Midtown Crossings – Action Time!

This month we are highlighting some leadership changes at Bend Bikes, two huge calls to action regarding the Wilson bike lane products and the Midtown Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossings, and so much bike joy and outreach in the community! Plus, a special opportunity to support Bend Bikes by purchasing a sweet Spurcycle Frankenbell during the month of October!

[Photos: Bend Bikes] We loved partnering with The Environmental Center this month as board members Kaitlin Greene and Brady Park led a party pace bike tour of Bend’s eco-friendly housing in partnership with their annual Green Tour. The ride was a huge success with 15 attendees as we explored ADUs, passive shade architecture, and space maximizing/footprint limiting designs… and found new and safe(r) ways to bike around Bend. Next up: Come join us for a party pace bike tour for The Environmental Center’s School Garden Tour on October 8th from 2 pm – 4 pm!

A Season of Change at Bend Bikes!

Bend Bikes is excited to announce the following change in our leadership! Elisa Cheng, our current Vice President, will take over leadership of Bend Bikes as the President in January; Kaitlin Greene will take over the Vice President role in January; and David Green, our current Secretary, will also take on the role as Treasurer starting in October. 

[Photo: Bend Bikes] From left to right – Elisa Cheng, Kaitlin Greene, and David Green.

It is also time to bid farewell to our Treasurer Aron Yarmo, who dedicated 6 years to the Bend Bikes board. Aron was essential to initiatives around the Neighborhood Greenways and as many of you might remember, basically knocked on every single door to have conversations with folks and garner support. He also helped keep Bend Bikes going during the pandemic when morale was at an all time low! 

Call To Action: Midtown Crossings – Let’s Get the Franklin and Greenwood Corridors Over the Finish Line!

All attention is on the Midtown Bicycle and Pedestrian Crossings as the Core Area Advisory Board (CAAB) and the Transportation Bond Oversight Committee (TBOC) prepare to make their recommendations to City Council during their October 19, 2022 work session on how to sequence and fund the Franklin, Greenwood, and Hawthorne. Members of both committees gathered on a joint sounding board on September 14, 2022 to learn about the different options, share what drives the decision-making of each committee, and share ideas. 

There are four sample Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) options being proposed (for all the bike infrastructure nerds out there, we summarized each sample CIP option at the end to spare everyone else). All of these are still in the conceptual phase, and the goal is to figure out where to spend time and money on staff, engineers, and design. These CIP options are just examples of what could be put together and it will be up to City Council to direct staff what the final CIP should look like. 

Our position hasn’t changed much since we last opined on the issue – here are our key talking points:

  • We see the most potential for near-term safety improvements at Greenwood where there is plenty of space to work with and options for quick-build protected bike lanes. Having these safety improvements at Greenwood will help alleviate detour stress when the Franklin corridor is improved and Hawthorne is constructed. 
  • We want to prioritize options that allow an entire corridor to be improved and that we see those improvements sooner than later. 
  • Hawthorne requires time consuming and expensive permitting, planning, and funding (which is not guaranteed). Its success as a part of our bike network requires it to connect in a meaningful way, so our hope is that the behind-the-scenes work progresses while we move forward with Greenwood and Franklin.
  • While CIP Option 3 comes the closest to meeting our priorities, we encourage City Council to get creative! Funds could be shifted from Greenwood and/or Franklin to Hawthorne by using quick build bike lanes and pedestrian infrastructure using low-cost materials that can be installed quickly and focusing on infrastructure improvements that actually make the crossings safer (rather than cosmetic improvements). We support creative and flexible strategies to allow City staff to prioritize the safety of people who walk, bike, and roll and more effectively pursue federal and state grant matches and other funding opportunities.

Do you have opinions? Now is the time to voice them – here are the key dates and places to direct your public comment:

  • October 4, 2022 TBOC Meeting: Submit your written comments to [email protected] by mid-day October 3rd for the greatest chance to have them considered. Better yet, come to City Council chambers at City Hall or attend on Zoom and provide real time comments in person around 4 pm or hang out and watch the staff presentation and give your comments right before the TBOC deliberates. 
  • October 19, 2022 City Council Meeting: Submit your written comments to [email protected] at least a few days before the meeting for the greatest chance to have them considered (sooner is better!). If you’ve got enough juice left from the TBOC meeting, come to Council chambers at City Hall yet again or attend on Zoom and provide real time comments in person around 7 pm. 

Are you a bike infrastructure nerd? Here are what we think is important about each of the four sample Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) options being proposed (start on page 19 of the PDF) – keep scrolling if this is too much! 

  1. Prioritize Franklin
    • Completes Franklin crossing maintaining existing tunnels and Franklin corridor 
    • $10.75M available for future Hawthorne overcrossing 
    • Stormwater improvements and minor improvements at 2nd for Greenwood 
  1. Prioritize Hawthorne
    • Allocates all GO bond funds for Hawthorne overcrossing with a 6 – 7 year timeline (funding gap still requires pursuing additional funds)
    • Stormwater improvements to Franklin and Greenwood 
    • Minor improvements to 2nd/Greenwood, 2nd/Franklin, and 4th/Franklin 
    • Phase IV Greenways as independent project
  1. Prioritize Franklin and Greenwood
    • Completes Franklin crossing maintaining existing tunnels and the Franklin corridor 
    • Completes Greenwood crossing and Greenwood corridor 
    • $5M available for future Hawthorne overcrossing
    • Greenwood crossing/corridor improvements would benefit from completion of low stress routes on 2nd Street and Phase IV Greenways
  1. Prioritize Greenwood
    • Completes Greenwood crossing and Greenwood corridor 
    • $13.8M available for future Hawthorne overcrossing
    • Greenwooding crossing/corridor improvements would benefit from completion of low stress routes on 2nd Street and Phase IV Greenways
    • Stormwater and lighting improvements to Franklin

Call To Action: Robust Bike Lane Barriers or Bust!

Whelp, after just two short months, the verdict is in – neither the DezignLine’s BikeRail or DuraCurb are doing a good enough job for people who bike on the Wilson corridor. While people who bike preferred the DezignLine BikeRail, it failed within the first week because almost the entire segment was torn out by a vehicle turning through the bike lane. City staff noted that the DuraCurb product has held up to repeated impacts and so they are moving forward with using that product. But it is for precisely that reason the DuraCurb product does not meet our standard for safety – a bike lane product that vehicles can drive over repeatedly is “slightly better than paint.”

[Photo left: Ariel Mendez] After failing, the DezignLine BikeRail were uninstalled shortly after (picture is from from late September)

[Photo right: @valencia4people via Twitter] The screenshot illustrates why a product similar to the Duracurb just isn’t sufficient – check out the whole terrifying video here

People who bike want a bike lane product that vehicles cannot drive over or easily destroy on impact. We’ve seen places like Chicago and Jersey City both decide to move away from using bike products like these ones and shift to jersey barriers citing their safety benefits. When we reached out to City staff about the potential use of jersey barriers, they cited their expense, right of way challenges, visibility challenges at unmarked intersections, and the fact this type of barrier was not anticipated in the Transportation Safety Action Plan and Transportation System Plan for any part of our bike network. 

We’re concerned that City Staff will just rubber stamp the use of the DuraCurb product for all bike lanes going forward. We’d like to see City staff explore other more robust options that actually protect people in bike lanes – including jersey barriers when they make sense (like we could see them on Mt. Washington).

If you agree that more robust barriers would make you feel safer in a bike lane and encourage you to ride more, let City staff and City Council know by emailing them at:

Demands for More Connectivity at Southeast Bend Neighborhood Association Meeting!

Bend Bikes board members Jim Elliott and Kaitlin Greene, long-time partner Commute Options, and Bend Parks and Rec (BPRD)  joined the Southeast Bend Neighborhood Association’s (SEBNA) annual meeting this month to share how community members can get involved in making their neighborhoods safer. Folks were introduced to our City of Bend Bike Map and noticed that green routes – those identified as suitable for all riders – were few and far between. They named poor connectivity as a significant barrier to riding their bikes and emphasized the need for connected bike routes that are clear of snow and debris for school aged kiddos to feel comfortable riding. 

[Photo: Bend Bikes] Jim Elliott, Bend Bikes, and Emily Dougan, Commute Options

The Neighborhood Street Safety Program (NSSP) is one of the only ways to propose safety projects to the City that have not already been planned. However, SEBNA members expressed frustration at how long it is taking for safer crossings to be installed across Parrell, despite the crossings being identified as two of the 25 priority NSSP projects in 2019. But it’s not all dire news – a recent win for the neighborhood was the construction of the multi-use path connecting Alpenglow Park and Caldera High School. 

We are happy to support any neighborhood association in advocacy efforts for people who walk, bike, and roll, just contact us at [email protected]!

Bend Bikes Donor Spotlight: Spurcycle Frankenbells

[Photo and Image: Spurcycle] Get yours today!

Frankenbells are known for powerful resonance and minor cosmetic imperfections. And they have purpose too. Spurcycle is donating a portion of all Frankenbell sales from October 1 – 31 to non-profit organizations like Bend Bikes seen ghostbusting year-round to support safer streets, new bike lanes, and 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.