New coalition focuses on Bend's big transportation decisions

MOVE BEND to coordinate effort to reach consensus

BEND, Ore. - MOVE BEND, a public-private transportation coalition of more than 40 diverse stakeholders staffed by Bend 2030, launched a civic engagement project on Tuesday to connect Bend residents, businesses, non-profits and civic groups to major transportation decision-making.
To support the effort, MOVE BEND said in its announcement that the group has "released a new video, plus an innovative and exploratory website at that tells the story of why residents have a moment — right now — to shape the future of transportation in Bend."
Bend’s population is expected to grow by 40 percent over the next 10 years, the group noted. That’s 35,000 people, about 10,000 new homes and an estimated 25,000 more cars, according to state and local agencies.
"Realtors are on the front lines of livability concerns in Bend," said Sally Jacobson, Bend director on the Central Oregon Association of REALTORS board, a member of the MOVE BEND steering committee. "We know that our transportation system must be improved to manage our growth if we want to keep what's special about this place. We support MOVE BEND because it is determined to engage every perspective in the conversation."
In the next two years, every transportation agency in the Bend area will update a plan for how to manage Bend’s growth. The city of Bend, Cascades East Transit, Oregon Department of Transportation, the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization, and even Bend Park and Recreation District are all making plans that will affect Bend’s transportation system for decades to come.
Every mode of travel and hundreds of millions of dollars in possible projects will be on the table —how will the money be spent? MOVE BEND brings together representatives from business, tourism, health care, neighborhood associations, vulnerable populations and civic groups to help decide.
Through the civic engagement project, MOVE BEND will work with coalition members to engage their constituents to consider their needs, values and priorities, so these groups are prepared to participate in upcoming public planning.
"Boyd Acres Neighborhood Association is invested in this coalition because we know it can be a challenge for residents to learn about complex transportation proposals and formulate comments," said Joette Storm. "Through MOVE BEND, we can better connect our neighbors to upcoming planning processes and give them a voice in the conversation."
Next year, the coalition hopes to host community listening sessions and a four-part lecture series sponsored by Hayden Homes to help residents consider possible solutions to Bend’s transportation challenges. Along the way, the coalition said it "hopes to raise the bar for how civic engagement can lead the way to bold and future-focused decision-making that helps keep Bend special even as we grow."
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