350 Deschutes, a Central Oregon nonprofit plans to use Pacific Power's $85,000 grant to support equity in the planning and access to electric vehicles and charging infrastructure throughout Central Oregon. With hopes of reducing the emissions that account for roughly 1/3 of Central Oregon, 350 Deschutes believes electric cars will make a big difference in the health of our community.
Many predict we are living in a time just before the electric vehicle becomes mainstream, a revolutionary invention that would benefit the environment by reducing emissions. This invention influences us consumers to take stock of our actions in other areas of our lives. We start to consider how each action we may serve as a succor or detriment to our society. What power!
An exciting invention like the electric car garners debate throughout our community, prompting us to ask ourselves, are these vehicles helpful or simply flashy? when a bright cheery-red Tesla smoothly zips past us on the street. We may examine the pros and cons of the electric vehicle, as the idea of it alone instigates us to envision a whole new way of living. Driving a vehicles to a charging station instead of a gas station not only modifies our route home, but reduces emissions and fuel costs.
This "healthier" or "more conscious" way of living started out in the mind of one person. It's power enfolds in the process of it entering public discussions online, and travelling into the mass collective. Businesses now divulge ways to reward consumers for their economically beneficial choices based on this idea. Several cooperatives, governments, and agencies now offer incentives to increase the amount of Electric Vehicle drivers on the road. Never underestimate your ideas, you never know how influential they could be.
The BCD looks forward to the upcoming years that will inevitably bring us closer to a renewed transportation infrastructure, where an electric fleet and charging port access is easily available to all Central Oregonians.
As a resident of Bend, Oregon, you may have noticed that our city has been growing rapidly in recent years. With this growth has come an increased demand for new and revitalized neighborhoods. The Central District has the potential to be a thriving hub of activity and commerce. However, like many urban areas, it has also faced its share of challenges. From outdated buildings to lack of transportation connections, there is certainly room for improvement.
The good news is that there are efforts underway to bring new life to the Bend Central District with the goal of revitalizing the area and making it a destination for residents and visitors alike. Our association is working to bring new businesses, amenities, and cultural attractions to the district. We are also focusing on improving the overall appearance of the area, with projects consisting of street beautification, an increase in pedestrian and bike infrastructure, and the creation of new green spaces there will be an formulized enhancement to Bend's quality of life.
If you are interested in getting involved in these efforts, you can become a member here. You can also support the BCD by following us on Instagram, and patronizing the businesses and organizations in the area. The potential in Bend for urban renewal is truly exciting! With the help of the community, we can create a vibrant, thriving neighborhood that is a source of pride for all who live and work here.
The city council of Bend revisited parking reforms this week at a public hearing to address Bend's parking minimums and maximums. Determining how many and how few parking spaces a development can have, the Bend City Council seeks to eliminate parking minimums. This would grant developers the authority to decide how many parking spaces to put in a development instead of the city. The market will drive the number of spaces, encouraging walking, biking and transit systems and infrastructure that could eventually incentivize less car use.
By creating A Climate Friendly Area (a mixed-use area where people can access their daily needs without having to drive) we hope to reduce greenhouse gases resulting from fewer people on the road. The city is currently working diligently on improving sidewalk connectivity and incentivizing better infrastructure for alternative modes of transportation.
Some of our greatest missions within the Business Association are to work with the City of Bend in an effective effort to clean & beautify Bend’s streets, create a safe environment for residents and visitors, and improve sidewalks and infrastructure to enhance Bend’s lifestyle. With the intent to improve this image, the Bend City Council recently passed Title 4, a new code that bans unhoused people from camping in residential areas, city property and public rights-of-way. These include, but are not limited to, sidewalks, roads, and roundabouts. While the enforcement does not begin until March of next year, many fear that the City of Bend passed the regulation too quickly. Concern over lack of resolutions circulate throughout a community seeking equality AND urban renewal. The question of enforcement lingers as the city has not yet decided who will be responsible for the code’s implementation. Various perspectives cumulate in town as some believe that additional shelter beds are the viable solution, others claim it is an individual’s right to occupy a space longer than 24 hours.
Like previous harsh economic times in history, the pandemic created a spike in homelessness due to financial stress, layoffs, mental health crises, and raising housing costs, and subsequent inflation. It is evident that the influx of people and money in Bend has contributed to sky-rocketing rent and housing. Individuals who plan on spending the holidays in their homes wish for peaceful solutions to remedy homelessness; to share a clean and protected city. While others, living in tents and vehicles express stress and anger toward the camping ban, finding the 24 hour code limiting and “no way to live”.
To come to an agreement, there is often somewhat of a mountain to climb. On a societal level, we must demand nothing short of a dramatic and drastic reprioritization of resources. It is not impractical to strive to achieve a solution that would both enhance the Bend lifestyle AND support and protect its most vulnerable individuals. As we seek to beautify Bend, we also endeavor to end discrimination and provide resolutions for those in need. We support business owners who treat homelessness with respect and resolution, as we work to address how to meet basic needs, while creating an environment that accommodates a beautiful & healthy, community-oriented lifestyle.