Transportation Connects Us

If the recent weather is any indication, 2024 is going to be a year filled with everything under the sun. Read on to find out our take on the City’s proposed Transportation fee, a wrap up of our 10 year celebration, and a call to action on Butler Market Road. We are currently looking for new board members! Please fill out the application to apply for the Bend Bikes Board.

Our Take on the Proposed Transportation Fee

The city needs more funding for transportation and has few ways to raise those funds. A transportation fee could be a reasonable approach to this shortfall. However, so far there has been virtually no discussion about how our transportation system can be made less expensive—standards still require wide streets and too many wide arterials. Find out more about this topic and our take on it on our blog.

Bend’s Transportation Fee

Butler Market Call to Action

The Butler Market Key Route project is a major improvement in the way bike lanes are designed in Bend and we very much support this project.  You can comment on the project at the online open house until February 5th.

Last May, a Call to Action asked you to take a look at the Butler Market and Boyd Acres Key Route Projects–people overwhelmingly supported the alternative with raised bike lanes on both sides of the street. The City is moving forward with that concept on Butler Market from Brinson Ave to Boyd Acres Rd. You can see the current plans at the Butler Market & Wells Acres Roundabout and Key Route Project Informational Open House. This project will contribute to the Bend Bikeway Project which will be the first continuous bikeways crossing Bend from east to west and north to south across town.

The project will do two main things:

  1. Install raised bike lanes on both sides of Butler Market Rd between Brinson Ave to Boyd Acres Rd. These bike lanes will be at sidewalk level and will be separated from the street by 1.5 ft to about 10 ft.
  2. Install a roundabout at Butler Market and Wells Acres Rd, something people in the neighborhood have been requesting for a long time.

We like several things about this project very much:

  • The separation of the bike lanes both vertically and horizontally from the street will add a level of safety and comfort to the people biking along Butler Market seldom seen in Bend.
  • Thewalks on both sides of the street will be wide and well separated from the street.
  • A raised crosswalk across Roxy Pl at the Wells Acres roundabout will slow traffic entering this large residential area.

There are a few things we would like to see improved:

  • The transitions from the bike lane to the traffic lane at the Wells Acres roundabout are very sharp, requiring people on bikes to slow just as they are entering or leaving the traffic lane.
  • The center turn lane between 8th St and Wells Acres is unnecessary. Instead, a narrow center median preventing left turns should be installed. Left turns are not needed since traffic can proceed to the next roundabout, turn around and make a right turn where they would have turned left. This will eliminate left turns on this busy street and save space for street trees or other uses along the street.
  • The gaps in the bike lane separation at some of the intersections is pretty long and should be shortened.
  • Some of the buffers between the bike lane and the traffic lane are very wide and the stamped concrete could be replaced with drainage swales or a planter strip.

Overall, this is a major improvement in the way bike and pedestrian facilities have been designed in Bend and we think this project deserves support and praise. If you agree, please take a few minutes to comment at the online open house which is available for comment until February 5th.

A Night of Celebration and Reflection

Tuesday, January 23 saw Bend Bikes board members, both past and present as well as over 70 supporters celebrate our organization’s 10th anniversary. The event was held at the Environmental Center and was marked by reminiscences of the founding of Bend Bikes as well as current advocacy efforts and future plans.

A slide show that reviewed ten years of work ran in the background while attendees gathered around displays of the most current Bend Bikes map as well as the City of Bend’s north-south and east-west cross-town bike routes. Conversations were sparked by both maps and several people commented on the features of the routes, as well as the need for more connectivity.

One of the highlights of the evening were comments by past board leaders Lucas Freeman and Ariel Mendez on both the beginning of the organization and its growth and increased influence in active transportation over the past ten years.

Bend Bikes Board Vice President Kaitlin Greene did an excellent job tying together the past and the present in her remarks emphasizing the need for all supporters to join in efforts to improve the streets of Bend for all users.

The slide show that highlights the past ten years of Bend Bikes can be viewed on the Bend Bikes website.

View Slide Show

Winter Walk and Roll to School Day

Bikey Book Club

Next Meeting: January 22, 6:30pm

The Bikey Book Club met this week to listen to a podcast There Are No Accidents with Jessie Singer.  Ms Singer is the author of our next book: There Are No Accidents: The Deadly Rise of Injury and Disaster – Who Profits and Who Pays the Price.   On February 26th, we’ll meet again to discuss the book.

There Are No Accidents discusses how society’s understanding of accidents has changed over time and the difference between considering an “accident” as human error or as the result of dangerous conditions.  It covers “accidents” of many sorts:  traffic, mining, factory, drugs, and guns and how society has at times worked to make conditions safer on roads, in workplaces, and in homes or backed away from protecting people from dangerous conditions.  When there were discussions of requiring all cars to have seat belts, Henry Ford II said that was impractical and that if they were required, all Ford plants in the country would be forced to close.

Please join us when we meet on February 26th–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