A coalition of neighborhood associations representing the Old Farm District, Larkspur and Mountain View neighborhoods are asking the city to address bike and pedestrian safety along 27th Street. A project is currently underway to lay new sewer lines under 27th Street between Highway 20 and Reed Market Road. But as the coalition points out, that project does not include any improvements to bike lanes or sidewalks. In addition, there are no continuous sidewalks on either side of that stretch of 27th, according to the coalition. Existing bike lanes, meanwhile, are interrupted in places.
In the interest of public safety, representatives from the three neighborhood associations—which the coalition estimates represent 32 percent of Bend tax lots—are presenting in front of the Bend City Council on Oct. 5. Their proposal includes removal of incomplete sections of sidewalk and the construction of an urban trail away from the roadway, extending as far as the canal path near Stevens Road. The coalition is asking for the City to fund the path, with alternate funding coming from Bend Park and Recreation District.
The Bend-La Pine School District has added 500 new students since this time last year, according to information released Oct. 3. As of Oct. 1, enrollment in the district was over 18,000 students, growing by almost 3,000 students in the past 10 years.
According to enrollment projections provided by Portland State University's Center for Population Research, the Bend-La Pine student population should reach approximately 19,600 students by 2021. With that, the district's Sites and Facilities committee estimates a need for seven new schools over the next 20 years. With large class sizes and overcrowding already a problem, it's definitely something district leaders are working on.
"Currently half of our Bend area school(s) are near or above capacity," says Bend-La Pine Superintendent Shay Mikalson. "We are hiring new teachers, finding creative locations for temporary instructional spaces and bringing in temporary, modular classrooms to accommodate the surging student population."
Central Oregon's first Montessori elementary charter school is expected to open in September 2017. The Bend-La Pine School Board voted in September to approve Desert Sky Montessori Elementary Charter School's application. The school will serve 150 students in grades K-5. Desert Sky Montessori will hold a lottery in March to determine who gets in. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.