BEND, OR -- Bend City Councilors met in special session, Tuesday, to look ahead to future transportation projects. People packed the Bend Municipal Court for an update on ongoing projects and learn how road projects are funded.
Bend's Growth Management Director Nick Arnis says this is just the start of the discussion. "Council will start goal-setting in January or February. That'll be about when you'll start hearing more about if this is a priority for them. It's really a priority around 'Do you want to try to figure out different ways to fund transportation?' Transit, these big projects, street maintenance; we have a lot of fragmented funding sources. Is there a better way to do this?" Arnis adds, "We have a priority list for safety projects, we have a priority list for walking and biking projects; we have an old priority list around the major projects in the city- Empire and Murphy. Oddly enough, they're the same priorities we've had over the last 10 years. So, I think, really, it's 'if these are still the priorities, let's find a way to fund them.'"
He tells KBND News, "We have a number of projects that we already have funding for; they're what we call Corridor Projects: Wilson Street, 8th Street, Newport, a number of safety pedestrian crossings along Third Street." However, he says work on the Empire and Murphy Road extensions are currently unfunded and Councilors are expected to look at possible stable funding sources to complete the work.