Editorial: Galveston makeover vision is appealing

Published Sep 18, 2013 at 05:00AM

Galveston Avenue is ready for a makeover. Popular businesses, including restaurants new and long-established, are drawing customers and their cars to the area. But parking is limited, traffic moves too fast for safety, and the area is far from pedestrian- or bicycle-friendly. Nearby neighborhoods have been burdened as cars park far up side streets.

For more than two years, a task force has been working on a plan to make the area more attractive and solve those problems and others. On Oct. 2, the Bend City Council is scheduled to consider a contract for preliminary design work.

Advocates envision a project funded by the city, as well as grant money and possibly a local improvement district, in which businesses and nearby property owners would tax themselves to pay for some of the work.

It’s a good model of cost sharing, given that both locals and the community at large stand to benefit from the project.

Proponents hope to see the Galveston corridor gain the kind of atmosphere that make downtown Bend, the Old Mill District and NorthWest Crossing destinations for residents and tourists alike.

The vision includes on-street parking, a possible median, sidewalks, trees, landscaping and a small roundabout at the intersection with Harmon Boulevard. Some of the concepts include no center turn lane, which may be unpopular.

The overall vision, though, has many attractive concepts and is likely a worthy investment for the city. The community organization and potential for cost sharing are appealing as well. Details matter, of course, and the city needs to carefully assess requests for zoning changes and also assure that its investments are properly allocated across the many areas of the community.