BEND, Ore. - It’s no secret: Parking on and around Galveston Avenue on Bend's Westside can be a mess. Now the findings of a new study, focused on the problematic corridor, are being released.
"It's really nice to understand what's actually happening,” Karen Swirsky, a senior planner for the city’s growth management department, said Thursday. “If we don't have data, then we just rely on anecdote, and it's just much better to see exactly where the worst areas are."
People and businesses in the area have been raising concerns for years, but the city had no data to work with.
“We’ve got one of the bigger parking spaces of the businesses, and still, neighboring businesses, their parking ends up in our parking space,” said Sam Thibodeau, who works on Galveston Avenue. “Street parking is always usually filled up as well.”
The study includes the area on Galveston between15th Street and Harmon Boulevard, and several surrounding residential blocks. License plates were checked hourly from 10 a.m. until 2 a.m. for months, starting in April.
The city’s aim was getting an accurate picture of who is coming and going, and when.
When the study began, the planning team identified about 300 legal parking spots in the designated area. One of the problems they found is many people are parking illegally, by making their own spots.
Most data collected won’t surprise people who have been to or live in the area, but rather back common knowledge.
“We hear mainly from people on the adjacent residential streets that they don’t have anywhere to park, or that people are blocking their mailboxes or sometimes their driveways,” Swirsky said.
The data can help get the ball rolling on possible strategies and solutions, as the city council also recently agreed to fund final design on long-discussed safety improvements and other changes to the Galveston Avenue corridor.
The public is invited to learn more about the parking study findings and weigh in:
What: Community Open House #2 – Galveston Avenue Corridor Parking Study: The Data
When: 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Presentation at 5:15 p.m.) on Wednesday, Oct. 18
Where: Westside Village Magnet School at Kingston Elementary Gymnasium,
1101 NW 12th Street, Bend,
More information about the project, including a map of the study area, can be found at www.bendoregon.gov/parkingstudy. Once there, click on “Galveston Avenue Corridor Parking Study.