Safe Streets Save Lives

As a city, we all know the direction we need to be headed for a climate friendly future, a more connected community, healthier lives, and safer streets for all of us. This direction includes more people on bikes and a future where its safe to walk, bike, or roll the places we want to go to. Read on to hear a message of remembrance for road traffic victims, tips for winter riding, and thoughts about biking with kids.

Bike News

The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims

On November 19, people in cities around the globe will pause to remember the nearly 1.2 million people who have lost their lives and the nearly 30 million people who were injured due to road traffic crashes in the last year. This includes people that are driving and their passengers, people on bikes, people, walking, and people rolling. This terrible toll of death and injury affects the families and friends of the victims and those who provide the emergency services and care to them–we can’t ignore this unnecessary violence any longer. Bend is not immune from this terrible toll. We have had over 1,200 traffic crashes in the first nine months of 2023 and are on pace for more than 30% more traffic crashes than any previous year.

Bend Bikes will be joining this world-wide event with a public gathering at the Peace Corner located at Newport and Wall at noon on Sunday November 19. At that time, a city proclamation will be read and a moment of silence will be held in memory of those killed and injured this past year followed by an informal ride through downtown immediately afterward.

Please join us on this day as we remember those who have been affected by road traffic violence and pledge to continue our efforts to make our streets safer for all members of our community.

Don’t Stop for Winter!

We have enjoyed a summer of perfect weather for biking in Bend. Seeing all the people on bikes around town has been a real joy! But we’re seeing a bit of wet weather and we know cold, snow and ice are in our near future… can we ride all winter? It is easier than you think and a video “Eight mistakes new winter bike commuters make and how to avoid them” by Shifter gives some really good advice for getting around in the cold and snow on a bike. A few highlights:

  • Don’t put on too many clothes—it is easy to stay warm while riding especially if you have a windproof outer layer.
  • Even so, wear wind-proof mittens to keep your hands warm!
  • Good lights and reflective clothing make you more visible in the dark… we don’t “victim blame” but we also believe in self-preservation!
  • Wide, studded tires make riding in snow and ice much safer. The wide tires help in loose snow and on frozen ruts. Studs help on packed snow and ice.
  • Practice riding on snow out of traffic—learn to use your back brake first and get a feel for what you’re comfortable with.
  • Slow down and look for routes that are out of traffic or better maintained than your normal route.
  • Ride when conditions are right for you—you don’t have to ride everyday to get the benefits of riding in winter!

The city has purchased two mini-snow plows to keep some of the bike lanes clear so we have hope that some routes will be better maintained than in the past.

Give it a try and keep our summer riding joy warm all winter!

Biking with the Next Generation

Sometimes, in the midst of meetings, both in person and on Zoom, transportation open houses, land use hearings, and other “adult” activities, I lose sight of why I bike in Bend. I use a bike for all my transportation needs in Bend because I like being outside, I enjoy the exercise and the feeling of independence. I enjoy the ability to travel through Bend’s varied neighborhoods and learning about the city.

But more importantly, I love biking with my grandson, his friends, and the kids at Bear Creek Elementary School. When you bike with kids, there are new sights to see, sounds to hear and smells to enjoy. Taking my grandson, Wyatt, at first to pre-school and then to elementary school on the cargo bike opened my eyes to the world as seen by a child. We were sometimes late because we were distracted by the sunrise or the baby geese on the river trail or the deer crossing Bond Street or the changing colors of the leaves in the fall.

He and I, along with two neighbor children, bike to their school every Friday. Riding on and crossing both Portland Ave and Newport Ave can be challenging with speeding drivers and questionable crosswalks. And arriving at Highland, we all have to watch out for parents in the drop-off line who are not always watching for biking kids. The ride home is always the best as we have cookies in Drake Park and then ride home by way of the newly completed extension of the river trail with the underpass at the Newport Bridge. Thanks Bend Park and Rec!

With the Bear Creek students, we have biked their neighborhood and explored the Larkspur trail to the Larkspur Center. They have learned the basics of bike maintenance, the ABC bike check—Air, Brakes and Chain/Cogs—and the rules of the road and “On Your Left.” So I need to remember to keep my focus on the kids. Kids who deserve a better neighborhood and safer streets. Let’s all try to remember the next generation when looking at future transportation projects in the city and how they are prioritized.

Bikey Book Club

Next Meeting: January 22, 6:30pm

The Bikey Book Club met this In October to talk about Inclusive Transportation: A manifesto for repairing divided communities by Veronica O. Davis. Veronica is currently the Director of Transportation and Drainage Operations for Houston Texas and has worked in the US Department of Transportation and as a transportation consultant. Her story starts with the trauma of her family losing their house to the construction of a throughway in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and continues with how transportation agencies can do better at understanding the needs of the people they serve rather than assuming they know what is best.

Our conversation was about how the City of Bend can improve their public engagement process by listening to people about the problems they are having with streets before planning starts. That attitude can continue by listening to people’s reactions to project plans and adjusting them after they hear public reaction. We also talked about the difference between the way engineers often think about roads as providing throughput to traffic and about how people who use those roads think about them as a way to get somewhere. Access to places is the real goal!

Over the next four months, we’ll be reading There Are No Accidents

The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster – Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer. We’re taking a break in November and December to avoid holiday schedule conflicts and will resume meeting in January. On January 22nd, we’ll watch a video with the author and in February, we’ll discuss the book.

Please join us—there is no need to pre-register. You can contact [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

Upcoming schedule: Downtown Bend Library, Meyers Room

January 22, 6:30-7:45 There Are No Accidents–The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster – Who Profits and Who Pays the Price by Jessie Singer