Whew, it has been a busy month and as the solstice draws near, we are excited at the prospect of longer days! Our small board has been bustling with activity since we last checked in, with a complete redesign of our website (thanks to our amazing board secretary Elisa Cheng) and a lot of advocacy, relationship building, and education!
Applications for the Transportation Bond Oversight Committee are open!
This has been a month filled with conversations with community partners and leaders about ensuring the voices of people who bike are selected for the Transportation Bond Oversight Committee. Applications for the bond oversight committee are open now and due on January 15, 2021 at 5 pm. We encourage anyone who is interested in ensuring that the key routes and multimodal projects are prioritized to consider applying! Do you need more information to make a decision? We are happy to connect with you to chat about it, just email us at [email protected].
If you aren’t the committee type, we understand, but we would love for folks to let Mayor Russell ([email protected]) know how important it is for the Transportation Bond Oversight committee to reflect the values of the voters, who voted in November for candidates that champion climate action, equity, and safety!
Relationship and Coalition Building
Beyond fostering relationships and advocating in our own community, Bend Bikes has been coalition building with organizations statewide. We profusely thank the folks who took the time to submit written testimony to the Oregon Transportation Commission to support allocating all $321 million of the discretionary State Transportation Improvement Program funds for 2024-2027 to non-highway/multimodal projects. Bend Bikes provided a public comment at the December 15th meeting as well as a joint written comment in collaboration with Washco Bikes (Washington County Bicycle Transportation Coalition), Bike Loud PDX, Safe Routes Partnership, Community Cycling Center, and dozen other like-minded organizations.
At the end of the day, the Commissioners ignored overwhelming public support and voted to allocate just $245 million to non-highway/multimodal projects. Curious about the play-by-play? @nomorefreeweays did an amazing job of live tweeting the public comment and decision making process. While we did not get what we asked for, we believe that our unified voice made the $245 million possible.
The bigger gift has been the relationship building and possibilities that creates to see change happen at the statewide level — many of our collaborators also sit alongside Bend Bikes on the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking Advisory Committee.
Education and Capacity Building
We have also been engaging in education and capacity building. Board members LeeAnn O’Neill and Elisa Cheng attended the Designing Cities 2020: Virtual Convening by the National Association of City Transportation Officials and left feeling energized and full of ideas. We will be bringing you monthly updates on what the vision of Bend Bikes is and what different bike infrastructure terms mean to us, which will be especially important for folks to understand as the transportation bond project design starts rolling out! This month, we wanted to start with the overarching concept of “A Complete Bike Network.“
Bend Bikes’ primary infrastructure goal is a complete and low-stress bike network in Bend. But what is a complete bike network? A complete bike network means a connection of bike routes where people of all ages and abilities feel safe and comfortable riding to their destination throughout the city.
This bike network will look different on different streets. Some streets might look like neighborhood greenways, where there is lower car traffic volume and speed, while others might be protected bike lanes on the side of a street, or even off-street paths. The idea behind a complete bike network is for all people who ride bikes, including kids, to get to their destinations safely by bike and feel comfortable doing so.
For the next few months we will explore what ideas like connectivity and safety mean and how protected bike lanes and complete networks could transform Bend into a more livable city. Stay tuned for more!
Board of Directors Recruitment!
As we head into 2021, we are looking for more folks to join the Bend Bikes Board of Directors!
- Do you love to ride your bike to work or for errands?
- Do you wish there were more opportunities to do so safely in Bend?
- Do you want to roll your sleeves up and help advocate for the safety of people who bike in Bend?
- Does an overnight bike tour board retreat sound like your kind of fun?
We are a grassroots all volunteer nonprofit organization that advocates for the safety of people who ride bikes and a comprehensive network of bike-friendly routes in Bend. The full Board meets every other month and board members typically work on other projects as their schedules allow.
We are searching for people of all ages and backgrounds who are passionate about getting more people on bicycles in Bend. Interested? Please complete our application by January 25th and we’ll be in touch shortly after! We plan on doing interviews in February with new board members starting in March.
Year End Donations
As an all volunteer non-profit, your support helps us stay afloat. We know that for many, this year has been a financially devastating year. For those who have been less impacted, don’t forget that everyone gets a $300 federal charitable deduction this year, even if you don’t itemize your deductions – DONATE NOW!