Public Input Needed on Three Projects

There are three path projects that the City of Eugene and Willamalane Parks and Recreation have applied for via ODOT’s “Transportation Enhancement” grants.  The two in the City of Eugene are for the Jessen Path (from Beltine to Terry near Golden Gardens Park) and Westmoreland Park (which will connect the current path with Filmore, 24th, & 19th and avoid the current hazard of the school parking lot).  More information about these projects can be found in a post on WeBikeEugene.  The Willamalane project is Phase2 of their Willamette River Path project that will connect Clearwater Park to 2nd Ave and Dorris Ranch. You can read more about that project in this post on WeBikeEugene.

All of these projects need public input and could especially use parent views. Please fill out this online survey by Friday, Jan. 28th:

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/TE_Public_Comments_Survey_2010

Approximate Alignment. Click for more detail

Approximate Alignment. Click for more detail

Our great path system in Eugene allows many families to get out and walk, bike, skate and scoot for recreation and transportation. They provide a safe space for people to learn to ride and to get comfortable before riding with other vehicles on the road.  They are an integral part of a complete transportation system.  Here’s something a local teacher recently shared about the importance of our paths to her and her students:

I am a strong supporter of bike paths, but perhaps they should be referred to as multi-purpose pathways. I don’t mind sharing the path.

For over twelve years I led my students on an annual bike trip on the Fern Ridge Bike Path, riding further over the years as the bike path grew, until we finally reached the end at Greenhill Rd. (14miles roundtrip)  These were 6,7 and 8 year old children, some who finally learned to ride a bike because they knew this trip was scheduled.  A trip like this would not have been possible on city bike lanes; I would not have attempted to organize a field trip with 25 students and 15 parents had we not had the bike path.

This trip not only inspired many students to learn to ride and many families to explore another part of Eugene, it also created a wonderful connection with a local business:  Euphoria Chocolate.  Our trips always included a stop to see Bob who generously fueled our riders at the end of the trip!  My personal rides out to the wetlands continue to include a stop at Euphoria and I wouldn’t be surprised if many of my former students and their families do the same!  We could ask Bob if the bike path helps his business.

I feel that the more we provide safe off-street paths for beginning riders we are growing a larger community of cyclists, hopefully a responsible community of cyclists who will respect the road as a biker, and who will share the road as a car driver.

Julie Barnas

3 Responses leave one →
  1. 2011 January 27

    The project listed for Westmorland Park is in the Friendly Area Neighborhood(FAN). A perrenial issue at our FAN board meetings is traffic calming and finding ways to provide greater safety for our pedestrians and bicyclists. The addition of multi-use trails in this park would greatly facilitate access to the Amazon Creek trail, thus adding a significant safety margin to this approach as well as an encouragement to the use of bikes and to walking for health enhancement, which is another one of our identified programs. I strongly encourage the funding of this project.–Carlos Barrera, co-chair, Friendly Area Neighborhood Association.

  2. 2011 January 27

    Thanks for the input Carlos. I hope you are able to fill out the survey with these comments.

  3. 2011 January 28

    Thanks for the information, Shane!

    I just wanted to point out that the survey can be completed in less than five minutes for all three of the path projects mentioned here. I hope we are able to see some of these projects completed!

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