Drive down Reed Market Road during five o’clock traffic and there is no question that the major thoroughfare is in need of some major improvements. What was in question at the Bend City Council meeting June 21 is how the city will pay for the much needed updates.
City staff and consultants from Parametrix and Otak have been working for a year to come up with both short-term and long-term solutions to clear up the congestion that often plagues the road that runs east-west through the ever growing city.
“We have a tremendous amount of traffic on a small road,” said Dave Malkin, a Bend City Council member. He said there has to be some kind of changes made.
Reed Market Road, Bend
Proposed to alleviate the problems piling up on Reed Market Road include several short-term projects laying the path to eventually creating a four-lane corridor with several multi-lane circular intersections.
Those intersections, also known as roundabouts are recommended at Division Street, Third Street and Fifteenth Street.
Roundabouts are used to reduce accidents, traffic delays, fuel consumption, air pollution and construction costs. The circular intersections increase capacity and enhance intersection beauty. They have been successfully used to control traffic speeds in residential neighborhoods and are accepted as one of the safest types of intersection design.
In addition, a temporary signal was recommended at American Lane. It would be removed after a grade-separated rail crossing is constructed. That crossing would include an underpass for Ninth Street.
A center-line median for access control was also proposed for the section of road from Division to Third Street. That segment of Reed Market Road has the highest crash rate in the corridor.
“I was very pleased with the proposal,” said Malkin. “All of it has been approved, pending funding and scheduling,” he said.
According to the reports executive summary, "The challenge has been to select high-impact projects that will effectively address transportation needs and can be funded with available resources."
So, what will the final price tag be? The reports estimates projects planned for the first five years will come to approximately $16 million. Projects done during the second five-year phase would ring in at $18 million. An estimated $12 million of that would go towards the grade-separated railroad crossing.
“These project recommendations are those that can be built in the near term with identified city funding resources and state/federal funding participation," the report states.
While, the city's latest five-year capital projects budget includes funding for the projects, more will be needed from state and federal sources. Oregon