City of Bend’s Update to the Transportation System Plan (TSP)
RWNA Transportation Committee November 13 Update: A few key questions that the public needs answers for:
- Bottlenecks: The city’s press releases always claim the Plan’s projects will address congestion. Why was the list of projects compiled without providing any analysis;
a. To identify present and future bottlenecked intersections
b. To determine the effectiveness of the proposed projects on the bottlenecks? Their claim seems to have little or no basis.
2. Two examples of questionable projects which could potentially undermine the public’s trust in the plan’s list of projects:
a. Lengthening US 97 parkway and BNSF overpasses at Greenwood Avenue and Franklin Avenue– What are the logistics of lengthening these bridges and has anyone spoken to BNSF? Has staff considered all the hurdles and indirect costs of these projects?
b. Portland Avenue – The latest list includes a $17.6 million Portland Avenue project from College Way to Deschutes River to provide “multi-modal transportation facility and safety improvements”. What were the specific improvements used by staff to generate the $17.6 million estimate? As a point of reference, the recent Reed Market Project was $18 million.
3. Expected Benefits – On July 3, 2019, the TSP’s lead consultant reported this list of projects will cause a 3.8% shift in the modes of transportation by the public. Is this modest benefit of the Plan worth its price tag?
4. Full transparency on the plan’s cost – Will the city disclose the total cost impact of the plan’s multiple bonds and other new funding tools or run a campaign that seems to slice and dice to seek approval of only one incremental funding tool at a time when the combined “funding” may be far beyond the public’s comfort level?
5. May Bond ballot – Is the city rushing to a May 2020 bond election date with a plan which seems to resemble more of a Christmas list than a thoroughly examined list of projects which includes for each project;
a. sufficient descriptions
b. documented need
c. documented benefit
d. realistic cost estimate.
The estimate for the entire October 15, 2019 version of the transportation work is about $1 Billion of capital improvements (city estimated share is about $ 575 million), plus another $5 to 6 million annual expense for new programs. The RWNA transportation committee believes the planning has failed to perform the analysis to earn the community’s trust prior to seeking approval of a series of bonds, new fee programs and other new funding tools to pay for this plan. The city needs to earn the public’s trust by being more specific and more thorough instead of being vague and unsubstantiated. The May Ballot should be delayed until the public knows what they are being asked to pay for and they can see that they get some bang for their bucks.
Transportation System Plan (TSP) – Since early 2018, the city has been working on the preparation of a TSP. When completed, the TSP will have an impact on our neighborhood.
The following general overview has been prepared to give you some background City’s TSP efforts to date:
What – The State of Oregon requires (OAR 660-012) each community to have a TSP to assure compliance with state goal #12.
Why now – Oregon requires the TSP to be updated every five years. With the adoption of major changes to Bend’s comprehensive plan in 2016, Bend’s current TSP update is a major effort.
How – The work is conducted using the following components:
-Growth Management Division and consultants
-Citizen Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC)
-Steering committee (city council, ODOT and Deschutes County)
When – Work began early 2018 and is scheduled to conclude in early 2020
Planning steps –
Phase I (completed): A list of projects was compiled to meet the plans objectives and goals.
Phase II (completed): Five neighborhood outreach workshops were held to gather input.
Phase III (underway): Draft plan with projects, programs, policies, priorities and funding
Phase IV (future): Adopt plan
Current status of” list of projects” – The projects have been split into four buckets; a) near-term,
b) mid-term, c) long term, and d) expansions. The latest spreadsheets listing projects in each “bucket can be found in meetings materials for CTAC meeting #13 at this site: https://www.bendoregon.gov/home/showdocument?id=43280
Funding analysis – A subcommittee called “Funding Working Group (FWG) ” has met six times. The 7th meeting is scheduled for October 30th. Here is the site for meeting #7 materials: https://www.bendoregon.gov/home/showdocument?id=43478