BEND, OR -- Bend streets crews will soon change traffic flows at a northwest Bend intersection. "Stop signs at the intersection of Portland and 11th will be switched so that starting on the 28th of September, traffic on 11th Street, which kind of goes uphill/downhill, will be required to stop; and traffic on Portland Avenue will continue through the intersection without stopping. It’s the opposite of that right now," says Anne Aurand, with the with the city of Bend.
She tells KBND News the shift is in response to a number of citizen complaints. "There have been some accidents at that intersection." Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel was involved in a crash at that location, a year ago. "The stop signs were switched because Portland Avenue is a major collector, which means it has higher traffic volumes and it has a bicycle lane. Eleventh Street doesn’t get as much traffic; the volumes don’t meet the threshold for a stop sign or an all-ways stop." She admits, "We don’t really know why they were switched that way. It wasn’t the way it should be."
Aurand says the change will take some getting used to by local residents. "Where we used to be able to just keep going; now you have to stop on a hill, and in the wintertime that could be tricky. So, kind of as a result of this change, that block of 11th Street and Portland is going to be added to the winter sanding route."
The stop sign change will be implemented by September 28, with additional signage in place for about a month, to notify drivers.