A sign of good things to come?

protected bike lane
What a protected bike lane looks like. This temporary one ran in front of the Deschutes Country Circuit Court House.

In the wake of a protected bike lane demonstration project with a lot of heavy lifting done by City of Bend staffers from the Growth Management Department, volunteers from the Bend Livability Project and Bend Bikes, facts on the ground are about to change.

In the upcoming weeks, Bend’s Street Operations and Maintenance Department will undertake an overlay on Wall Street. It just so happens to have been part of a protected bike lane demonstration route. It’s hard to say if it was because of the June 3rd demonstration, or because intra-departmental city politics have shifted. Either way, those who commute by bicycle win. Just a little. After the overlay when the street is re-striped, it’ll get a permanent, albeit short protected bike lane.

What’s an overlay? Click here to find out.

It is less than 600 feet of protection that will be gained from shifting the car parking stalls over and putting the bike lane along the curb on that section of Wall Street between the north end of Bond Street and Olney Avenue. But, it’s a start and is significant because although it will only cost $50 in actual on-street paint, it signals a shift for the Operations and Maintenance Department. In previous years, they’ve refused to moved paint lines after overlays.
Wall Street - Bond almost to Olney - protected bike lane

So, sure, it’s just a small thing. But I for one will raise my pint glass tonight to toast Bend’s Streets Department. A department who (despite recent budget bruises when the recent gas tax measure didn’t pass) appears to be more willing to work with transportation planners trying to reallocate some of the curb-to-curb space that’s currently dedicated to automobiles. Hurray!

Wanna get involved with our next demonstration project? Click here and add your name to our volunteer list. We’ve got some big plans this September as part of the inaugural Bend Open Streets.