55 or Nothing
What with school is back in session you'd think drivers would be slowing down. That's simply not the case. In fact, it seems that the average rate of speed on certain Bend arterials and collectors dramatically increases come the start of the school year.
So by way of a public service, how about we collectively "out" all the popular speeding zones around town, compile a list of same, and sent it off to the Bend PD. Bend's finest are probably well aware of the problem speeding zones but a reminder isn't bad idea.
In response, please limit your choices to three.
Here are my top three.
Number 1-The Parkway: O.k., the Parkway isn’t a city street but its 45-mph speed limit is a total joke. Just try to drive 45 or even 50 in the left Parkway lane without having an impatient pickup truck or minivan driver on your bumper trying to coax you forcefully to get into the right lane.
For the record, I was on the City Council (then City Commission) when the parkway was approved. At that time the commissioners tried to have the Parkway speed limit set at 55-mph. ODOT turned the commission down flat.
ODOT set the speed limit at 45-MPH. But let's face it, anyone driving even 55 on the parkway these days is considered a snail. Make it 60 to 70-mph and it would be in line with the current speed of traffic.
Number 2- Greenwood Avenue between Pilot Butte and Third Street (AKA the Early A.M. test track)- Between 50 and 60 mph in either direction is the norm for many drivers on Greenwood during the early morning hours. I have no idea of where they have to get to but they’re getting there fast.
Number 3-The Portland Avenue Speedway- The speed limit is 25-MPH on Portland but after midnight and early in the morning it turns into a training ground for local budding Daryl Earnharts and Jimmie Johnsons. Crank her up to 55 and let 'er go.
The Portland Avenue Speedway's other prime speeding time is around two o'clock when there's a mass exodus from COCC. One suspects the drivers hitting double the posted speed limit at that time are simply anxious to get home to do their homework.
But credit to COCC for expanding the student body size so as to make traffic between the periods cited often a bumper-to-bumper crawl, particularly between five and six p.m. Monday through Friday. And by bumper-to bumper, I mean all the way from College Way to Wall Street and vice-versa.
Not all local speedways are so lucky to get such relief.
So please, send in your picks for those Bend roadways where the need for speed seems to overrule the posted speed limit.