The purpose of the U.S. 97 Parkway Plan is to complete a multi-phase planning process that:
Goals & Objectives
- Analyzes the transportation deficiencies and clearly identifies, articulates and prioritizes problems in the corridor over the next 20 years.
- Identifies feasible solutions to key problems.
- Evaluates and prioritizes solutions based on benefits, costs and ability to implement them within financial constraints.
- Develops an implementation plan that is supported by partner jurisdictions and includes commitments to short term actions.
- Improve safety for all modes
- Support economic development throughout the region and state
- Manage transportation mobility into the future
- Consider accessibility to key destinations now and in the future
- Facilitate the use of multimodal travel options
- Enhance the environment
- Identify cost effective solutions
- Develop an implementation plan
Due to the large amount of data to gather, the Parkway Plan has been divided into two phases:
- Phase 1 is now complete. This phase focused on developing a set of goals and objectives and understanding existing conditions.
- During Phase 2, the project team developed a Parkway Vision to ground the exploration and selection of future strategies and actions in a common understanding of the purpose and role of the Parkway. The Vision was shaped by feedback from the public, agency partners, the project Sounding Board and Technical Advisory Committee. Ultimately, Phase 2 will identify low-cost investment strategies that will help improve mobility, reliability and safety. These solutions will be evaluated based on their benefits, costs, and ability to implement them within financial constraints.
- The final plan recommendations will be incorporated into the BMPO’s Metropolitan Transportation Plan.
- Review evaluation of alternatives: November-December 2019
- Investment Strategy: January-February 2019
- MPO TAC/Policy Board review
- Draft Parkway Plan: Spring 2020
- MPO TAC/Policy Board review
- City, MPO and OTC Adoption: Summer 2020
U.S. 97 from Tumalo Rd. to Baker Rd.
Cost and Funding
The U.S. 97 Parkway Plan will identify a wide range of improvements to enhance safety, mobility, walking, biking and transit use. Recommendations will focus on low cost design solutions and those that increase the efficiency of the existing facilities such as operational, management and safety strategies to help improve performance for drivers as well as people who walk and ride bicycles.
What Problem Will This Improve?
U.S. 97 is the main north south transportation corridor through Central Oregon. Community leaders in Oregon have identified U.S. 97 as their number one transportation priority for moving goods and people. As a seismic lifeline route, U.S. 97 will also be Oregon’s primary route for interstate commerce and emergency services if Interstate 5 is closed or restricted after an earthquake.
The Bend Parkway, which supports local and regional travel as well as critical statewide needs, is the most heavily used section of U.S. 97 in Oregon. Parkway users frequently experience delays and congestion, and the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization (BMPO), which is in the process of updating its regional long-range transportation plan, predicts that this segment is unlikely to adequately meet future travel needs without improvements.
In Fall 2018, a public survey collected feedback from 1,799 respondents who reaffirmed many of the problems identified in the Parkway study, including:
- Frequent congestion and delays throughout the Parkway.
- Problems with traffic signals, intersections, and Parkway access.
- Safety concerns for people who walk and bicycles along or across the Parkway.
What will this plan do?
This plan will look at transportation problems and identify cost-effective, achievable improvements in the corridor that will serve the needs of drivers as well as people who walk and ride bicycles. Adding new lanes throughout the corridor is unlikely due to cost and physical constraints such as bridges, the narrow median, and closely spaced interchanges. Instead, this plan will attempt to identify low cost design solutions, and operational, management, and safety strategies to help improve performance.
How is this plan different from previous U.S. 97 studies and the Bend TSP?
The U.S. 97 North Corridor Study addressed the highway section north of U.S. 20. The South Parkway Refinement Plan addressed the southernmost section. This plan addresses the rest of U.S. 97 through the BMPO area. (See map on reverse.) The Bend Transportation System Plan (TSP) is a separate but related effort that will identify transportation improvements throughout the City. The Parkway Plan team will work closely with the City of Bend to ensure that Parkway improvements complement and leverage these and other planned improvements elsewhere in the Bend transportation system.