It makes sense, in the driving sense, that the new DMV location in southwest Bend is so far from most people who would ever use it.
I mean, it is called the Dept. of Motor Vehicles for this very reason: People should drive, and drive, to get there.
Actually, the DMV is already in southwest Bend, in the Shevlin Center, where it's been for about two decades.
Shevlin Center is owned by Brooks Resources the former lumber company that now makes a killing selling off, or managing, all that land it owns in Bend. Mike Hollern, the head of Brooks Resources, was able to get the DMV in Shevlin Center when few other private firms would pay the high price to move there. The DMV settled in Shevlin Center when Hollern was the chairman of the transportation commission that oversees the DMV. How convenient.
Well, the DMV's Shevlin Center lease expired and since we live in the anti-government era where cutting costs trumps all other concerns, the DMV found the best deal it could.
It just so happens that it is even more inconvenient than the current location.
The future DMV office will be in the Brookswood Meadow Plaza, about 3 miles southwest of the Shevlin Center, or about 100 feet from the city limits.
Understandably, the good folks who bought new homes in the adjacent RiverRim development are upset that the DMV, which they consider a huge traffic magnet, will turn their quiet subdivision into another Los Angeles, complete with illegal aliens lining up for fake driver's licenses to go with their voter registration in the Democratic Party.
The residents of RiverRim are so upset that they have boycotted the plaza, which has driven the plaza's coffee shop out of business. The plaza's other major tenant, Brookswood Market, could be the next to go.
Wouldn't that be ironic. RiverRim residents will have to drive 2 to 3 miles just to get a cup of coffee or a bag of groceries. Here's hoping they don't get in any accidents with drivers trying to find the damn DMV office.
Well, not to pour cold water on this gripping saga, I'll just throw some ice cubes at it. Mini-cubes.
This is what we want from government: Out of sight and cheaper, too.
As a letter writer to the local weekly noted, this is the price we pay for wanting less government and lower taxes.
It makes no sense for the DMV to be so far from the people it is supposed to serve, but then again, who really goes to the DMV anymore. Any business with the DMV is best done online.
Also, the DMV schedules seven driving exams a day, which isn't likely to greatly affect local residents of kids at Elk Meadow Elementary, a mere 1/4-mile away.
What really galls the good folks on Bend's southwest side is that the DMV didn't set up shop on the east side of town. If it had, there would be no controversy because no one cares about Bend's east side.
People move to places like RiverRim to get away from places like the DMV.
And people move to Bend to flee urban woes.
Unfortunately, you can run, but you can't hide.
Bend is still the middle of nowhere, but even nowhere has problems, too.