Donor Spotlight: Spurcycle Discount for Bend Bikes Supporters!
In support of Bend Bikes, Spurcycle is offering a spring discount to all of our supporters with 15% off from April 1-15th. The discount code is BENDBIKESSP23_WFV4 and is valid at Spurcycle.com on regular priced products.
Additionally, frankenbells are on sale now through April 30th. As a reminder, 10% of sales of these bells are donated to designated non profits like us!
Bikey Book Club Launched!
This week we had the inaugural meeting of the Bikey Book Club. Four of us watched an on-bike interview, titled “Blueprint for a Biking CIty,” with Melissa & Chris Bruntlett as they toured Delft with Propel YouTube host Chris Nolte. They talk about how the Netherlands developed over the last 50 years from a car dependent country into a bike-friendly nation in which mass transit and bikes work together to get 650,000 people to work every day and many other people use bikes to get around for all other purposes.
We will be discussing Curbing Traffic: The Human Case for Fewer Cars in Our Lives by Melissa & Chris Bruntlett next month, April 24, at 6:30 pm in the Meyer Room, upstairs in the Bend Downtown Deschutes County Library. Please join us! Contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.
Bike Repair Kits Update
In late 2021, thanks to the generosity of two Bend Bike supporters and Henry Abel of Pine Mountain Sports, we donated three bike repair kits into the Deschutes Public Library’s “Library of Things” program. We placed the kits in the library branches in downtown Bend, East Bend, and La Pine. The La Pine kit was moved to Redmond while the La Pine branch is being remodeled. The repair kits have been well received at all locations. In just over a year the kits have been checked out 22 times, with the kit at the East Bend library leading the pack with 11 check outs.
Considering the success of this program, Bend Bikes is in the early stages of establishing an e-cargo bike lending library in Bend. Look for further details in next month’s newsletter.
Thanks again for those who donated and are helping to bring more independence to people who bike in Bend with the Bike Repair kits!
E-bike Rebates in Bend
We have been reading with great interest the e-bike rebate efforts being made in cities like Denver. The data on the Denver project shows that when provided the opportunity to have an alternative to cars for transportation and errands, people will adopt an active transportation mode. And here in Oregon, the City of Bend, is offering a limited number of e-bike rebates to qualified individuals. The funds are provided by an $150,000 Clean Mobility grant that the City won from Pacific Power. Seventy five qualified participants will receive a $2,000 instant rebate to be used toward the purchase of an e-bike. Find more information at the Commute Options website.
House Bill 2571, the Oregon E-bike Rebate Bill
In the current state legislative session, House Bill 2571 was introduced to offer e-bike rebates to the citizens of Oregon. The bill did get a favorable review at its first reading but some opportunities for improvement were noted. The original bill did not offer income qualifications or a clear path for administration. But thanks to the efforts of chief sponsor of the bill, House Representative Dacia Grayber assisted by several advocates and policy experts, the bill has been improved. The bill includes the involvement of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and a provision for individuals with lower incomes.
The bill has a funding ask of $6 million for the first two years. With the changes made to the bill, the program could fund a total of 5000 rebates for qualified Oregonians. There is also a new provision in the bill that would allow for donations to be made to the rebate fund.
The bill is in the House Committee on Climate, Energy and Environment and is scheduled to be reviewed and perhaps voted on April 4.
Wonk Out Time: Comment on ODOT’s STIP Projects
ODOT is planning Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) funding for 2024-2027 projects and is accepting public comments on their proposals through April 28. You can read about the projects and comment through their online open house.
There is about $3 billion available for STIP funding in the 2024-2027 period. The categories include Fix-it, Enhance Highway, Safety, Public & Active Transportation, ADA Curb Ramps, Local Programs, and Other. In this period, the bulk of the funding is in Fix-it, Public & Active Transportation, and Local Programs.
In the Bend area, possible projects we’re following include:
- Replacing the Empire Ave and US20 traffic signals and POSSIBLY adding pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure at the intersection. Our take: Empire is a major barrier to people walking and biking north to south between NE 3rd St and Boyd Acres Rd. With improvements, that barrier could be reduced. Empire could also become a safe and convenient route from east to west across the Bend Parkway and NE 3rd St, connecting neighborhoods on Bend’s northeast side to shopping and eventually to the Deschutes River Trail. This project won’t fix these problems, but it is a start. We need to insist that the pedestrian and bicycling infrastructure parts of this project are funded.
- Replace the bridges over the Deschutes River on Archie Briggs Rd. Our take: These are dangerous bridges on a dangerous road. If they are replaced, they need to include safe spaces for people biking and walking.
- Creating an alternative bike route along NE Norton Ave from NE 6th St to NE 12th St. Presumably, this project is in conjunction with a school district project to build a path down the steep slope between NE 12 St and NE Neff next to Juniper Elementary. Our take: This project would make it safer for kids to walk and bike to Juniper Elementary and Pilot Butte Middle Schools.
- Install fast-charging stations for electric vehicles every 50 miles along US97 from I-84 to the California Border. Our take: This project should include charging stations for e-bikes at an interval of less than 50 miles. With adequate charging infrastructure and shared use paths along our major highways, e-bikes could provide a realistic transportation alternative between communities such as La Pine and Bend or Bend and Sisters.
There are many more projects state-wide and a few in central Oregon including completing the median between north and south bound traffic along US97 between Redmond and Bend and adding speed indicators on several roads in Deschutes County. The full list of proposed STIP Projects is available at the STIP Online Open House.
Call to Action: Stop House Bill 2659!
Oregonians are ready for Climate-Friendly & Equitable Communities. Last year, you and over 1,600 Oregonians, businesses, and organizations helped ensure Oregon adopted a new Climate-Friendly & Equitable Communities (CFEC) program that transforms our eight major urban areas in ways that tackle climate change, deliver more abundant and affordable housing, address inequity head-on, and provide more convenient, safe ways to get around that don’t always require a car.
But, that’s only if the CFEC program moves forward.
On April 4, the legislature is holding a hearing on House Bill 2659, which would repeal and delay CFEC. It would prevent taking meaningful and urgent action on addressing climate, equity, and housing issues in Oregon’s communities.
We can’t let that happen. We know climate change is here, and the time for tangible action is now.
Help make sure CFEC has a fighting chance. Let your elected leaders know that Oregonians are still ready for Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities. Now is the time to call on them to stop this bill in its tracks.
- Add your name to this letter from Oregonians and state-wide housing, equity, and conservation groups.
- Submit testimony. You can keep it short and to the point. Let your elected leaders know: “I’m ready for Climate-Friendly & Equitable Communities. Please do not move HB 2659 forward.” Be sure to click the ‘oppose’ button for ‘position on this bill.’