As the west side of Bend continues to grow, the City is working on strategies to reshape the area for the future.
On Wednesday, Nick Arnis, transportation engineering manager for the City of Bend, gave councilors an update on the Central Westside Plan. The plan’s land boundary includes OSU-Cascades, Park Pavilion, Deschutes County Demolition Landfill, Galveston Avenue and 14th Street.
Bend City Manager Eric King suggested councilors look at the different planning scenarios in the context of the Urban Growth Boundary. King said by the year 2028 there will be approximately 116,000 people in Bend. While a UGB remand is underway, he said the City has identified six opportunity sites within the existing UGB, including the Central Westside Area, which would be candidates for redevelopment and more efficient uses of land.
Arnis spoke about different density options and the need for balance in the system, when it comes to route choices and modes of transportation. He said balancing out the system is a way to increase capacity and decrease congestion.
“We project we will have more traffic in the future,” Arnis said. “If we improve the streetscapes… what I call sidewalks and bike lanes, then we give people options.”
Arnis said there’s more work to do. By January, he said the goal is to create a preferred scenario from land use, as well as a set of transportation performance measures and a list of projects. He said council will be asked to approve going forward with the scenario and the transportation measures.
If council gives its approval, he said the next phase would be developing zone and code to implement the plan. He said the City would need another Transportation Growth Management Grant to implement the code, which would take about a year.
King said the city is years, if not decades away, from on-the-ground changes happening. The conversation is currently geared towards establishing land use and transportation plans from the 30,000-foot perspective, that balance business interest, livability and a reduction in vehicle miles traveled.
To get involved with the Central Westside Plan, contact Anne Aurand, community relations manager for the City of Bend at: firstname.lastname@example.org