Bend looking to shorten on-street parking limits

Proposed trim: 5 calendar days to 3 business days

Bend looks to change parking code

BEND, Ore. - Amid a rise in complaints, the city of Bend is looking to change its code surrounding long-term parking on city streets. 

The proposal would change Bend's city code, giving people less time to move their cars, if parked in one spot for an extended period of time.

The proposed code change coming before city councilors this week would reduce the allowed time limit for parking on a public street from five calendar days to three business days.

Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh worked with city staff to help craft the proposed code changes.

Burleigh said Monday the department receives many calls a day regarding cars parked in spots for longer than five days, and the department works to respond to every call.

While the police will tow cars if they present safety issues as quickly as possible, they're not actively searching out cars to tow, as the code enforcement program is complaint-driven.

"Everything else is very reactive, we're getting calls from -- whether it's business owners, community members, people that are having a difficult time with the car being parked, whether it's in front of their business: 'Hey it's taking a business spot away,'" Burleigh said. "From the residents, because a lot of people will use the street parking in front of the residence on a daily basis.”

Burleigh also said the code changes could help the police department run smoothly, when it comes to the matter of tagging and towing vehicles left too long on city streets.

He said the change from calendar to business days will greatly help the way police deal with cars parked in one spot for too long.

"A lot of times what happens is that five days carries with it two weekends, so there is an expectation from our community, rightfully so, that we are going to tow that car on a Saturday or Sunday," Burleigh said. "We are not set up business practice-wise to have that towed on the weekend, so a lot of times you'll see some carryover into the first part of the week."

"So having it go by business days instead of calendar days allows us to follow our business model and have people here when the cars available to tow," he said.

Burleigh added the parking code enforcement will continue to be complaint-driven to best utilize the resources they have available.

The proposed changes to city code will go before city councilors at Wednesday evening's meeting.

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