Big change coming to westside Bend intersection

Some oppose city-approved stop-sign switch

Stop sign switch in Bend

BEND, Ore. - The intersection of 11th Street and Portland Avenue is slated for change. It comes after a string of accidents and numerous complaints.

For those who live at the intersection, like Paul Anderson, honking is inevitable.

"Horns are constantly beeping, I would say approximately one every 15 minutes," Anderson said Monday.

And close calls are constant.

"I personally have witnessed three motorcycles almost being driven over," he said. "I've seen four bicyclist near-misses, two of them I would say within about six inches. And I saw the aftermath of the DA being struck." 

A year ago, Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel was seriously injured when an SUV ran the Portland Avenue stop sign and T-boned his vehicle while he was driving down 11th Street, police said.

So by Sept. 28, stop signs will be removed on Portland Avenue and installed on 11th Street, said the city of Bend's communication director, Anne Aurand.

"The city decided to switch the stop sign configuration because we had to. They're in the wrong location," Aurand said.

"Traffic is significantly higher on Portland Avenue than on 11th Street, so traffic on 11th should not be stopping for traffic on Portland Street," she added.

The decision comes after four citizen service requests were submitted to the city and a traffic study recommended the switch.

Also, according to the city, since 2010 there have been at least 18 crashes at the intersection.

Some people asked for a four-way stop, but according to the city, 11th Street doesn't have enough traffic to meet industry standards for that.

Which means not everyone is pleased with the switch, including Paul Anderson.

"Which I think is going to make it a bit inconvenient in the winter, and even more dangerous than it is now," Anderson said.

"Unfortunately, when we get in a car, we're on autopilot," he said. "And right now, this intersection has seasoned people to think it's a certain way, and I think that's the issue here."

Before the switch happens, signs will be out to warn drivers, and they'll stay out for a month after.

Do you think stop signs should not be put on major city streets? That's our new KTVZ.COM Poll, which you can find halfway down the right side of our home page.

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