But advocate for disabled wants improvement on Third instead
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A new crosswalk is planned to improve travel across one of Bend’s busiest and widest streets, but an advocate for disabled residents says it's not the best project to improve walking safety in the area.
The intersection at 3rd Street and Central Oregon’s Historic Canal Trail will get a crosswalk to help travelers use the trail more effectively, in a project that goes to city councilors Wednesday night.
Currently, the closest signalized crossings are at Brosterhous Road to the north and Reed Lane to the south. Each of those are a few minutes walk from the trail.
The crosswalk will include a median safety island, curb ramps, LED street lighting and flashing beacons. The city has been working to improve Bend’s safety and accessibility.
“The city has been working on improvements over the last several years,” said Rory Rowan, the city's lead project engineer on the crosswalk. “We have been building crossings with safety islands, beacons at various points along Third Street.”
Construction is expected to start in the spring. Traffic will be slightly affected, as one lane will be closed at a time during the work. nstruction is expected to take about 45 days.
Not everyone is happy about the crosswalk, though. Bend resident Brian Douglass of Advocates for Disabled and Senior Americans thinks the money could be spent in other areas.
“I think it is nice that they are doing that, there’s nothing wrong with that," he said. "But on a list of priorities I think there are a heck of a lot more people going north and south on both sides of Third Street than there ever are going east and west on a trail along the canal.”
In a list of the top 40 cities in Oregon, Bend is ranked 33rd by Walk Score for the city's walkability. Walk Score measures cities accessibility by its walking amenities. By Walk Score’s system, Bend is considered a car-dependent city. Redmond did not fare any better, as they were ranked in the bottom three.
The crosswalk will cost around $150,000, but the city won’t be the only ones paying for it. Because of an agreement signed in 2017, the Oregon Department of Transportation will reimburse the city about $120,000 for the crosswalk.