The pain at the pump is real. With gas prices skyrocketing amid war in Ukraine, people are rightly concerned. Most of us have been raised in a society designed around cars. Where you once could walk to the garden or the corner store for obtaining the groceries you need for tonight's dinner, our car-centric society has now designed cities that require driving to mega-stores by way of busy streets. Many parts of Bend and other cities in Central Oregon don't have sidewalks to walk on that would enable foot traffic. Even intrepid cyclists can be scared off by the bike lanes constructed directly adjacent to whizzing cars.
As intrepid cyclists ourselves, it would be easy for us to say, in this moment of elevated gas prices, that the solution is simply to get on your bike. Stop complaining about gas and traffic and buck both by getting on a bike or its e-equivalent, we could say. But that's putting the onus all on individuals. In Bend, advocates of multi-modal transportation, including Bend Bikes, pushed for the addition of plenty of that in the Transportation System Plan and its accompanying transportation bond—which prompted some in this community to call it a war on cars. Now, though, with gas prices being a hot topic once again, we'd like to point out that what we live in most of the time is a war on people outside of cars. We must reimagine our cities to accommodate not just cars, but also walkers, cyclists, those in wheelchairs and those seeking other forms of transit, so that we can weather the ongoing geopolitical onslaughts that can and do make their way to Central Oregon.