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New Bend mixed-use development could impact traffic

Former supermarket location under review

New mixed use development could cause...

BEND, Ore. - A new mixed-use development could be going into the former Ray's Food Place on Bend's Westside.

The former supermarket building has been sitting vacant since before it's roof collapsed last winter.

The city of Bend is looking over proposals that would turn it into a mixed-use site, with stores and apartments.

A city engineer said Wednesday the streets around the area might need some upgrading -- but they might not, because grocery stores, its former use, also have heavy traffic.

Nick Arnis, the city's growth management director, said the area sees anywhere from 15,000 to 18,000 cars in a given day, and the road is operating at about 80 percent capacity at present.

Arnis said even with the addition of the mixed-use property, the traffic in the area would not be changed that much.

"Certain times of the day, you may experience delay. But how we measure them, there's capacity out there today, we expect there to be capacity in the future," Arnis said.

Arnis added that they are looking at these mixed-use projects all over the city and are having to adapt the traffic use accordingly.

"It's called smart growth," Arnis said. "It's how you combine different uses together, and it's how you put in a transportation system that has a lot more, what we call, a network of roads or accessibility. And that's extremely important, so you have choices."

Arnis added that he hopes people will embrace public transportation as they work to improve it, as well as biking and walking to cut down on cars in the area.

With that being said, Arnis sad he realizes they will never get rid of cars and traffic, but they hope they will be able to manage it.

The city is still accepting proposals for the site, but they do know that whoever takes on the project will be putting in a mixed-use development.


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