(Map above: BOSS Route May 2018 | Map Courtesy of Commute Options)
Back for its third year by popular demand, Bend Open Streets will celebrate Bend’s largest public space—our streets and roadways. Bend Open Streets’ mission is to strengthen the vitality of Bend by increasing neighborhood livability and building community. The goal is to encourage sustained physical activity, increase community engagement, build support for broader transportation choices and promote a healthy local economy.
Bring your mom for a lovely neighborhood stroll on Mother’s Day From noon to 4pm on Sunday, May 13, one mile of roadways in the Old Bend neighborhood will be open for play. Rather than closing streets to cars, think of this event as a way to open up the streets so we can walk, ride bikes, play, dance, learn and shop.
Bend Open Streets is different than a block party, street fair or festival in a few ways. There isn’t a beer garden, large music venue or booths for selling goods. It’s dog friendly (on-leash only, please) and free for everyone. All forms of non-auto transportation are encouraged — walking, running, biking, skateboarding, roller-skating, scooter riding — as long as you’re willing to have fun exploring.
“Bend Open Streets catalyzes vibrant public spaces, active transportation, and good health by opening the city’s largest public space — its streets — for people to walk, bike and roll in a safe, car-free environment. It is not about closing streets to cars — Open Streets is about opening streets and connecting neighborhoods with people walking, running, riding bicycles, seniors, adults, and children, all enjoying healthy physical activities right in their own neighborhoods,” says Brian Potwin, active transportation manager for Commute Options.
Residents that live on the route often have fun offerings such as music, refreshments, lawn games or other homegrown activities. Last year, the route had pop-up violin concerts, front yard beanbag toss games, and impromptu hula hooping.
Two designated Activity Hubs, hosted by The Environmental Center and Bend Electric Bikes will offer games, activities and learning opportunities. New this year, are Mini Activity Hubs on the route, hosted by Bend Parks and Recreation. There will also be an infrastructure demonstration project where people can experience “on the ground” infrastructure that will help them feel more confident and safe while biking or walking.
“Bend Open Streets was perfect to bring together community and showcase how our town can share the roadways and plan for a safer, more integrated and efficient transportation mix going forward,” said Bend
resident Rob Mills.
Open Streets, sometimes known as ciclovias are organized in over 160 towns of all sizes and shapes around the world, from Cape Town South Africa to Los Angeles, California. Bend Open Streets is an initiative hosted by Commute Options, with sponsors St. Charles Health System, Footzone, Whole Foods, Bend Parks and Recreation District, Bend Electric Bikes, Brooks Resources, City of Bend and PacificSource.
Bend Open Streets is looking for volunteers for two-hour shifts. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up. We hope to see you there. Visit bendopenstreets.org for all information.
Promoting choices that reduce the impacts of driving alone. For more information, contact Executive Director Jeff Monson at 541-330-2647 or visit commuteoptions.org. Katy Bryce is a freelance writer in Bend. katybryce.com