The city of Bend and its 13 neighborhood associations want your help. Specifically, they want Bend residents to ask for assistance making neighborhood streets safer. Requests are due by Sept. 20.

There are rules, of course. Streets must have a certain amount of traffic, for one thing. They should have more than 400 vehicles on them per day, or more than 11 cars in 15 minutes. At the same time, they shouldn’t be major through streets like Third Street or Greenwood Avenue. Too, they must be more than three blocks long. And the eligible projects themselves are relatively small improvements. The program is aimed specifically at making neighborhoods safer for bikers, pedestrians and kids going to school.

Among the projects that aren’t eligible is street paving. The two-year program has $800,000, and paving is too pricey to qualify.

Rather, officials hope to improve neighborhood street safety by doing such things as improving lighting, filling in small gaps in sidewalks and adding marked crosswalks and speed bumps.

Applications can be found, completed and submitted on the project website. If you prefer, you can ask for a paper application, though you may miss the 5 p.m. Sept. 20 deadline if it must be mailed to you and then mailed back to the city. Applicants may submit as many projects as they wish.

After the deadline each neighborhood association will select the two best applications for their neighborhood and the Neighborhood Leadership Alliance will rank them. Improvements will be made from that list, and work is expected to be finished by 2021.

Communities don’t always give residents what this program provides, a direct say in safety measures that will improve safety for themselves and their neighbors. Take advantage of it. That crosswalk you’ve been hoping for just might make the list.

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