Thursday, March 7, 2013

Bend city council votes against public safety

With just one dissenting vote, the Bend city council decided that road safety on the north end of Bend is clearly subordinate to the wishes of a handful of businesses.

The council voted to ask the state to remove the "expressway" designation of Highways 97 and 20 as they intersect adjacent to the Cascade Village Shopping Center.

If that designation is changed, those two major state highways will become more unsafe than they already are as businesses seek ways to capture all those passing vehicles and shoppers.

As it is, Highway 97 is gridlock paradise during daily commute times. Accidents are frequent.

Apparently, the council doesn't care if there are more accidents. Therefore, it doesn't really care about public safety.

What this means is that the council won't make necessary changes to Reed Market Road where it crosses Highway 97 because a couple of businesses will sue them if they do.

This is the main reason why Bend is often called Bend-over.

Because that is what the city always does for any business that threatens to sue the city.

Luckily, the Oregon Transportation Commission is unlikely to agree to our city's ridiculous demands.

The commission is still irked that the $120 million it okayed for building the Parkway through Bend resulted in a "parking lot" on the north end of town.

The state's plans for Highway 97 call for a 4-lane freeway from the Washington to California borders.

Of course, that won't happen for decades, but the point is that businesses along this highway should plan for this eventuality.

The state is looking out for our safety. It's too bad our city councilors, save one, are not.

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