By HANNAH SIEVERT
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY
The Bend City Council on Wednesday gave preliminary approval to a plan designed to mitigate parking issues in the Old Bend Neighborhood.
The goal of the Old Bend Neighborhood Parking Benefit District is to reduce congestion in the area, which many residents have struggled with for years.
“The majority of challenges in the Old Bend Neighborhood really come from the surrounding areas,” Tobias Marx, parking services division manager for the City of Bend, said. “You have a very successful downtown shopping district. You have a very successful recreation area with Drake Park.”
Tha plan calls for around 1,200 homeowners in the neighborhood to get a permit for each car they have. Other spots will be hybrid spots reserved for businesses and parks.
“A good 75 to 80 percent of all available parking within the Old Bend Neighborhood would be prioritized for residential parking only,” Marx said.
Councilors cut down the originally proposed boundary, involving properties generally west of NW Broadway.
The exact cost of the annual parking permits for residents wasn’t finalized, but it’s expected to be between $15-$30.
One Bend resident said everyone on his street supports the idea of a permit system.
But not everyone agrees. An Old Bend resident said he doesn’t see the need for the city to control parking.
“In a way, permits are kind of a hassle if you really don’t need them by just being savvy and waiting for a good space to show up,” said Tony Chiodo, an Old Bend Neighborhood resident.
The pilot program would begin sometime this fall and will last through December 2021.
The city will then check back in with the neighborhood association to see if the parking district should continue.