BEND, OR -- The Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization met Thursday to discuss the future of one of the area's most traveled roads: the Bend Parkway.
Peter Murphy, with the Oregon Department of Transportation, says the Parkway isn't keeping up with current growth, and it needs upgrades to handle projected traffic increases. "The Parkway is kind of an evolving system, really. It was initially envisioned to solve our traffic problems, and it did. But, it has succumbed, if you will, to the increase in traffic; the volume on it is way beyond what it was supposed to be."
He tells KBND News the current talks are just the start of the evaluation process, "We don't have solutions today, but we know where there are some trouble spots. We know that access into downtown is important, but we also know that the way to get into downtown, and the way to get out of downtown on Hawthorne and Lafayette, for example, is problematic." He adds, "The next step is to come back with some proposed solutions for bike lanes, for access to downtown, for egress from downtown. So, it's just a good, healthy discussion about what we're going to do with this overcrowded Parkway that we have."
As the conversation continues, it will expand to include city and county leadership. And, Murphy says, the public will eventually be asked to give feedback, as well.