DLCD Call to Action, Bond Project Sequencing Feedback, Fall E-Bike Joy, Behind the Scenes of Bend Bikes, and Frankenbells!

It’s time to put fenders back on bikes and start splashing through puddles and it’s almost time to dig out the studded bike tires for winter commuting! While we wait for the revised GO bond sequencing proposal, this month brings just one small call to action for the state to provide communities and City staff the appropriate resources to achieve the Department of Land Conservation and Development’s (DLCD) ambitious climate, land use, and transportation goals. The rest is everything else we’ve been up to this fall!

[Photo: Bend Bikes] The Bend Bikes board at our October board retreat from left to right: Jana Hemphill, Aron Yarmo, LeeAnn O’Neill, Pat Henneghan, Elisa Cheng, Eric Holscher, and Kaitlin Greene. Not pictured: Jim Elliott and Maryam Mirahmadi.  

Call to Action: Resourcing the DLCD Draft Transportation and Land Use Rules

Right now, the draft DLCD transportation and land use rules are changing fast, are complicated, and are subject to a lot of different viewpoints. Full disclosure — we have been so focused on the GO bond sequencing that we have been relying heavily on the subject matter expertise of other RAC members. 

That said, Bend Bikes and our community partners Central Oregon LandWatch and the Environmental Center agree that both the DLCD and our lawmakers need to hear the following message:

Communities and City staff need the resources to meet the ambitious goals that the DLCD’s Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking Advisory Committee draft transportation and land use rules anticipate or we will just end up with aspirational goals that we continue to fail to meet. That includes significant funding (which we think could come from ODOT) to support local planning, for needed walking and biking infrastructure investments in communities, and for technical assistance with respect to the models and tools City staff will need to use to measure outcomes. 

Got a minute? Feel free to copy and paste this message or make it your own, and send it as public comment to the DLCD RAC at [email protected] for the next meeting by November 5th at 8:00 am

Got a few minutes? Send this message to the DCLD Commissioners at est​[email protected] and to our state legislators Representative Jason Kropf at [email protected] and Tim Knopp at [email protected]. ​ 

On Deck: Draft 5-Year Bond Project Sequencing Feedback

The Transportation Bond Oversight Committee (TBOC) requested an additional meeting to consider a revised 5-Year GO bond project sequencing proposal which is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9th from 4 – 6 pm. The TBOC felt it was important to have more robust information for the public and the TBOC to consider prior to approving the sequencing of the projects for the first five years of the GO bond. The new materials will be available on Tuesday, November 2nd on the TBOC website

Our advocacy team will dig through the new materials to see if it changes our position at all and make a call to action as soon as we can digest it! We encourage folks to take a look and keep an eye out on your inbox as this may be the last opportunity for public comment before a recommendation is made to Council!

Local Elected Officials and Community Leaders E-Bike Gathering

We are huge fans of e-bikes and believe that they can open bike riding for transportation, errands, and recreation for many who are currently on the sidelines. Love ‘em or leave ‘em, e-bikes are here to stay and we would rather see another e-bike on the road than another car.

On Saturday, October 16, a group of local lawmakers, policy makers, and bike advocates experienced the joys of e-biking and learned more about how e-bikes can unlock new mobility and economic opportunities here locally. Oregon Environmental Council, Bend Electric Bikes, the Environmental Center, Commute Options, and Bend Bikes collaborated to bring folks together, but the real work, though, was done by our allies Kathy and Sterling McCord at Bend Electric Bikes, who provided the e-bikes and provided staff to herd our motley crew.

[Photo: Bend Electric Bikes] So much better than a Zoom meeting about e-bikes!

Senator Tim Knopp, Oregon transportation commissioner Sharon Smith, Deschutes County commissioner Phil Chang, Bend city councilors Melanie Kebler and Rita Schenkelberg, Bend city engineer Robin Lewis, BPRD board members Zavi Borja and Ariel Mendez, and COCC Sustainability Team member Dana Christensen rode e-bikes together and listened to several presentations about e-bikes:

  1. Folks from the Old Mill Wheel Fun Rentals shared how visitors and locals alike use the river trail as well as the importance of a good bike connection to downtown Bend.
  2. Bend Bikes board member Jim Elliott spoke about his experiences replacing a truck with an e-cargo bike for errands, shopping, commuting, and taking his grandson to school. He reflected on the need for protected biking and walking infrastructure in Bend to encourage active transportation for children and older adults. Jim also pulled together the nuts and bolts of this update!
  3. Robin Lewis, a transportation engineer from the City of Bend, highlighted upcoming bike infrastructure projects and the unprecedented community support for safe biking routes. She highlighted the Wilson corridor, which will hopefully bring Bend our first real protected bike lane and possibly a protected intersection at Wilson and 3rd. Bend Bikes board president LeeAnn O’Neill chimed in about the importance and efficacy of attending the project open houses as we see the GO bond projects move forward.

Behind the Scenes of an All Volunteer Organization 

As Bend Bikes has grown over the years and gained more recognition in the community, we are always surprised when folks assume we have paid staff to achieve our goals. We dream of the day we could hire an executive director, but for now, we are an all volunteer grassroots non-profit advocacy organization. Our board members guide the direction of Bend Bikes and advocacy and on-the-ground projects are done in our free time as volunteers as a labor of love. 

Our board members dedicate countless hours each month:

  • Building connections with our local elected officials and leaders (e.g. we have had Councilor Kebler, Councilor Broadman, and Commissioner Chang come do a meet and greet at our board meetings this year);
  • Engaging in advocacy with City staff and their consultants around bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure project design;
  • Collaborating with community partners (e.g. Central Oregon LandWatch, the Environmental Center, Commute Options, and others);
  • Forging relationships with our neighborhood associations and presenting at neighborhood association meetings;
  • Talking one-on-one to our many passionate supporters;
  • Informing and educating ourselves and our stakeholders on how to best advocate for safe infrastructure projects for people who bike at both the local (e.g. TBOC) and state (e.g. DCLD) levels; 
  • Slowly but surely pulling together a bike map for our community (fingers crossed that the beta version will be a Christmas present to the community); and
  • Wrangling donations to keep ourselves running! 

Bend Bikes Donor Spotlight: Spurcycle

Frankenbells are known for powerful resonance and minor cosmetic imperfections. And they have purpose too. Spurcycle is donating 10% of all Frankenbell sales to non-profit organizations like Bend Bikes seen ghostbusting year-round. Safer streets, new bike lanes, stronger and more inclusive communities—a better experience for people who ride and more people riding bikes.

Donee organizations include: Bend Bikes, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, Adventure Cycling Association, The League of American Bicyclists, Los Angeles County Bike Coalition. Get a bell here.