- Courtesy Ariel Mendez
The best way to address this is to get back to fewer cars. Bend's summer crush of congestion is driven by about 15% more people on our streets. If a similar number of people—not everybody, just 10 to 15%—felt comfortable not driving, that summer crush would be greatly diminished.
As a board member of the Bend Park and Recreation District, I will continue to support providing outstanding parks, trails, and recreation opportunities close to your home. Just as important, I support working with other local governments to address community-wide issues such as affordability and transportation.
A good illustration of this commitment is Alpenglow, the 37-acre community park in southeast Bend currently under construction. Packed with amenities including a sprayground and event stage, my favorite aspect of Alpenglow is the planning that went into how people will get there. District staff have described Alpenglow as a "hub for trails" and have worked with other districts to share parking, provide transit, build foot bridges across the railroad tracks and canal and provide a network of trails so that kids, families and all community members can access not just the park itself, but the new Caldera High School and surrounding neighborhoods without a car.
— Ariel Méndez, PhD is vice chair of the Bend Park and Recreation District board and teaches political science at OSU-Cascades.