Grant aims to curb downtown biking
Bicycling isn't allowed on sidewalks downtown
By Hillary Borrud / The Bulletin
Published: July 23. 2012 4:00AM PST
City of Bend staff and bike advocates are happy to see people riding their bicycles in Bend, just not on the sidewalks downtown.
This summer, the city is launching an effort to educate people about a section of city code that prohibits people from riding bicycles on the downtown sidewalks and in the city parking garage. It's part of a wider city project to educate pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers about traffic laws and safe behavior.
The Oregon Department of Transportation recently awarded the city a $10,000 grant to pay for the initiative.
The city has ordered decals that announce a “walk zone” for bikes, scooters and skateboards, and as soon as they arrive, volunteers will install them downtown, Tyler Deke, Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization manager, wrote in an email.
“They're actual decals that go on the sidewalk. They'll be adhered with an adhesive to the sidewalk right above, probably, the curb ramps,” said Jovi Anderson, a program technician for the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The decals are compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements and are similar in size to the decals near storm drains.
Meanwhile, police officers can sign up to work overtime to enforce traffic rules downtown and in other areas of the city. The first day of the effort is July 30, said Bend Police Lt. Chris Carney.
“(The city is) going to mark the sidewalks, and then we're going to be more active enforcing it,” Carney said recently.
It's hazardous for people to ride bikes on the sidewalks downtown because there are so many pedestrians in the area, Carney said.
The state grant also pays for the Bend Police Department and Commute Options to analyze attendance at the city's bicycle diversion program, to determine whether attendance is increasing since the program began roughly a year ago, Deke wrote.
Commute Options will also host several outreach events to educate people about safe driving, biking and walking from July through September.
The types of traffic-law violations that police will watch for include drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, bicyclists riding the wrong way, distracted driving and failure by any road user to pay attention to his or her surroundings, and driving or riding while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to a city press release.
— Reporter: 541-617-7829, email@example.com