Most government surveys -- in fact, most surveys in general -- are a long list of questions and "definitely agree/disagree" pondering moments. The city of Bend is taking a different tack as it embarks on a momentous chore: plotting the city's future growth.
The city must revisit its years-long effort to decide how big its urban growth boundary -- the state-required line around the city for future growth -- should be. And it wants to hear from more than just the folks who show up at council meetings.
So the survey asks some familiar type questions - what's your priorities, in terms of city goals and strategies to get there, though in interactive click-drag fashion - but also provides a map to say where in the city you believe, say, a bike lane is needed, a cave needs protecting, you'd like to work.
Of course, life -- and government -- isn't so click-drag pin-the-map simple to fulfill in a way many will agree upon.
Here's how the city announcement put it:
"For those who would prefer to weigh in from the comfort of home, the City of Bend is offering a fun and interactive online tool where participants can tell the City which kinds of goals are important to them, highlight examples of how they think the city can best meet those goals, and show where within the city they would like to see different kinds of housing, business and natural areas."
Click on the link for the easy-to-use, online survey at www.bendoregon.gov/bendugb. Respondents can spend anywhere from two minutes to two hours on the survey, depending on level of interest and available time.
(Two hours? Actually, city planners say you could spend all day "playing" with it if you want.)
The Urban Growth Boundary (UGB) is a line on the city's map that identifies Bend's urban land. This boundary represents a state-required estimated 20-year supply of land for employment, housing and other urban uses.
"As the city continues to grow, we have an opportunity to develop a plan for future growth that reflects the community's goals and meets state planning requirements," the city news release stated.
Information collected from the survey will, along with other research and input, inform and influence the steering committee members as they design a proposal about Bend's future land needs and uses.
"Please get involved and help shape the future of Bend," the city asked.
More information is available on www.bendoregon.gov/bendugb.
And after you try it out, feel free to comment on it here at KTVZ.COM -- if nothing else, the rankings and map-pins should prompt some thoughts worth sharing about how you feel the city should proceed.