BEND, OR -- A number of agencies are considering major local transportation infrastructure proposals, including the city of Bend Oregon Department of Transportation and Bend Parks and Recreation District. Bend 2030 launched a new “Move Bend” website, Tuesday, designed to help people understand the issues and how they're impacted by growth.
Local real estate agent Sally Jacobson says, "Fifteen years ago, we wouldn’t have given a second thought to someone living 20 miles out and working on the west side of Bend." But, that's no longer the case. Jacobson has been involved in the Move Bend effort for over a year and says current transportation struggles don't stop people from moving to the area, but the newcomers do compound the issue. "They’ll overcome everything. But, I am on the front lines; I talk to people about this every day because I’m so passionate about it. We have a chance right now to find out what the community wants, as we go forward." She tells KBND News the area will see "35,000 [new] people in the next 13 years, bringing 25,000 cars, 10,000 more homes – So, what do we do right now, with the hundreds of millions of dollars on the table, to make it all work? This is it. We have to find out what people want. What does the community want? What do they think?"
Jacobson says the new MoveBend.org
informational site is the first phase of a long-range effort to get people engaged and eventually spur public discussion. "We’re involved with city, state; that’ll take a while. Listening sessions at somebody’s business and at the library, they’ll give us immediate feedback. We’re going to take all that together and then present that to the city and all the other agencies that need it." While the coalition is looking at all aspects of transit, Jacobson says they aren’t trying to get people out of their cars. "We’re not advocating anything. This group, this coalition of diverse stakeholders that have gotten together and have met for over a year, we are educating and then we’re going to listen."
Move Bend is a part of Bend 2030
, which plans to host community listening sessions and a four-part lecture series on possible transportation solutions next year. That feedback will then be presented to local and state agencies working on transit projects.