Action Alerts: Speak with local leaders this week

1. Bend’s New Transportation Plan Enters Final Stretch

 Let local leaders know you support it.

After two years of hard work, Bend’s Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC) recently held their final meeting. A big thank you to all 21 CTAC members—including our very own Mike Riley, one of the co-chairs, and Board Member Glenn Van Cise—for their hard work and commitment to creating a better transportation future in Bend!

Background
CTAC’s charge was to develop a new Transportation System Plan (TSP) to guide Bend’s transportation investments, programs, and policies through 2040. The draft TSP, which now has CTAC’s stamp of approval, calls for real changes to Bend’s transportation system. Here are a few examples:

  • The new TSP calls for a significant increase in investments in safe and convenient bike paths, sidewalks, transit service and roads.  
  • It ensures no new five-lane roads will create barriers through our neighborhoods. 
  • It calls for large employers to manage the demand their employees put on our roads.
  • It will reduce the amount of driving the average Bend resident has to do on a daily basis.  
  • And it includes a list of right-sized investments that won’t burden taxpayers with unnecessary, expensive megaprojects.

CTAC’s most recent task was to develop transportation performance measures and targets (Chapter 7 of the TSP).  The targets approved by CTAC will ensure that the TSP delivers real outcomes beneficial to all of Bend’s residents:

  • A new transportation equity program
  • Double the percentage of trips taken by walking, biking, and riding transit
  • Build 12 new key routes for safe walking and biking across town by 2030
  • A pedestrian network master plan
  • No increase in vehicle miles traveled per capita
  • No deaths and a 50% reduction in serious injuries on our roadways
  • A new speed monitoring program
  • A 29% reduction ins greenhouse gas emissions from transportation

It takes thoughtful planning to create a city that is walkable, bikeable and vibrant. It won’t happen overnight. But if we implement the new TSP developed by CTAC, traveling around Bend will be less carbon-intensive and a more safe, equitable, and convenient experience by 2040.

CTAC’s final action was to forward all chapters of the City’s new TSP to the Transportation Steering Committee. The Steering Committee is comprised of City Council plus one Bend Planning Commissioner, one Deschutes County Commissioner, and one ODOT representative. It is up to them to approve the draft TSP so it can be formally adopted by the City Council later this summer.  

What You Can Do

The Steering Committee’s final meeting is this Thursday, June 18, from 1-4pm and will be held remotely (online).

Tell the Steering Committee that you support all of CTAC’s recommendations, including the Chapter 7 performance targets, and that the Steering Committee should adopt the draft TSP as proposed.

They are only taking email comments. Emails must be received by by 10am on Thursday, June 18. 

2. Bend City Council to Establish a New Environment and Climate Advisory Committee

Let them know you support it.

The Bend City Council is considering creation of a new Environment and Climate Committee. The committee’s focus will be to provide input and recommendations to the City Council related to environmental stewardship and to oversee implementation of the Community Climate Action Plan, adopted in December 2019.

Bend has long had permanent citizen committees that advise the council on economic development, affordable housing, accessibility, its budget, and more. But this is the first time such a committee has been established to address what we consider to be a pillar of Bend—our natural resources. We think it’s long overdue and are thrilled to see this moving forward.  

What You Can Do

If you agree that this committee is good for Bend, let the City Council know. The Council will hold the first reading and a hearing on the proposed ordinance to establish the committee (see item 10 on the agenda) at its regular meeting this coming Wednesday, June 17, at 7pm. Send them an email at , or phone lines for public comment open at 6:45 pm at 1-855-282-6330, Access code: 146 187 2633##.  (But keep in mind if you call in, you may have to wait a long time—COVID is making live public comment challenging. Email may be more convenient.)

3. Police Reform in Bend?

City Council to discuss this on Wednesday, June 17th. 

Like many in our community, we are outraged at the ongoing murder of unarmed Black Americans by local police. The deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and now Rayshard Brooks—and so many before them—have laid bare that systemic racism persists in our nation and that there is much work to do to ensure justice for Black Americans and other people of color.

We need to do that work in every community in America, no matter the track record of our local police. This week, the Bend City Council will be discussing—we assume with a representative of Bend’s police department in the room—what steps could be taken to ensure that all Bend residents experience fair and non-violent treatment by local police.

What You Can Do

We encourage you to listen to the work session this Wednesday at 5:30. Work sessions are for learning and discussing, not decisions, but you can also share your thoughts on the topic with the Council later during the visitors section of its regular meeting at 7 pm. Phone lines for public comment open at 6:45 at 1-855-282-6330 Access code: 146 187 2633##.  (Keep in mind if you call in you may have to wait a long time—COVID is making live public comment challenging. Email may be more convenient, at .)