Safe Streets for All People
Bend Bikes and several partners: the City of Bend, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, Central Oregon Landwatch, and the LPS Family Fund, are bringing the “Safe Streets for All People” program to Bend. Two Dutch traffic planners from Royal HaskoningDHV who have worked on safe traffic infrastructure all over the world will be working with a group of local transportation experts and advocates in a two day workshop on July 31 and August 1. During the workshop, the group will explore options for two Bend streets and their intersections. They will develop concepts for making those streets safe for people who bike, walk, roll, and drive using techniques that haven’t been used in Bend before.
Public events include two “Ride to Learn” bike rides:
- Monday, July 31, 6-8 pm starting at the Juniper Park horseshoe courts
- Tuesday, Aug 1, 5-6 pm starting at the Mirror Pond Plaza
and a public lecture at which Sjors Van Duren will discuss Dutch transportation planning. Additionally, the results of the two Bend case studies will be described. This lecture will be Tuesday, Aug 1, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the Open Space Event Studios at 220 NE Lafayette in Bend.
You can register for the two bike rides and see more details about the public lecture here.
We want to thank James Teeter of Ashley & Vance Engineering for instigating this event, finding the funding, and spearheading the event planning. Bend Electric Bikes is providing e-bikes for our Dutch guests so they can tour the case studies and get around town. Ashley & Vance Engineering is providing lodging for them, right downtown close to the event locations. Robin Lewis, a city engineer, has been instrumental in involving the city and making sure the people who design our streets will be participating so they can bring new understanding to make our streets safer.
Financial support from the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, Central Oregon LandWatch, the LPS Family Foundation, the City of Bend, and Bend Bikes is making the event possible.
Junk in the Bike Lane? Get it Swept!
We all know that all the junk from the street ends up in the bike lane–that can make riding in the bike lane tricky! Swerving into traffic to avoid that junk, or a pothole, or loose gravel can be even more dangerous. So the City of Bend has a Service Request Process that lets you report anything hazardous about the bike lanes or the rest of the street: potholes, obstructions, damaged signs, vegetation blocking sidewalks or bike lanes, or anything else that needs attention. Several of us have seen good results using this process although it’s clear that the simpler the fix, the more likely the problem will be fixed quickly.
And bike lanes might just be getting cleaner as the city has just ordered two Multihog mini-street sweepers to go with the two mini-snow plows they bought last year. These will be particularly useful for the new separated bike lanes and multi-use paths that are being planned for the future bikeways system. We’re looking forward to debris-free bike lanes and paths!
We encourage you to put requests in when you see debris or other safety hazards in the bike lane!
We want your opinions!
We have launched a new page on our website to gather feedback on your opinions of the bike infrastructure we have in use in Bend right now. We are planning to gather this feedback and present it to the city when they are making decisions on what bike infrastructure is needed in various locations and projects.
What type of bike infrastructure do you prefer? Let us know what you think! Fill out the feedback forms today!
E-Bike Roundtable in Bend
On July 18, State Representative Emerson Levy and City Counselor Megan Perkins hosted a community roundtable to address the issue of e-bikes in the city. The event was prompted in part after the death of a young person on an e-bike who collided with a car. But before this crash, there had been concerns about the growing number of e-bikes, especially ridden by young people on sidewalks and not following the “rules of the road.”
The Oregon law passed in 1997 states that e-bikes are limited to 20 mph, have working pedals, should only be driven by persons 16 and older and cannot be ridden on sidewalks. Since the law was written, technology has advanced very quickly. There are e-bikes available that use a throttle as well as pedal assistance and can get electric assisstance up to 28 mph.
The roundtable included members of the Bend Police Department, Bend Emergency Services, City of Bend Transportation Department, Bend-LaPine schools, Oregon Department of Transportation, Bend Park and Recreation District, and Bend Bikes among others.
Comments sent in prior to the roundtable focused on three subjects, safety, enforcement, and safety on city streets.
After much discussion and fact-sharing, the group focused on a plan to provide safer travel for all users of Bend streets. Steps include updating the e-bike law, providing safety education for all users with a collaboration between the school district, the City and Commute Options, communicating to parents and youth on the current laws, and developing safer streets in Bend. This could be a long process but we are looking forward to measures that will ensure safety for all users of our streets here in Bend.
Partnering with the Bend Equity Project
We believe that all people should have safe and reliable access to ways of getting around town, with or without a motorized vehicle. Our unhoused neighbors are often left out of conversations about our transportation systems and are often most under-resourced, compounding the challenging situations they are in. We were overjoyed to partner with the Bend Equity Project this month to assist with a bike repair day for folks whose only mode of transportation is their bike.
The Bend Equity Project meets with unhoused individuals to provide a hot meal and to learn about needs. They recently identified the need for bike tubes, lights, locks, and simple repairs.
Thanks to generous donations from WebCyclery and from our supporters, we were able to provide repair materials to get four bikes back in good working order and make sure six individuals were well lit. The folks at Bend Equity Project continue to do this good work and we look forward to future partnerships!
Have some bike repair skills you’d like to share? Contact us at [email protected].
Bikey Book Club
Next Meeting: August 28, 6:30pm
The Bikey Book Club met this month to watch a video called “Streetfight” in which Janette Sadik-Khan describes how New York CIty began to change their streets to places people could walk, bike, and yes, drive, safely. Some streets were converted to pedestrian plazas and some traffic lanes were converted to rapid transit bus routes. All this while improving driving times, transit times, and safety!
We’ll meet August 28th from 6:30 to 7:45 pm in the Meyer Room, upstairs in the Bend Downtown Library, to discuss the book Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution by Janette Sadik-Khan. She was the Transportation Commissioner for New York City during the Bloomberg administration and began New York City’s process of building bike lanes and converting public spaces, such as Times Square, to places people can walk and meet without the stress of cars. She is currently the chairperson for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), a coalition of the transportation departments of 40 large cities nationwide.
Upcoming schedule: Downtown Bend Library, Meyers Room
August 28, 6:30-7:45: Street Fight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution