BEND, OR -- Summertime in Bend is filled with downtown events and city officials know there's never enough parking to meet demand. Scott Douglass, with the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), says a new partnership with Deschutes County should help, "We really are over capacity for the number of parking spots that are available in downtown Bend. And, one of the options that we have is, just on the outskirts of downtown, the Deschutes County Administration building has 500 parking spots that they don't need after Friday at 5 p.m., when their employees go home." Those lots are typically "permit only." Douglass tells KBND News, "So, events like First Friday, for July Fourth, the pet parade, for all the fests that we have in our community on any given weekend, [people] would have the ability to have access to that parking lot. And, anyone interested in bringing their friends and family to downtown Bend don't have to be frustrated by doing eight laps around Bond and Wall, searching for that parking spot."
Douglass says the city knew parking was an issue, and needed to ask, "How do we utilize our public assets more, that doesn't cost the taxpayers to be able to come down and enjoy downtown Bend?" He adds, "Overall, it's a huge win because we are not having to spend $30 million on another parking garage."
Douglass says no one will patrol the parking lots at the County Administration Building looking for infractions, there's no time limit for parking there, and they're located only two blocks or so from where events are held in the downtown corridor. Those lots will be open Thursday - for all the Independence Day events - and every weekend between 6 p.m. Friday and Sunday night. Click HERE to read more from the Downtown Bend Business Association.
If you still don't want to hunt for parking, you can catch a ride, instead. DPAC has partnered with Ride Bend to provide a free shuttle (right) that launched Monday. It operates daily from noon to 8 p.m., from downtown, to the Box Factory and the Old Mill District, through Labor Day.