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Bend councilors weigh future of Reed Market Road

Also get update on city's prep for another winter ahead

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The city of Bend is once again taking a look at improving Reed Market Road, and the possible projects haven't gotten any cheaper since the first phase of work.

Wednesday night, councilors got an update on what the future could hold for the heavily traveled route.

Back in 2006, the city studied the corridor and identified several issues with the road, and five years later, a bond-funded improvement project happened.

But many residents who expected to see a four-lane thoroughfare all the way down the street were disappointed.

Now, the city's working on upgrades at the Third Street intersection and plan to start design work next year.

That could mean an expanded intersection or a roundabout.

City engineer Josh Robertson said another priority for the city is to better the railroad crossing, but the price tag is steep.

"One of the big ones that we hear a lot about is the rail crossing," Robertson said. "Because of the switch yard being in the city, you can get stopped at that rail crossing for up to 40 minutes or it could just be a five minutes, but you don't know once the train is there which one it's going to be, five or 40 minutes? And usually once you find out, it's too late to get off of Reed. So we hear a lot about the rail issue."

Susanna Julber, a senior project and policy analyst for the city, explained that the city didn't initially go to four lanes in part not to displace residents. She also noted that the 2006 study talked of a 20-year phasing of solutions along the route.

"People had expectations for that corridor that were a little different than we did, so we may have had a messaging issue," she said.

One thing is clear: More improvements on Reed Market will take millions of dollars and several years. A railroad overpass alone could cost more than $25 million.

The city is considering what projects to include in a transportation bond package they plan to send to voters next year. And the key east-west road could be a big part of that funding package.

Click here for Wednesday's presentation on the Reed Market Road project.

The city council also received an update on snow removal plans for the upcoming season.

Director of streets and operations David Abbas said each each year his department makes an effort to make improvements to the previous year.

He says they are working to make sure they have enough staffing for big snow events, as well as make a big push this year to have snow plowed curb to curb.

He says though during big snow storms it take the entire community to help clear the streets.

"It takes all of us to get through winter. Be prepared. if you can't handle your driveway or our sidewalk shoveling, our website has a ton of information on getting ready for winter. Some resources out there, you can look on Nextdoor or Craigslist, you know get someone lined up in advance if you need to," Abbas said. "And help each other out, help your neighbors."

Abbas says the city is also trying out a new snow gate on a plow to help eliminate burms.

Abbas also says to get cars off of streets if possible to help the snow clearing process as well.

Here's the department's presentation to councilors on snow removal plans.

Bend / Central Oregon / Top Stories

Jacob Larsen

Jacob Larsen is a reporter and weather anchor for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jacob here.

Comments

19 Comments

  1. Reed mkt is too far south to be the city’s main E-W road, if we are going to add lanes like we should, it should be on newport obviously, but yes that will make a large amount of nimby rabble

    Sidenote, how long are the comments open for stories now, only a few hours?? I saw one from 6pm today that was already closed to comments, is this a mistake or intentional?

    1. If it was a CNN story, it’s an issue I’ve mentioned elsewhere – our tech folks are working on it so comments are open on all stories. If you tell me the story, I can go check the box. New websites bring long to-do lists…

  2. There is no ONE road that needs to be widen to 4 lanes. Several roads need to be widen to 4 lanes

    Reed Market, Butler Market, Empire, 27th street just to name a few. However the bigger problems is these roads dont connect. 27th tied in to Knott road to the south and Deschutes Market rd to the north could become a nice N/S connector with new areas of Bend opened for development.

  3. Whoever approved the last Reed Market redevelopment plan without a railroad overpass was a damn fool and should be run out of town. All of that work will be made meaningless and wasted when the road is made four lanes to deal with all the traffic from new developments on the east side. And ignoring the issue is impossible because when a train stops on the tracks there, it shuts down traffic in an entire quadrant of the city. The only reason this ever happened in the first place is because the east side of the city is underrepresented on the city council.

          1. If the city wants to look professional there is no room for assumptions, presumptions or misunderstandings. It should all be totally clear with no surprises at the end.

  4. The city and planners didn’t have a “messaging issue” so much as they have a listening issue. Once the plans for Reed were revealed the public let them know that without mitigation for the RR crossing and additional lanes all we were getting for our tax dollars was a beautification project. Earlier comment regarding Reed being too far south and Newport should be the main E/W corridor ignores how much traffic currently travels on Reed and can be expected to travel in the coming years. I don’t disagree that Newport can be improved for traffic flow but if that doesn’t become a realistic planning option then there should be planning that shifts that traffic to an outer flow loop like Empire connecting to 27th and then Reed and further south

      1. You can thank me the next time you fill up with gas inside the city limits. Unfortunely before I got here the city was able to pull the wool over the eyes of the good people of Bend. Reed Market is the result.

        They thought that they could do the same with the highly REGRESSIVE gas tax that would have hammered hard working people who depend on low mileage vehicles to get around the area doing the hard work that makes life so good for the Prius driving rich folk on the Butte.

        I was the one that stirred up the pot and pointed out how they were planning to do it.

        End result – what they thought was a no-brainer went down in flames. If you are a never Trumper you should be thanking me because even though the city liberals favored the tax it was the lower income probable Trump voters that would have paid the lion’s share.

  5. I think the city does a good job on roads in general, but they really screwd the pooch on Reed Market. I don’t think there was a single person that wasn’t totally baffled why they didnt make it a 4 lane with an overpass. Now the tax payers get hit again, total BS. Heads should roll at city planning on the Reed Market job.

  6. My experience on Reed Market Road (and it’s almost daily at various times) is that congestion isn’t because it’s two lanes, but rather the intersections (3rd and Brookswood) and the RxR overpass. Brookswood is a lost cause because the City, with all of its foresight, did not provide for sufficient land to enlarge the roundabout. Third Avenue appears to have problems beyond just Reed Market Road traffic, so should be studied by itself or with a comprehensive traffic plan for the near east side. The railroad crossing is VERY expensive, but it’ll probably take a couple of years to design and, who knows, we may be in the midst of a recession by then and could get it done cheaper (or State funding might be available). And in the meantime congestion won’t get any better. I’d suggest that the RxR should be the priority since the problem is specific to Reed Market and is more straightforward and therefore probably has fewer issues and adjacent impacts.

    1. I believe there was a comment last night from the engineer that due to the sporadic nature of the trains, traffic models show the very expensive RR crossing won’t do much dramatically to improve traffic flow. That’s why the series of proposed projects from Third all the way out.

      1. In that case you were talking to an engineer that was full of it. Anyone who has attempts to get through Reed Market from 15th Street to 3rd. When those trains come through in mid-afternoon it is a mess.

  7. Going east on Reed Market from the intersection at 3rd to the light at American Lane is an absolute disaster, just the same as west bound from the light to 3rd street.

    I will never understand why they wasted all that money on a project that was basically nothing more than a beautification project. It doesn’t take someone with an engineering degree to look at that area and say, this is a mess and it’s not going to fix anything because of the bottleneck. Maybe we shouldn’t waste millions on this project and wait until we can actually do a project that helps and won’t need to be redone in a few years, so it actually works. Since when did the city or ODOT start caring about displacing residents ?

    Putting the light in at American Lane was a ridiculous idea and only made matters worse because of the 4 to 2 lane bottleneck. Obviously it does make it somewhat easier to turn onto and off of American onto Reed Market but still.
    What the heck it does look nicer and that’s what truly matters in Bend, and the tracks are smoother. The only positive I can see out of that entire project was the roundabout at 15th.
    I was never a big fan of roundabouts but they do make a difference.

  8. Since we’re talking intersections, how about Revere & 3rd St.. it just needs the bump knocked down and the ruts fixed. Why won’t the Road Dept. do something about that?

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