Like other communities that have recently suffered destruction from wildfires, Bend sits on the edge of forest land with historically high levels of combustible fuel. Decades of fire suppression and logging practices that removed the mature, more fire resistant trees have promoted the growth of brush, grass, and younger, less fire resistant species of trees. An ecosystem that evolved with frequent, smaller fires that kept fuel levels too low to burn the mature Ponderosa Pines has been transformed into a fuel rich environment sufficient to ignite even the largest remaining trees and more easily spread to neighborhoods. Combine this with years of drought and we have a condition that presents a serious risk to our homes, our community, and our safety.
Residents and neighborhoods can greatly reduce their risk by removing fire fuels close to their homes. For a thorough discussion of the steps you can take to increase your safety, attend the March 5 ABNA General Membership Meeting. (For details, click on the event calendar link on our home page.) Jodie Barram of Project Wildfire and Doug Green of Bend Fire & Rescue will discuss what steps Bend residents can take to protect their lives, homes, and communities from wildfire. Their presentation will cover the resources available to residents. It will also detail the help these same agencies can provide to Home Owners Associations to assess the neighborhood's fire preparedness and help create a plan to reduce the risk of fire spreading through the neighborhood. 18 of Bend’s Home Owner Associations have become Firewise certified by Firewise USA. Rimrock West is one of these and, just a few years earlier, was used by a COCC professor as an example of one of Bend’s 5 worst fire prepared HOAs. Simple steps can greatly reduce your risk. Come to our March 5 meeting to learn what you can do to protect your home, family, and neighborhood.
Our Police Department is underfunded and the Traffic Detail has shrunk from 6 to 2 officers even as the City has doubled in size! Mt. Washington Dr., Archie Briggs Rd., Awbrey Road and Summit Drive are all examples of flagrant disregard for the posted speed limits, but the problem isn't limited to those major arteries as growing traffic congestion encourages more and more motorists to use residential streets. In addition, City infrastructure plans will add traffic to Awbrey Butte residential neighborhoods and OSU expansion will increase traffic significantly on Mt. Washington Dr.
ABNA has researched the solutions implemented by other cities that face identical challenges to road safety. Your Board has already coordinated talks between residents, HOAs and the City regarding specific ways to calm traffic and reduce risk to road users and surrounding communities – with results! Traffic monitors on MT. Washington and Archie Briggs and Awbrey Rd. New speed and parking signage on Archie Briggs. The dialogue on proposals for both physical and technological means for traffic management continue with the City Planning Dept., Street Maintenance Dept., and Police Dept.
A group of ABNA members met August 25th, 2018 to discuss the formation of a task force to promote traffic calming with the City. A draft scope of work and action plan was discussed and a summary of the meeting can be found under ABNA Initiatives/Road Safety. If you share the safety concerns of many residents on Awbrey Butte - and across the City - we would welcome your participation, ideas and energy to help the City Leadership change driving behavior in Bend. Please keep an eye on the ABNA calendar for our next meeting.
Maintaining ready access to the natural wonders of Central Oregon, along with workforce and visitor needs for mobility across the City, requires well planned transportation options and infrastructure. An ever-increasing number of new residents and visitors has stressed our transportation infrastructure and services to breaking point. We are at the start of a new Transportation planning cycle with millions of dollars available from Federal and State agencies. Our City actively seeks input from Bend residents and needs them to engage, actively participate and contribute to transportation development.
Resident participation in City initiatives to help transportation improvements through Standing and Special Committees.
A Director of your Board has been selected for the Citizens Transportation Advisory Committee and the Traffic Safety Sub-Committee. Research by your ABNA Board triggered an ‘Innovative Transportation Initiative’ between Oregon-Cascades University, Central East Transit, MOVE BEND, City Leadership, and ABNA. This initiative will create a Bend Mobility Lab that will pilot innovative transportation solutions – including autonomous transit, micro-transit, and MAAS (Mobility as a Service).
Commercial, Residential, and Land Development need to reflect the input of all stakeholders within Bend. Neighborhood Association constituents need an equivalent status to Business, Tourism, and Real Estate Development.
A role for Neighborhood Associations equivalent in status to existing advocacy groups for Business, Tourism, and Land Developers.
Your Board, in conjunction with Neighborhood Associations across Bend, has gained the support of City Council for such a role, and The Neighborhood Leadership Alliance was added to the Bend City Code in July 2018. This Committee, a new Advisory Committee, will consist of a representative from each of the thirteen Neighborhood Associations and will provide input to the City on urban growth strategy, policies, ordinances, and City Services.
Our active involvement with development plans can contribute to economic prosperity while protecting the key characteristics that make Bend uniquely attractive and livable.
We are losing our view of the night sky due to light pollution from unshielded commercial lighting across the City.
Enforce the City lighting code at both the design and construction stages of new developments. Revise the City's lighting code to reflect changes in new technology and adopt best practices implemented by similar communities across the country.
Congested streets, limited parking, noise, air and light pollution all diminish the livibility of the City and lead to more stress and less civility.
Participation by all Stakeholders in shaping Bend’s growth will lead to balanced and appropriate development across the cityscape and incorporate the projected 30% growth in our population without losing the unique characteristics of our town.