A Closer Look at the Plan Series: Street Connectivity & Traffic

Last month we submitted our Master Plan application to the City of Bend. Over the next few months we’ll take a closer look at the various aspects of that plan to give you a better understanding of the vision for Discovery West.  

Today we’ll ask you to use your imagination and go on a little virtual driving tour of Discovery West in the future to get a sense of the street connectivity and anticipated traffic patterns in and through the neighborhood.   

Ready?  

Imagine we’ve left the NorthWest Crossing neighborhood center, heading west on NW Crossing Drive. Excited students from Summit High are just leaving for the day as we pass and find ourselves at the main entrance to Discovery West. Turning right onto the newly extended Skyline Ranch Road, we enter the neighborhood by driving onto an impressive roadway that crosses over the extended Discovery Park, which allows happy dogs (and their owners) to pass below. 

Once we pass over the park and enter the neighborhood, we find ourselves on a street that has plenty of room for traveling vehicles, parked cars and bikes, as well as neighbors strolling on wide sidewalks. Quickly, we begin to see townhomes (some with retail on the ground floor!) and a neighborhood plaza. It is the densest area of the neighborhood with lots of activity. We could keep heading north and enter neighboring properties all the way to Shevlin Park Road, which will feature a new roundabout at its intersection with Skyline Ranch Road. This new north/south connection is a great alternative to Mt. Washington Drive.

However, for this tour, we decide to stay in Discovery West and head west on a new collector street that follows the neighborhood’s distinctive arc street pattern. We see students riding bikes home from school, safely in their lanes, along the tree-lined street. This part of the neighborhood is all single-family homes. To the right and up the hill is a connection to Sage Steppe, an extension of an existing road that Tree Farm residents will use as an alternate entrance to and exit from their neighborhood. To mitigate speed coming down that hill, we notice that the road terminates right where we are, and a lovely pedestrian greenway corridor to the left (south) gives neighbors a safe way to access trails in nearby Discovery Park.
 

After waving to a few friends we see in the neighborhood, we decide to turn left onto a smaller, local street, north of the park. We’re now heading southeast, and we have seen many lovely homes with large front porches (not a garage or driveway in sight, thanks to the many alleys that allow residents to access from the backside of their homes). We notice how many different street connections help disperse traffic, pedestrians and bikers throughout the neighborhood.

As we approach the park again, this time on the west end of the beautiful forested open space, the road narrows (no parking here!) and we see a formal park with energetic kids playing to the right.  

Next, we find ourselves in the commercial and mixed-employment area of the neighborhood. This area, which stretches to Skyliners Road to the south, feels very much like an extension of the buildings and uses that are to the east in NorthWest Crossing, such as Ruff Wear, Hydro Flask and Snap Fitness. Additionally, tasteful apartments are to our left, which provide housing opportunity near the schools for families, teachers and staff.  

As we turn left onto Skyliners, street improvements can be seen as we head east toward downtown. Trail connections are complete on both sides of the street and a new roundabout improves circulation at Skyliners and Skyline Ranch Road.  

Thanks for joining us on this tour. While this is just a taste of what’s to come, we hope you’ve noticed how we have carefully considered the design of the streets in context of the design of the master plan. This street plan is also based on extensive experience with similar street types in NorthWest Crossing, which have proven over time to be both effective at traffic calming and safe for all modes of travel.