The Old Bend Parking District permit system was created last year to help residents in the area keep parking available and to prevent potential campers from staying in the neighborhood.
Every resident in the area pays $25 a year for a pass to park in the designated street locations.
“I think the Old Bend Parking District has been successful in ameliorating some of the concerns the neighbors had,” said Bend city councilor Melanie Keebler.
Bend city councilors will review a survey of those living in the Old Bend District.
That survey, sent to more than 500 residents and 386 permit holders, received 161 responses, with 80% supporting the current parking situation.
“While yes, we’re charging you $25 to park in front of your own house, that’s part of it. But we’re not doing that to fill our pockets,” said Tobias Marx, the Parking Services Division Manager for the City of Bend. “We’re doing that because we want to manage parking, make sure that if you live there you can find parking when you come home from work, and that money you’re paying also gets returned back into your neighborhood.”
The parking program makes $115,672 per year.
$26,480 is put towards cost of operation and $36,192 stays in reserves.
$53,000 goes towards neighborhood projects for the community.
“Like small scale things. A park bench somewhere, a mini library or like whatever the neighbors that live there would really feel would make their neighborhood better,” Marx said.
Some Bend residents outside of the Old Bend Parking District think the designated parking for those not living in the area isn’t doable for visitors.
“One of the really strange aspects of this plan is that it basically, if you are not a resident of the Old Bend neighborhood, you’re not going to be able to park in that neighborhood except for in designated places so that seems really strange,” said Ariel Mendez, a Bend resident frustrated with the parking system.
Mendez also posted a Twitter thread explaining his position on the issue, which can be seen below:
.@cityofbend should permit the public to park in any public spot. By granting exclusive private use of public right of way for $25, this program violates equal protection and due process.
For most of the district, if you don't live there, you won't be able to park there. 1/4 https://t.co/lmVwq4BDbG
— Ariel Méndez (@atmendez) November 17, 2021
The city councilors we spoke with told us they’re also looking to tweak the system to better accommodate outside visitors to the neighborhood.
“I’d like to see us move towards a model where these streets are open for the public to park on, probably time limited, and paid parking, but also that residents have access to a pass for themselves to also park on the street,” said Keebler.