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Bikes, people and cars are being counted in Bend

Data gathered to help decide safety improvements

Transportation Trends

BEND, Ore. - If you walk, bike or drive in Bend, it's likely you are being counted.

The city has been keeping track of transportation trends.

At First Street and Greenwood Avenue, a counter was set up Monday. It's not only counting bikes, but pedestrians and cars, too.

Jovi Anderson is a program technicians in the city of Bend's Growth Management department. She said Wednesday she hopes to use data from it and more than a dozen others across the city are to eventually make improvements in safety.

"The safety analysis was done and showed that multi-lane roads such as Greenwood Avenue and Third Street and other sections of our city have higher rates of bike and pedestrian serious injury crashes," Anderson said. "And if I can find out how many people are walking and biking in that area, I can really get a sense of how our safety improvement can really impact those people." 

The city hopes to also use the data for decisions on transportation issues such as congestion and maintenance.

At the Franklin Avenue underpass, from mid-May to mid-August, there were about 400 pedestrians and 400 bikes passing through, each day, on average.

Both the Greenwood Avenue and Franklin Street underpasses are spots the biking community would like to see improvements, said Lucas Freeman, who sits on Bend Bike's board of directors.

"A lot of people think about Bend in terms of east-west divide," Freeman said. "And I think when you look at those east-west corridors that aren't very bike-friendly, it's maybe one of the reasons that there isn't a lot of connections between those sides of town."

At Hutch's Bicycles, Janet Nelson Shofstall also brought up the east-west corridors.

"It's scary. It's scary, if people want to go to the downtown area from even here on the east side of Third Street, it can be pretty scary, in terms of just the number of traffic, the width of the vehicles going through there, and just the fact that it's a narrow aspect on both Franklin and Greenwood," she said.

The biking community also said those underpasses can be confusing for cyclists.

On Greenwood Avenue, the bike lane ends and a person has to decide whether to break the law and ride on the sidewalk, or stay in the middle of the car lane, which can be intimidating.

To take a look at the city's transportation collection project, you can head to this website: https://www.bendoregon.gov/home/showdocument?id=30207


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