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Safer by Design

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Hanging flower baskets and people walking along Franklin Avenue in Downtown Bend during the summer

Welcome to the City of Bend’s Making Bend Safer by Design project web page.

The Making Bend Safer by Design program is the City’s data- and community-driven approach to making the streets of Bend safe and comfortable for all Bend residents and visitors.  The program implements proven safety designs in our streets with input from the community. The focus is on preventing crashes and providing safer connections at key intersections and corridors throughout Bend.


Toolbox of Safety Renovations

When communities are designed for people, neighborhoods are more livable, commercial businesses thrive and people walk and bike more.  This toolbox outlines a variety of specific safety features proven to create safer streets for everyone.

 

Neighborhood Greenways

We all want a transportation system that meets everyone’s needs safely and efficiently. Most busy roads in Bend have a bike lane, yet many people find it intimidating to ride a bike. Cut-through traffic hurts livability in neighborhoods.  Greenways create a network of roadways that address both of these issues.

What it is:

Greenways are low volume, low speed streets oriented to people biking or walking, while still allowing access by cars:

  • 20 is plenty (20 mph posting and design).
  • Traffic calming
  • Shared lane markings or “Sharrows”
  • Include help crossing wide, busy streets by providing a visible crosswalk, safety island, or crosswalk flashing beacons.
  • Designed to reduce cut-through traffic
  • Small signs guide you to community places such as parks, schools & stores.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Provides a low-stress network of streets that offer a continuous and direct route
  • Specifically designed to accommodate people of all ages and abilities whether walking, running, biking, skating, or driving to local destinations.
  • Includes the use of multiple safety tools, including curb extensions, chicanes, pavement markings, speed humps, wayfinding, and/or traffic diverters to keep speeds slow and volumes low.
  • 63% fewer bike crashes than parallel arterials.

Best Use:

  • Low volume (1,000-3,000 AADT), low speed streets.
  • The Neighborhood Greenway should lead to other bike facilities in the network providing connectivity to schools, parks, shopping and other key local destinations

 


 

Bike Box

What it is:

A Bike Box is a safety zone given on the approach to an intersection. People on bikes position in the box to avoid conflicts with right turning traffic (or even left turning traffic, depending on the bike box’s design). Typically used at traffic signals in conjunction with “No Turn on Red,” “Stop Here on Red,” and “Yield to Bikes” signage.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Improve visibility for everyone
  • Keeps crosswalks clear of encroaching traffic
  • Separates paths of travel so people on bikes and in cars do not conflict
  • Increases driver yielding to people on bikes to 98%

Best Use:

  • Bikes boxes are effective when speeds of people driving and biking can be matched. Bikes can only move into the box during a Red Light or when other traffic is stopped.

 


 

Image of a bike corral in the street in front of a downtown business.  The corral has safety markers on either corner, and a bumper strip between it and an adjacent parking spot.

Bike Corral

What it is:

A dedicated bike parking area in the street or sidewalk.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Allows for the whole family or group to park at once.
  • Frees up additional space on the sidewalk for outdoor seating, or other commercial activities.
  • Makes people more visible at intersections.
  • Adds convenience and security.
  • Research shows that people who walk or bike to retail areas were more likely to spend more money in the area than people who drove.

Best Use:

  • Anywhere there is more demand for bike parking than can be accommodated at a single bike rack.
  • Anywhere bikes block the sidewalk or spill  over to being locked to trees.

 


 

A buffered bike lane between a curb and a two lane road.

Buffered Bike Lane

What it is:

Enhanced bike lane with additional pavement markings used to create a buffer between the bike lane and vehicle travel lane and/or parking lane

Why It’s Effective:

  • Provides more space between the person biking and moving cars or opening parked car doors.
  • Can be supplemented with flexible delineators, or other physical separation (See Protected Bike Lanes)
  • Increases number of folks biking by up to 271%

Best Use:

  • Lower speed to intermediate travel speed streets
  • Wherever more comfort for people riding bikes is desired

 


 

Completing the Street

What it is:

Many older streets in Bend do not yet have modern safety features. Often, these roads were previously used as highways. Bend has grown up on either side of them, and they were absorbed into the urban fabric of the community. Originally built as a highway, they act as barriers between neighborhoods and businesses and account for the highest crash rates in the community. Modernizing these corridors by completing the street ensures a safe and comfortable roadway for everyone.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Right-sizing the number of lanes and providing for turning movements accommodates modern traffic patterns and reduces chances for collisions.
  • Bike facilities such as bike lanes, buffered bike lanes or protected bike lanes increase rider comfort and visibility while reducing potential crashes.
  • Curb extensions reduce the time it takes to cross the street.
  • Safety islands reduce the complexity of crossing the street.
  • On-street parking provides space for customers of small businesses.
  • Reduces crashes up to 47%

Best Use:

  • Wide streets
  • Streets that have become barriers within neighborhoods and emerging business districts.

 


 

A large, curved sidewalk corner at a crosswalk on an urban street. Signal and crosswalk posts are set back a good distance from the street.

Corner Radii Modification

What it is:

Reconstruction of an existing intersection corner, sidewalk, and curb ramps to reduce the travel speed of turning traffic and increase visibility and safety for everyone.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Makes it easier to cross the street.
  • Makes it easier to see people crossing the street.
  • Gives more time to drivers turning at the intersection.
  • Provides a more comfortable space for seating, bike racks, and bus stops.
  • Reduces all crashes by 37%.

Best Use:

  • Intersections with conflicts between users.
  • Intersections with higher crash rates.

 


 

Crosswalk Flashing Beacons

What it is:

A high-intensity warning beacon located at marked crosswalks to increase awareness of people attempting to cross the street. Also referred to as Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacons (RRFBs).

Why It’s Effective:

  • Increases the number of people in their cars who yield to people crossing the street.
  • The beacon is activated only when a person is ready to cross the street.
  • Increases driver yielding from 18% to 88%

Best Use:

  • Wide streets
  • High volume streets
  • Fast streets
  • When a 4-beacon arrangement can be provided to optimize effectiveness

 


 

Curb Extensions

What it is:

An extension of the curb and sidewalk area at intersection corners.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Reduces the time it takes to cross the street.
  • People waiting on a curb extension are more visible, especially when on-street parking is present.
  • Provides Opportunities for realigning marked crosswalks and curb ramps.
  • Allows additional space for bike parking, a bus stop, stormwater facilities, or commercial activities such as sidewalk cafes or merchandise racks.
  • Reduces all crashes by 37%

Best Use:

  • Anywhere to increase visibility of people crossing the street
  • Streets with on-street parking

 


 

Green Colored Pavement

What it is:

Colored pavement markings used to show the safest path of travel through an intersection. Can be dashed to increase awareness of potential conflicting movements across driveways or turning lanes.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Increases everyone’s awareness of bike traffic.
  • Clearly delineates potential conflict areas.
  • Path of travel .is more predictable.
  • Clearly indicates the expected path of travel in complex areas.
  • Can be solid or dashed for consistency with bike lane extension pavement markings.
  • Reduces bike crashes at conflict points 39%

Best Use:

  • Conflict areas, such as intersections and driveways.

 


 

A bike lane protected by grade-separation along a single-lane, one-way street approaching a roundabout.

Protected Bike Lane

What it is:

An enhanced bike lane with a physical barrier between the bike lane and vehicle travel lane such as a parking lane, planters, bollards, or other physical barrier, and/or grade-separation. Also known as “Cycle Tracks” or “Separated Bike Lanes.” Can be one way or two way. Requires specific intersection and driveway treatments such as protected intersection safety islands, mixing zones, access management, and uniform grade transitions.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Offers the highest range of separation and protection from cars and trucks of all on-street bike facilities.
  • Have been shown to reduce crashes for all road users by 40%.
  • In some cities,  rates of bicycling have doubled after installing protected bike lanes.

Best Use:

  • Intermediate to high vehicle travel speeds

 


 

Arial view of  roundabout surrounded by trees and homes.

Roundabout

What it is:

A circular intersection configuration featuring a large center island that people navigate in a counter clockwise direction. Instead of a traffic signal, roundabouts require all roadway users entering the intersection to yield to on-coming traffic before merging into the circle.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Reduces approach and intersection speeds.
  • Eliminates the chance of colliding head-on.
  • Simplifies decision making.
  • More continuous flow on the network can reduce delay and emissions.
  • Lower maintenance costs.
  • Reduces injury crashes 87% over two-way stop controlled; 45% over all-way stop controlled; and 19% over signal controlled intersections.

Best Use:

  • Busy street intersections
  • Intersections with high crashes or potential for high crashes
  • Gateway intersections where speed management is important
  • Intersections with vulnerable populations such as parks, schools

 


 

A crosswalk intersecting a safety island on a two lane road near a neighborhood.

Safety Islands

What it is:

A raised concrete island located in the middle of a crosswalk. Safety islands can be added at an intersection or mid-block.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Takes less time to cross the street.
  • Reduces the complexity of crossing the street (cross one direction of traffic at a time).
  • Makes everyone more visible.
  • Provides room to place flashing beacons or additional crosswalk signs.
  • Reduces crosswalk crashes 46%.

Best Use:

  • Wide streets
  • High Volume Streets
  • Safety islands can also function as traffic diverters

 


 

Bicyclists crossing a two-lane street through a traffic diverter near a city neighborhood.

Traffic Diverters

What it is:

By physically blocking most vehicular traffic from access, this traffic volume control tool reduces the amount of cut-through traffic on a street. Diverters can be designed to allow some types of traffic, such as emergency vehicles and people walking or biking, to still access the street. They can function as safety islands, and are designed for the specific needs of the street. For example, a traffic diverter can restrict large freight traffic while allowing emergency service vehicles full access.

Why It’s Effective:

  • Helps control traffic volumes on streets.
  • Deters “cut-through” traffic.
  • Can provide the same safety benefits as safety islands.
  • Reduces injury crashes 21%

Best Use:

  • On low traffic/low speed streets, such as residential or bike boulevards.