This spring, we launched the BCD Initiative to build momentum and support for the Bend Central District's transformation into a vibrant, healthy, and resilient mixed-use neighborhood with safe connections between east and west Bend.
The community response has been overwhelming. There is so much support for the potential to add more housing, walkability, and vibrancy into the core of the city. Bendites understand that we can protect our existing neighborhoods and avoid sprawling into the natural landscapes we all love by encouraging the City to focus density where it makes sense.
Next year promises to be an even bigger year for the Bend Central District. We will be releasing our Technical Advisory Group's recommendations, doing more public outreach, and Bend City Councilors will have decisions before them that could make or break the community's vision for the BCD.
But first, we want to share with you a few of our favorite moments from this year:
A Receptive City Club Audience
The City Club of Central Oregon chose "Bend's Central District - What Will the Future of Urban Density Look Like?" as the topic for August's lunch forum. Moey had the honor of speaking alongside Kirk Schueler, CEO of Brooks Resources Corporation and Brian Rankin, Planning Manager for the City of Bend. With an audience of 280 people, they discussed the public processes and planning work that has already been done to set the stage for the Bend Central District to become a more urban, mixed-use neighborhood, as well as the challenges and opportunities for seeing those plans come to life. You can watch the video of this presentation on City Club's website.
Pop-Up Surveys at Key Locations within the BCD
We believe the people who live near or travel through the district frequently are closest to the issues and therefore are experts in imagining solutions. We hosted pop up surveys at key locations throughout the district to engage residents, employees, and neighbors about their concerns and desires. We surveyed nearly 200 people, most of whom travel through the district several times per week. The overwhelming consenus was that people are concerned about the lack of bike lanes and sidewalks and they feel unsafe crossing barriers like Third Street, the railroad and the Parkway. Many wanted the area to feel more community-oriented with housing options, greenspaces, and retail.
A Packed House at the BCD Initiative Launch Party
We packed the house at the Barrel Thief Lounge for the BCD Initiative Launch Party on October 12th, 2017. More than 150 Midtown neighbors, business owners, Maker's District folks, landowners, and engaged citizens showed up to learn more about the vision for the BCD and what they can do to support it.
Read articles on the Launch Party from The Source and OPB.