Bend

Bend 2030, city launch online gas tax survey

Also asks about priorities, funding options

BEND, Ore. - Bend 2030 and the City of Bend launched a new online community survey Monday to test attitudes about a gas tax and multi-modal transportation investments in Bend.

The new survey comes as Bend city leaders weigh whether to ask voters for a 5 cent a gallon local gas tax -- a move that already has encountered strong opposition from fuel dealers and others --, and/or impose a monthly streets utility fee to deal with a growing backlog of unfunded street maintenance.

The online community survey, available through July 12, was designed primarily in response to the ideas put forth by 175 attendees at the April Bend 2030 Transportation Forum, who said they wanted investments in street maintenance, more and safer bike lanes, a more complete sidewalk grid, and a more robust transit system. Forum attendees said they were willing to pay for these improvements.

"This online survey will test whether the larger community agrees.," the city and group's joint announcement said.

Here's the rest of the news release:

Last week, Bend 2030 and the City of Bend completed a statistically valid phone survey testing many of the same ideas. The surveys were designed by DHM Research, a Portland-based strategic communications firm.

Bend 2030 will later use the input from the Transportation Forum, the statistically valid survey and the online community survey to provide recommendations to the Bend City Council and other regional decision-makers about solutions to our most challenging transportation issues.

"By 2030, forecasters predict 120,000 people will be living here," said Vic Martinez, Bend 2030 board of directors chair. "Once again, we're looking at a pattern of rapid growth in our city. As a community we must come together and address it with real investments in our transportation system—we cannot afford to fall further behind than we already are in preparing for this growth."

Among the considerations for our community are how to pay for $80 million in deferred street maintenance, how to fund streetscape improvements that offer safer pedestrian facilities and bike lanes, and how to afford building out our public bus system.

Such investments offer safe roads for people driving cars, as well as other options for people interested in traveling by biking or walking—methods of transportation that reduce stress on our taxed road system.

All help ensure our community accomplishes our transportation vision for Bend in 2030, including creating a well connected system of highways, roads, bike paths and trails and a variety of multi-modal transportation options.

Learn more about Bend 2030's Livability Series transportation initiative at Bend2030.org or via the Bend 2030 Facebook page at Facebook.com/Bend2030.

Funding for the Bend 2030 Livability Series is provided by the generous support of the Leadership Alliance of Bend 2030, including BendBroadband, Bend Park and Recreation District, Brooks Resources, Central Oregon Community College, the City of Bend, Deschutes Brewery, OSU-Cascades, St. Charles Health System, U.S. Forest Service, and Harcourt The Garner Group/Sunwest Builders/NorthWest Crossing. Funding for the Transportation Forum was also provided by Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council.


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