Tuesday, October 4, 2016

OSU-Cascades not a nice neighbor

Another OSU-C 'solution' to the parking problem
It came as no surprise to anyone that OSU-Cascades on Bend's west side created a parking nightmare the first week it opened.

Students and faculty parked on nearby streets while the small parking lot on the 10-acre campus was largely empty.

The smarty-pants running OSU-C had the bright idea that they needed to charge $5 a day for parking in the campus lot to pay for snow-removal and re-striping in the years to come.

Well, they quickly dropped the price to $2 a day, but the problems with the west-side campus will only deepen and widen as the campus grows from a couple hundred full-time students now to 5,000 in the future.

To the laughter of many in the community, OSU-C officials put fliers on windshields of cars parked on public streets urging drivers to find other ways to get to school.

These alternatives include walking or cycling for those within a two-mile radius saying it's such a healthy activity. Uh, there is little housing within two miles of the campus that is affordable to a young college student.

Plus,the westside is not exactly pedestrian- or bike-friendly with sidewalks or bike lanes only on the main roads.

Also, it snows more on Bend's west side. Most streets, let alone sidewalks, are plowed irregularly when the snow falls. It makes cycling or walking difficult and hazardous.

The school has an auxiliary parking lot, but it's about three-quarters of a mile from the campus.

The flier suggested people carpool. Again, students are scattered all over town because of the lack of affordable housing in much of Bend, but particularly on the west side.

The school also suggests taking the bus and it will subsidize their commute.

The bus service, called Cascades East Travel, is hardly an extensive or reliable system. It has 10-fixed routes in Bend, but it can take a half-hour to get from one side of town to the other. The system only operates from 6 am to about 7:30 pm.

Most people in Bend, including me, wanted to see a four-year university here.

And, most citizens in Bend, me included, wanted to see OSU-C located at the planned location at Juniper Ridge on Bend's northeast side where it would be most accessible to most communities in the region.

Juniper Ridge has the most land in the city available for a large university. The city's most affordable housing is in the northeast section of town. The most affordable and extensive shopping areas are near Juniper Ridge.

And, in terms of snow removal from parking lots, it snows a lot less in northeast Bend than in southwest Bend, where the current campus is located.

The leaders of OSU-C didn't care about any of these facts. The didn't listen to the community at large.

Rather, it gave most Bendites the middle finger by ignoring citizen complaints about the west-side location . OSU-C is a lousy neighbor and it always will be. It's in the wrong location and nothing is going to change that.

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