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Bend asking public for input on transportation plan


As Bend continues to grow, city officials are embarking on a big-picture look at how to improve the transportation system around the city.

City officials will take the next two years to talk with community members about what they think the city’s vision for a transportation plan should be.

NewsChannel 21 spoke Thursday to resident Jake Lovell about how long he commutes from home to work.

Lovell said he usually avoids some streets because of the traffic.

“I try to avoid Third Street in any way possible,” he said. “Neff Road and Greenwood Avenue are pretty much — I think they should be expanded for a few more lanes because they’re so much people that flow through the east side to the south side. There’s not a great way to get there,” Lovell said.

He said he avoids Neff Road completely because of the ongoing construction happening in the area.

Bend City Councilor Bill Moseley was the lone no vote Wednesday night in the council’s 6-1 approval of a $1.6 million contract to conduct the 2- to 3-year study.

Moseley said the transportation plan is important for the city, but he wants to make sure it’s done right.

A busy intersection in northeast Bend is getting some changes to help traffic flow better.

The city will be adding a roundabout at Empire Avenue and Purcell Boulevard, and some road changes also will be made at Butler Market Road.

Moseley said the goal is to extend Empire Avenue to 27th Street — a proposal on the drawing board for decades, and one that sparked controversy some 20 years ago when some residents on 27th fought the move, concerned it would create a “de facto Eastside bypass.”

“We built so many homes over near Empire Avenue, and we’ve been delaying the Empire Avenue construction for over 19 years,” Moseley said. “Ever since I’ve lived in Bend, the city has been promising that we would be finishing that road. We actually own that land all the way to 27th Street. We’re just waiting for the dollars, and finally council decided to get that done.”

A citizen committee was formed Wednesday night that will begin the discussions about transportation.

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