Thursday, November 29, 2012

Bend on the mend

Reed Market/15th St. intersection is one of the busiest in Bend
While tattoo parlors never left Bend during the Great Recession, plenty of construction workers did.

They're starting to crawl back into town, though, as a smattering of houses go up here and there.

A sure sign that Bend is starting to rebound can be found at the corner of 15th St. and Reed Market Road.

Particularly, the southwest corner of the intersection where a proposed development on a roughly 2-acre parcel is poised to make life miserable for those living in southeast Bend.

Adding to the woes is the proposed reconstruction of Reed Market from Third St. to 27th.

That roadwork, whose funding was approved by voters last year, is supposed to begin sometime next year, but we've heard that song for the last seven years.

Reed Market is one of the busiest and least maintained roads in Bend. The city takes months to even patch potholes. Afterall, this portion of Reed Market is on the east side of town, which always trails the westside when public works projects are concerned.

Reed Market and 15th is slated to be transformed from a two-lane signaled intersection into a four-lane roundabout.

Many southeastsiders don't want the roundabout because traffic will back up into the roundabout any time a train passes by on tracks about a quarter-mile west of the intersection.

You can even sign a petition against the roundabout at the Expressway store at the northwest corner of the crossroads.

To complicate matters more are the plans to build a mixed-use "residential-over-retail" development on the 2.3-acre property on the southwest corner. This would bring 22 apartments above 19,800 square feet of retail. This plan replaces the previous one where 15 single-family homes were proposed.

Throw in a micro-parking lot and you've got a recipe for gridlock-over-driving hazard.

Not that the intersection doesn't have its share of accidents of the deadly T-bone variety.

The planned roundabout would greatly diminish such deadly crashes. But, the proposed high-density development would increase the dangers there.

It's counter-intuitive, to put it mildly.

Leave it to Bend to mismanage a tepid recovery.

This city doesn't need more housing or more retail. It can barely manage what it has now.

Commercial vacancies and housing foreclosures still dominate the landscape.

The intersection of Reed Market at 15th is the last place in the city for such a high-density development on a roundabout.

Obviously, Bend's planners need to reject such a proposal. But, they won't because they're afraid of getting sued by the deep-pocketed development community.

Bend is on the mend, but it's got a long ways to go before it figures out that growth for the mere sake of growth is a losing proposition for all the citizens of the city.

1 comment:

  1. Still too much wheeling and dealing by the people who came to Bend with the only purpose to capitalize. Local citizens and taxpayers need to stand up and keep what the heck it was that attracted them to Bend. I surely wasn't California style housing on top of your neighbors with no yards. Just say no!