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How Important are Bike-able Neighborhoods for Homebuyers? 

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Since this week's theme for the Source Weekly is bikes, I was asked how important bike-able neighborhoods are to buyers. The only time bike-ability was important was for buyers who were mountain bikers and they liked having nearby access to trails. Bike-ability for commuting has never come up as being important, probably because most people realize how dangerous it can be to commute by bike in Bend.

Bend is touted as a bike town, but realistically, it is a great and probably high volume recreational mountain biking town as opposed to a commute biker town. Driving down Newport and Galveston and on 14th particularly, the bike paths that do exist are hazardous. Fourteenth has lots of debris, particularly lots of pine cones that appear to never be cleaned up and present a hazard to cyclists avoiding cars. It is nice to have bike lanes, but if they are not maintained, they force bikers to drive closer to traffic. Downtown is grim down Wall or Bond Street where there are no bike lanes, so bikers must negotiate traffic on narrow streets and watch out for people pulling out of head-in parking spaces. Downtown neighborhoods are scary as well and really not amenable to kids safely riding bikes to school unless they use sidewalks, which are non-existent on many downtown area streets.

The main impediment to encouraging commuter biking in town is that most people live in one end of town and work on the other, so biking can be an even greater challenge. This is something city planners and activists seem to be considering more often these days. If there were more bike friendly neighborhoods and amenities, this would become an asset to homebuyers and might be a factor in homebuying decisions, particularly to families who would like a safe commute for children.

House Round-up

<<LOW

20667 Cooley Rd., Bend, OR 97701

3 beds, 2 baths, 1,190 square feet,

.09 acre lot | Built in 2016

$239,900

Listed by Kine & Kine Properties

MID>>

876 NE Locksley Dr., Bend, OR 97701

3 beds, 2.5 baths, 1,727 square feet,

.17 acre lot | Built in 1995

$325,000

Listed by Fred Real Estate Group

<<HIGH

2630 NW Champion Cir., Bend, OR 97703

5 beds, 5.5 baths, 4,642 square feet,

.48 acre lot | Built in 1998

$1,195,000

Listed by Keller Williams Realty Central Oregon

Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service

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