More bike lanes in downtown Bend's future

Group looking over plans to find best options

POSTED: 10:30 PM PST February 19, 2013    UPDATED: 11:16 PM PST February 19, 2013 
BEND, Ore -

Construction is set to begin this spring in downtown Bend to add bike lanes and make a stretch of road more safe for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

The city has received a grant worth nearly $650,000 from the state. It has also matched about $300,000 to make the project possible.

Tuesday night, the group known as Bend Bikes held a public meeting on the project. Their goal was to look over the plans the city has proposed to see if their were any ideas that weren't thought of to make the project better.

"What we are looking for is new ideas," said Pam Hardy, one of the organizers, "You know that brilliant, 'Hey! You know, what if we did this?'"

Hardy led the discussion with a presentation of the plan.

"This is the one thing that really needs to be improved, and then Bend is a world-class bike town in every way you can imagine," Hardy said.

As the plans stand right now, a designated bike lane will be put in on Riverside Boulevard, from Tumalo Avenue, to Broadway Street. Then, from Broadway to Tin Pan Alley, drivers and cyclists will see 'sharrows,' a pavement marking new to Bend but also used in Redmond in recent years.

"What the sharrow means is that cars and bikes are intended to merge together in the road," Hardy said. "So it's not a full-on bike lane. These are used in places where there is not a full-on bike lane."

The project is also aimed at helping pedestrians by improving bus stops along the river, even adding shelters for high-use stops.

"There is so much momentum around biking in Bend that we just see this opportunity," Hardy said.

For more information:

Bend Bikes - http://www.bendbikes.org/riverside-franklin-bicycling-project/

City of Bend Proposal - http://www.ci.bend.or.us/index.aspx?page=693