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Bend Cyclist Wants Wider Skyliners Bike Lanes


“I drive this road at least once a day, or bike it at least once a day,” avid Bend cyclist Tad Hodgert said Monday.

Hodgert, a dentist, has been riding bikes for nearly four decades, and most of it is spent going up and down Skyliners Road from his home to work or vice versa.

The road is scheduled to be rebuilt by 2013, but Hodgert wants more than repairs — he wants an even wider bike lane than planned.

“So for asking for eight feet, it’s the bare minimum to be safe,” Hodgert said he believes.

The Federal Highway Administration already agreed to expand the road’s bikes lanes from five to six feet, and add lanes that don’t even exist further up Skyliners Road.

Hodgert says an extra two feet in width is the only way to keep bikers and drivers safe. But it could also ring up more than $250,000 in project costs.

With about 1,000 drivers going up and down Skyliners Road on any given day at the edge of the city, officials say that might not be enough to justify extending the space.

“(The) Federal Highway (Administration) have basically said they feel that six-foot bike lanes are adequate, safe enough for cars and recreational users,” said George Kolb, Deschutes County’s interim road director.

“So if the county wants to go eight-foot bike lanes, we’ve got to pay for that — and it’s just not fiscally possible for us,” Kolb said.

Hodgert has a different opinion, saying the extra room could mean extra cash for the economy.

“The cost of an extra couple feet of pavement will be more than recouped in the first couple years through the events that come to Bend,” Hodgert said.

But the county’s not banking on it. and for now, they’re not budging.

“We’re pretty definite on that — if we are going eight feet, the county has to foot the bill,” said Kolb.

Hodgert started a petition online to gain support for the bike lane proposal at

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