By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
In the 20 years Marie Gibson has lived in Bend, she’s seen traffic become more and more hectic.
Improving traffic around Bend is one of the reasons she’ll be voting for a transportation bond measure that will be on the upcoming primary election ballot.
“I think it’s really needed, and I’m looking forward to voting for it in May,” Gibson said Thursday.
Wednesday night, the Bend City Council unanimously agreed to send the $190 million dollar transportation bond measure to the May ballot.
On Thursday, Bend Mayor Sally Russell and City Manager Eric King started the sales pitch, speaking to the League of Women Voters in Deschutes County about the proposal.
If approved, the bond will fund 45 transportation projects across the city.
“Efficient driving through our city, fixing intersections, getting to school, these are all priorities that our community has addressed,” Russell said.
The City of Bend worked to identify needed transportation upgrades across the city through community focus groups and surveys over the last two years.
The transportation bond will fund many of those needs, including improving intersections, like this intersection on 3rd and Wilson and expanding east west connections such as improving the capacity of Colorado Avenue.
“Some of the bigger projects include ramps on and off Murphy road at the parkway, include a railroad overcrossing at reed market, they include improving traffic flow at about 20 different intersections,” King said.
The projects would be funded by an increase in property taxes, proportionate to the tax assessed value of your house.
“This bond if voters approve would impact the average home owner in bend with a tax assessed value home of $220,000 – about $170 dollars per year,” Russell said. “A tax assessed value home means is the home is worth about 450,000 dollars.”
If it passes, the citywide projects would take 10 to 12 years to complete..
Russell says with Bend’s continued growth, the upgrades are needed.
“All of these little projects together are going to make a huge difference.”
You can see a complete list of the 45 projects and get more info here: www.bendoregon.gov/safe-travel