These Slippers Are Made for Walking | Editorial | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
The Source Weekly’s reporting is made possible by the power of your support. Be a part of it!
Search
Settings
Pin It
Favorite

These Slippers Are Made for Walking 

On Tuesday, Bend and two other cities were designated "Walk Friendly Communities." The program, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation, recognizes community efforts to increase non-car travel. While not comprehensive evaluations, such recognitions are an accurate measurement of Bend's efforts to be sustainable—environmentally by weaning from car travel and socially by bringing more people out of their houses and cars, and interacting more directly with their communities.

For this achievement, we give the city of Bend a partial Glass Slipper. Partial because the work being done is good, but not great. For the Walk Friendly Community recognition, Bend received a silver designation, which is, yes, better than bronze and certainly better than not even qualifying. But it is not gold or platinum.

Seattle, for example, has earned the only platinum designation in the country. Each year, the city targets 10 schools to increase the number of students and teachers walking to and from. It is an aggressive plan. But with car traveling and emissions a primary contributor to ozone depletion, now is the time to be aggressive.

Corvallis and Eugene both are stellar examples of bike and walk communities. In particular, Corvallis has thrown considerable resources behind overhauling lifestyles and city planning. That city employs a full-time bicycle-pedestrian coordinator and has plowed money into plans, trails and crosswalks. That overt public support and strong infrastructure directly has led to results; more than 10 percent of the population there commutes by foot, the second-highest such rate in the nation for cities under 500,000—and earning a gold standard for Corvallis.

Eugene is also ahead of Bend for walkability standards. Instead of considering bike trails an add-on to existing roadways, that city is radically shifting its entire urban plan to consider bike and walking trails the backbone of the entire transportation system.

In part, Bend received the silver designation for its 25 miles of trails that weave through the community; the review committee commented that these trails connect to bridges and tie together the city. Especially important are the additional 50 miles planned and supported by the $29 million Park & Recreation bond measure. In addition, the city of Bend will begin to expand its bike lanes in mid-July, creating an on-road system that connects eastside and westside. For that project, the Oregon Department of Transportation is granting the city of Bend nearly $650,000 to support a $1 million expenditure for additional bike lanes.

The recognition as a silver-level Walk Friendly Community is a satisfying tip of the hat for the work that is being done—and planned for the future—but it is equally a gut-check that Bend is, yes, doing something to change habits, but it still has many miles ahead.

Time to hit the pavement!

Pin It
Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

Today | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue | Wed
ROOTDOWN

ROOTDOWN - General Duffy's Waterhole

Sat., June 19, 6:30 p.m.
Submitting an event is free and easy.

Newsletter Signup

Get Central Oregon daily news
directly in your inbox

Get Social

  •   @sourceweekly on Instagram

Latest in Editorial

More by The Source Staff

  • Water Issue 2021

    Water Issue 2021

    From droughts to dams to glaciers and canoeing, there's lots to explore with water in Central Oregon
    • Jun 9, 2021
  • 2021 Summer Music Guide

    2021 Summer Music Guide

    Get your dancing shoes out from the back of the closet. These are all the shows we know about in Central Oregon this summer.
    • May 26, 2021
  • May 2021 Election Results

    May 2021 Election Results

    The latest election returns see conservative school board candidates in Bend-La Pine trounced by a 2-1 margin
    • May 18, 2021
  • More »

Want to advertise with us?

For info on print and digital advertising, >> Click Here

© 2021 LAY IT OUT INC | 704 NW GEORGIA AVE, BEND, OREGON 97703  |   Privacy Policy

Website powered by Foundation