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CITY COUNCIL || Tensions Running High

City Council Recap, October 3
Courtesy: Tor Hanson, Bend Chamber Special Projects Reporter

“It was a community value,” said Grayson, to which Moseley answered: “So we anticipate 14th Street will fail as a road but it will be consistent with our community values.”

Whether it was Mayoral Election jitters or just plain insensitivity playing in to the debate, tensions ran high at city council at their October 3 meeting. During the questions and answer section of the quasi-judicial hearing for the “Statutory Development Agreement” with the four westside Bend developers, Community Development Director Russ Grayson and Councilor Moseley sparred regarding the current development of 14th Street.

Running on a slow growth platform, Moseley asked Grayson on several occasions if the city is going to allow 14th Street to become congested to the point of failure, potentially moving traffic into the surrounding neighborhoods.

“Are we just saying that 14th Street is going to be severely congested and fail but that is our policy to do so?” said Moseley.

Grayson referred to the Newport Avenue Corridor Study (2000). Through public workshops, neighbors around the affected study area said they were willing to accept congestion levels and travel delays as long as the character of the neighborhoods were preserved.

“It was a community value,” said Grayson, to which Moseley answered: “So we anticipate 14th Street will fail as a road but it will be consistent with our community values.”

The interaction between the two continued, interspersed with comments from Councilor Russell who asked Grayson about the safety aspects of creating a four-lane street in a busy area of town. Mayor Roats also asked Grayson of the city ever seriously wanted to turn 14th street into something other than what it is designed to now, unless “we wanted to condemn a lot of private properties.”

Grayson countered saying any change on one street would have a domino effect on other streets in the neighborhood, creating chokepoints at other streets or intersection on the westside.

Grayson countered saying any change on one street would have a domino effect on other streets in the neighborhood, creating chokepoints at other streets or intersection on the westside.

Not satisfied, Moseley asked Grayson what the impact of the applicant’s request would have on 14th Street, to which Grayson said: “We are going to be realists. It is going to become more congested.”

“And people are going to cut through the neighborhood?” said Moseley.

Grayson explained the beauty of the grid system on Bend’s Westside, saying: “We are not forcing everybody to one main road, like what we have issues on [Bend’s] eastside.”

Frustrated by Moseley’s questioning, Mayor Roats finally told Grayson he did not have to answer the questions.

 

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