Last night during the City of Bend's City Council Goal Setting Work Session (video link here), City Council heard from a plethora of local community groups and neighborhood associations. The Downtown Bend Business Association was invited to talk about the needs of Downtown Bend business and building owners.
The Downtown Bend Business Association (known as the DBBA or The Downtowners) spoke of the need to move people and products around Downtown Bend efficiently, safely and reliably. This need aligns with City Council's 2017-2019 Goals & Objectives for the greater Bend community.
Executive Director, Mindy Aisling, said that business and building owners within the Downtown Bend EID were concerned that they were closely approaching, or had already met, a cap on their customer count, and that they were concerned about how they could continue to grow their businesses without expanding and improving access to, and parking in, Downtown Bend. Aisling reported that increased parking & accessibility was the DBBA's Board of Directors primary concern.
The DBBA's written input to Council (see below) also mentions Safety & Hospitality and Future Planning and Budgeting as the top three areas of focus that the DBBA would like to witness in the near future.
The DBBA's official, measurable, request to Council was to see the City's Capital Improvement Plans (CIPs) reflect the needs of Downtown Bend businesses and visitors, including a plan to develop a future parking garage, and to have the Transportation System Plan acknowledge Downtown Bend's location as a centrally located transportation hub for all modes of travel.
After the meeting, Aisling made statements supporting many of the requests from local groups that Council had heard from, including the Bend Orchard District Neighborhood Association's request for bike and pedestrian connections from the East side into the BCD and Downtown areas. "We are doing everything we can to support and increase the use of alternative transportation into and out of Downtown Bend - both for our visitors and for the 4,000 plus employees that work in Downtown."
Aisling also praised the City of Bend in her comments, "I am honored to work with City of Bend staff, every staff member that I have had the opportunity to work with has shown creative, intelligent thinking and a commitment to positive growth in our community."
For more information, or to become a part of the Downtown Bend conversation, email the DBBA at firstname.lastname@example.org.