A two hour City of Bend Community Building Subcommittee meeting occurred this morning Wednesday Feb 22, 2023 regarding funding & design of the current Transportation System Plan vs the 2020 Transportation GO Bond as they try to incorporate bike/ ped movement options.
Click HERE to view the YouTube recording of the meeting.
This is truly a deep in the weeds discussion, but this sort of discussion is what people concerned about Bend’s urban planning need to pay attention to, especially when they are thinking about how to work towards a long term plan for the future. Of course, the primary concern isn’t desire or capability, its funding. Design standards and costs are discussed in detail. There are lots of graphics and data, the Q&A towards the end will most likely leave you asking even more questions. (if time is a consideration, try to watch at least the staff presentation in the first hour) As residents of Bend, and Deschutes county we must be aware of the obstacles facing urban planning so that we can have rational conversations and work toward solutions. In my opinion a healthy diverse transportation system is truly the backbone of a modern city.
When I watch these City videos I always ask myself –
“Is Bend being designed as a complete community or piece meal?”
“Are the current policies City wide, or biased. If they are biased, why?”
“Can, and how should the current policies be changed in order to work towards a true 21st century multimodal Bend?”
“Is code ambiguity part of the problem, what are the standards? ex: what’s a protected bike lane”
“If funds are being redirected, what projects are going to be delayed or cancelled?”
I encourage everyone to watch? Don’t get mad at the staff, they are asking for direction. Don’t get mad at the Council. If anything, reach out to them and ask how you can help them answer these very difficult questions? Remember, the Transportation GO Bond only funds a small fraction of the Transportation System Plan.
What’s unfortunate is that these meetings often occur weekday mornings, only hardcore geeks like me tend to watch, but the content is very important. Apparently I was one of two Youtube live watchers.The conversation encompasses multiple current issues: transportation budget, complete neighborhoods, street safety, growth, climate concerns, “us vs them”, community input, and more.
“In life, it is best to look both ways before stepping forward”
[here is a link to the subcommittee webpage]