Bend City Council considers closing Bond and Wall Streets for dining

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Wall St, Downtown Bend, May 2020. Kayla Scott/ The Broadside

Gabriela Benevento / The Broadside

As phase 1 of reopening the selected Oregon counties begins to make its move across Central Oregon, the Bend City Council is debating various different ways to keep local businesses booming safely.

One of the options is considering different street closure options for downtown Bend. All options were discussed in the Bend City Council’s meeting on May 16.

  • Option One: Extend seating, display and circulation for businesses on the sidewalk areas. This option’s passing would require city management authority.
  • Option Two: Use a portion, or all, of private parking areas for seating and/or display. This second option would also require city management authority.
  • Option Three: Use portions, or the entirety, of streets for seating, display and circulation. This third option would require a “policy level council discussion.”Businesses in retail, dining and more would be considered. Clothing racks could be in sidewalk areas or in the middle of streets, along with dining tables for restaurants. Each business area would be sectioned and spaced properly for social distancing.The council made it clear that downtown Bend is not becoming a pedestrian mall, but that the possibility of street closure would be a temporary emergency response to COVID-19.The Bend City Council has not made an executive decision on which option for extended seating, display and circulation they will pursue. Mayor Sally Russel discussed at the meeting that the Bend City Council will be paying attention to feedback from businesses and desired needs in order to move forward with an executive decision.
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    “I do like the idea of having businesses come to us. And have to have your have your neighbors be okay with it… I just want to make sure I just want to make sure it’s equitable, and we aren’t harming other businesses just in order to help out certain businesses” – Livingston, Justin

    “ I think that having the business initiate it will naturally help us get proposals that businesses feel will really help them and keep them going through this phase” – Goodman Campbell, Gena

    To report any new ideas, feedback, desires or needs to the local city council, contactcouncil@bendoregon.gov.Businesses can also contact Bend Mayor Sally Russel at srussell@bendoregon.gov.

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