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Old Bend neighborhood parking may soon be limited to residents, guests

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- For some time, many residents in the Old Bend neighborhood south of downtown have reported issues with crowding and being unable to park by their homes. But that could change soon.

The city is proposing action that could mean closing parking in the area to the public, and only allowing residents, their guests and those staying in rental properties to park in the area.

The new system would mean resident would be eligible to purchase a $30-a-year parking pass, as well as a visitor parking pass. Construction crews and those renting houses in the area could buy the passes as well.

Revenue generated from the parking passes would go toward upgrading the neighborhood, with residents deciding where the money would be allocated, as well as some going into a reserve account.

The pilot program would begin in October and run through the end of 2021, then continued permanently, if successful.

Bend City Councilor Chris Piper has been working closely with the effort.

"I'm excited about it," he said Thursday. "I'm excited any time there's an opportunity for our community members to get involved in the livability and safety of our community as we grow."

And neighbors appear to be on board with the idea.

In fact, a recent survey put out by the city and the Old Bend Neighborhood Association found that out of 250 residents so far, 70 percent are in favor of the new parking measures.

During a visit to the neighborhood Thursday, several residents said they support the proposal. Resident Nancy Doster said it's about more than just the congested parking.

"This week, there were people changing their clothes coming off the river and picking flowers," Doster said. "I think they think they are still at (Drake) Park."

Doster said of the ongoing visitor issue, "We have had them go to the bathroom in our yard, throwing their garbage around. We’ve offered to take their garbage, welcome them, and it hasn’t proven to be very sanitary to have them here."

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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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