Skyliners Road

July 30, 2010

The mere mention of this transportation corridor and mountain gateway on Bend’s west side conjures images of unmatched recreation opportunity, scenic drives and breathtaking (literally!) bicycling adventures. For many, it represents the commute home. However, due to its current configuration and condition that is arguably inadequate for the current diversity and extent of use, Skyliners Road is also a source of challenges and potential conflict between user groups that include motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. The good news is that a strong partnership between Deschutes County, the City of Bend and the United States Forest Service has evolved and is moving forward with a strategy to improve this important transportation facility for all road users.

With funding commitments in place, substantial improvements will occur in the next 2-3 years. In the meantime, BPAC has been tasked by the Board of County Commissioners to help alleviate conflict along Skyliners and help instill a “share the road” ethic among all road users. We hope to engage the support of the broader community, with a goal to enhance bicyclist and motorist safety on Skyliners Road. We expect to achieve this by:

  • encouraging the use of alternative, suitable and potentially less hazardous routes in the community by recreational bicyclists;
  • educating motorists and bicyclists about applicable laws governing shared use of roadways;
  • creating a public education plan to inform the public about the situation on the road;
  • working to positively influence the design of the Skyliners Road improvements;
  • setting a precedent for other roads of similar type in the county;
  • and by creating an atmosphere of cooperation among all interested parties.

Skyliners Road will be reconstructed in the near future, with the resulting design expected to accommodate all
users safely and efficiently. These steps we take today can help insure safe, shared use by all until these improvements
occur, and will help build and sustain an ethic to share the road as part of the incredible culture that is Central Oregon andexemplified in Deschutes County. Thank you for all you do for bicycling, walking and recreating here in Deschutes
County. Thank you, also, for supporting efforts to keep Skyliners Road safe and enjoyable for everyone.

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