As developers move closer to building a five-story apartment building on Chandler Avenue in southwest Bend, city officials must take the opportunity to do something they should have done long ago. They should ban parking on one side of Chandler in response to the dramatically increased traffic a 64-unit apartment building will bring to the neighborhood.
The next step for developers Paradigm Properties of Eugene is to seek a zoning change on the land. It’s currently zoned CL, a commercial designation that developers want to see changed to mixed use. The city will hold a public hearing on the proposal Friday from 9-11:30 a.m. at City Hall.
Paradigm plans the apartment building at 1609 SW Chandler, although access to the building will be through a cul-de-sac on Nancy Way. Bend’s development code requires 66 parking spaces for the building, which will include two-bedroom and studio apartments, and Paradigm believes the 66 spaces should be enough.
The developers may be right. Even if they are, however, traffic on Chandler is sure to increase.
Officials have said in the past that parked cars on both sides of a relatively narrow Chandler poses no problems. Fire trucks can squeeze past, and that, presumably, is enough.
But the street is curved, and seeing around corners, particularly if one is turning on a street lined on both sides by cars, is dicey, especially with students dashing across the street. A driver maneuvering along Chandler faces blind spots as things now stand. Particularly bad are the curves near the street’s intersection with Yates. With cars parked along the curves on both sides, it can be impossible to see oncoming traffic, and bumped-out curb corners make sightlines worse. Moreover, Chandler is shaded and can be icy in the winter, adding to the danger.
Oregon State University-Cascades has also played a role in creating the issues on Chandler. Charging for parking on campus drives people to park on the street.
The college should stop charging for parking, and city officials should limit parking to one side of Chandler in the name of safety.