high for transportation in the upcoming November 6, 2018 election for the City of Bend.

Short of knocking on doors or making phone calls on behalf of a candidate, one of the biggest ways to make a difference is to cast your vote.  When you do, consider that twenty years of bicycle infrastructure are in various forms of planning as you read this.  The next Bend City Council will decide how to fund transportation projects, and which ones will get implemented in a way that will shape this city for a decade or more. The next Bend City Council will approve of a new transportation plan (the last one was approved in 2001), deciding whether you, your kids/grandkids, parents, or significant other will enjoy a low-stress bicycle ride to school, the grocery store or work.

We asked candidates for Mayor and City Council four basic questions, and we think their answers (or lack thereof) speak clearly as to their willingness to fund next-generation active transportation projects.

Editorial Note: Answers were collected via webform and answers were limited to 100 words or less.

 

Who's in the race?

Charles Baer
Brian M Douglass (did not respond)
Michael R. Hughes
Joshua Langlais
Bill Moseley (did not respond)
Sally Russell

Ron Boozell (did not respond)
Barb Campbell
Sarah McCormick (did not respond)

Andrew Davis (did not respond)
Gena Goodman-Campbell

How would you characterize the challenges and opportunities of riding a bicycle in Bend?

Sally Russell

While we are fortunate to have the level of biking infrastructure and community support that we do, it is not nearly enough. There is strong opposition to dedicating funds for additional infrastructure for cycling as a realistic, safe alternative transportation.  As Mayor I will continue to advocate for cycling as a safe, viable transportation option by:

  • Creating safer, well-marked bike lanes and a cohesive cycling network.
  • Supporting separated bikeways paralleling main automobile arterials.
  • Promoting cycling as a congestion-buster and a community-builder.
  • Partnering with Bend Parks and Recreation to develop bike corridors for families and commuters.
  • Building safer routes to school.
Gena Goodman-Campbell

Bend lacks safe bike infrastructure like a connected network of dedicated bike routes. This means that while it’s feasible for some people to bike safely around their neighborhoods or short distances between neighborhoods, biking across town is not something most people feel comfortable doing. Bend is fairly flat, and while we do get snow, we have a lot of sunny days that make for great biking. We have an active culture and a lot of people who enjoy recreational biking. All of the necessary elements are here for us to become a community where biking is safe and accessible to everyone.

Barb Campbell

Challenges:

  • Helping citizens understand how neighborhood greenways can dramatically increase safety for bikes and pedestrians without the cost of infilling separated paths.
  • Underpasses on Franklin & Greenwood.

Opportunities:

  • We have an excellent grid network in a lot of the inner neighborhoods of our city which will transition nicely toward more neighborhood greenways.
  • Tourism: Most of our tourists arrive in the summer when the weather is beautiful for walking or biking. Getting them out of their cars and off of the streets would be a worthwhile investment.
Joshua Langlais

I've ridden my bike in relative safety in many major cities around the world - Boston, New York, Denver, San Francisco, Copenhagen, etc. I've found when people are accustomed to cyclists and pedestrians things tend to go more smoothly for all parties involved. I'd say we are still working on our awareness here in Bend. And while this certainly comes with challenges, it also provides us with a perfect opportunity to raise that awareness about cycling and other alternative means of transportation as we continue to grow.

Michael Hughes

For the number of people who use bikes in the city, the roads are not bike friendly enough. Riding a bike in Bend can be dangerous. However, the geographical size of the city and the general climate are very conducive to bike riding in the city.

Charles Baer

We need more bike lanes.

No Response: Ron Boozell, Andrew Davis, Brian M Douglass, Sarah McCormick, Bill Moseley

No response provided by these candidates.

What ideas do you have to help more people use bikes for everyday trips in Bend?

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Completing a network of neighborhood greenways would go a long ways towards helping more people make biking a part of their everyday lives. I am excited about the city’s plans for greenways and I hope we can move quickly to implement these plans and expand them to reach every neighborhood in Bend. I am also eager to work with Bend Parks and Rec on developing a connected system of trails for both bikers and people on foot. Finally, this system could be made even more user friendly with good signage, maps, and a smart phone app to help people navigate the biking network.

Barb Campbell

Did I mention neighborhood greenways? They were one of the reasons I ran for Council in the first place. I am so proud that we have real plans to adopt this clever solution. Greenways are parallel to automobile thoroughfairs. Improvements to existing residential streets where speeds are already intentionally slower are far less expensive than other types of infrastructure which offer real safety improvements for bikes and pedestrians.

Continuing to cooperate and partner with the Parks District on separated paths in undeveloped areas. I changed master plan code to encourage developers to add connected paths.

Separated asphalt path along 27th St.

Sally Russell
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Joshua Langlais

Raising that awareness and coming to terms with the idea that there is no feud between bikes and cars will already make for safer roads. Sharing the road and practicing safe driving and cycling habits will slowly begin to make Bend a more cycle-friendly place and this will, in turn, encourage those who are already cyclists to use bikes for those shorter and lighter errands. Designated bike lanes or perhaps bicycle-friendly routes through town will certainly get people on their bikes more often. More information regarding cyclists and pedestrians should be part of the driver education and licensure program, too.

Charles Baer

We need more side walks.

Michael Hughes

Have a group of community bikes for tourists and others to use. Make more and wider bike lanes.

No Response: Ron Boozell, Andrew Davis, Brian M Douglass, Sarah McCormick, Bill Moseley

No response provided by these candidates.

Do you support prioritizing investment in safer bicycle infrastructure, such as a connected network of bike routes that is physically separate from automobile traffic throughout Bend? If yes, why? If no, why not?

Barb Campbell

Absolutely. I don’t think you could find a parent who wouldn’t wish their child could walk or bike safely to school. We all understand that active transportation is healthier for us as individuals and it is better for our city and our planet.

We’ve got to improve our network before we can expect significant increases in the number of people who make those healthy choices.

Sally Russell

I support prioritizing investment but I do not believe that safe bicycle infrastructure always needs to be physically separated. Areas of physical separation should be implement on stretches of roadway that are particularly complicated for bike/driver interactions such as high speed throughways or areas of high congestion. Also, the Murphy-Empire plan will ultimately provide for better bike and pedestrian access in intensely congested area. Working with the Transportation Advisory Committee I will help the City and Council respond to the needs and priorities of the cycling community.

Gena Goodman-Campbell

Yes, I support the development of safer bike infrastructure that allows bikers to be separate from cars. This is the critical step we need to take as a community to help more residents and visitors feel safe biking around Bend.

Joshua Langlais

I would prefer to see bicycles and cars coexisting on the same roads. By separating cars from cyclists we run the risk of making roads that do not provide some barrier between them even more unsafe. I am more prone to think that education and experience are the ways to move forward through this. A state-funded campaign or even something at the local level could do a lot to grow our way of thinking. I would support initiatives to create cycling safe routes through town, perhaps on the roads that are already a bit less trafficked.

Michael Hughes

Yes. There should be a bike/pedestrain only corridor between the downtown and the old mill. There should also be bike only corridors that connect the east and west sides of town to the Central Business District.

Charles Baer

Yes, bike routes are good.

No Response: Ron Boozell, Andrew Davis, Brian M Douglass, Sarah McCormick, Bill Moseley

No response provided by these candidates.

Do you have any other comments that you would like to share?

Gena Goodman-Campbell

I’m looking for innovative solutions that will make our transportation system work better for everyone, even if they never bike. Projects like greenways can benefit people who drive by decreasing distractions and the likelihood of collisions with bikers or pedestrians. And, safe bike infrastructure is useful for people traveling on foot as well. I’m looking forward to working with a Bend Bikes to explore and implement many of these solutions!

Sally Russell

We need to be open to ideas and plans that make Bend a truly bike friendly community, including promoting cycling as an inherent part of Bend culture through education and incentives. As the former director of the Cascade Cycling Classic, as an avid road and mountain biker, and as the mother of a professional cyclist, I am well versed on the perks and pitfalls of cycling in Bend. I believe I am uniquely qualified to represent the cycling community as Mayor.

Barb Campbell

Simply put, I would like to prioritize the health and safety of our children when we are improving the system for the automobile.

I serve on the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization and have advocated for infrastructure at that level as well.

I lobbied for the new State funding for active transportation improvements.

Improvements for pedestrians are often a question of accessibility as a civil right. We have an obligation to serve those citizens.

Everybody needs a way to get around. I hope to be re-elected and continue to work for improvements which benefit our citizens and our world.

Joshua Langlais

I tend to do a fair amount of ranting about this because, as a cyclist, I find myself in harm's way very often. And I tend to come to the same conclusion every time - it only takes a second or two to yield to a cyclist whether in the roundabouts or on a busy, narrow road. Cars are very big and very heavy with very big engines and they are completely capable of making up that lost second or two as soon as the cyclist is safely out of the way.

Michael Hughes

I would also like to see more bike safety education to promote biking etiquette and knowledge about the rules of the road.

No Response: Ron Boozell, Andrew Davis, Brian M Douglass, Sarah McCormick, Bill Moseley

No response provided by these candidates.

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