You Can Support Greenways and Lowering Speed Limits

At the March 20th City Council Meeting
(read below for details)

Transportation staff from the City of Bend will soon present the first reading of an ordinance that will allow them to reduce a roadway’s posted speed to 20 mph if it:

  1. Is primarily a residential street,
  2. Hosts fewer than 2000 car trips per day with at least 85% of drivers traveling below 30 mph, and
  3. Posts signage to those driving to be aware of pedestrian and bicycle traffic.

While we’re not 100% supportive of point #2 above, the overall intent of the proposal seems well placed.  It will allow city staff to work within the confines of a 2011 state law while we all await the passage of Oregon Senate Bill 558 which would give them even more flexibility.

excerpt from 2019 Oregon Senate Bill 558
Excerpt from Oregon Senate Bill 558 with highlight to show the proposed change.

Passing one of these bills—either the City of Bend ordinance or Senate Bill 558—is critical to the success to implementing the city’s greenway network. Without one or the other, the city will not be able to reduce posted speed limits to 20 mph. That means cars will be legally permitted to travel through at current speeds.

How you can advocate for slower and safer Bend streets

What’s a Neighborhood Greenway?
Click here for a quick primer.
We’d encourage you to join us (look for one or more Bend Bikes board members in Bend Bikes hats or t-shirts) and attend the March 20th Bend City Council meeting.  The regular meeting starts at 7pm.  Plan to arrive at City Hall 15 minutes early so you can sign up to speak for up to 3 minutes during the Visitor’s Section which generally happens 5 to 10 minutes after the meeting starts.  Here are two quick and easy things you can ask City Council to support:

  1. Phase 1 of Neighborhood Greenways
    City staff will be asking Council to approve the Phase 1 construction for Greenways, which covers NW 15th and NE 6th.  You might remember how those two projects hit a snag last year and were delayed. The current plan is for construction to begin in April and be completed in roughly 45 days.
  2. Ordinance to lower speeds on specific residential streets
    Ask Council to approve the ordinance designating speeds of 20 mph on Neighborhood Greenways. Tell Councilors why lowered posted speeds on residential streets is important to you. See page two of this document for the list of streets under consideration for this change

See you there!