Keep Bend competitive

mom and son on bikes in crosswalk, Bend, OR
Let’s aim to get more parents everyday bicycling their kids home from school, no?

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors released results of their 2015 Menino Survey of Mayors. It provides some interesting tidbits and insights into what keeps city leaders across the country up at night. It also shows a glimpse of their priorities, and forces me to think if Bend is to continue to attractive to the business community we cannot afford to lag behind in some of the stated priorities of the surveyed mayors. After all, they are who we compete with to attract top talent and companies to our city and region.

Interestingly enough, everyday bicycling made it onto the survey. Here’s what was the survey summary had to say about it:

BIKING: Mayors express strong support for improved accessibility for cyclists even if it means sacrificing parking or driving lanes, in addition to naming bike infrastructure as key funding priority.

  • More than 70% of mayors supported the tradeoff favoring improved bike accessibility in their city, even if it
    comes at the expense of parking and driving lanes.
  • Democratic and Republican mayors differ in their level of support for street designs that favor cyclists over
    drivers, with 44% of Republican mayors and 81% of Democratic ones endorsing improved bike accessibility.

Sure, this body doesn’t represent all cities and towns, but it represents 1,400 of them with populations of 30,000 or more, and it’s non-partisan to boot.

If mayors around the country are willing to make trade-offs to promote more people getting on bicycles to commute, shouldn’t Bend?