Old 09-14-19, 10:28 PM
B. Carfree
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Location: Eugene, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Cat Daddy View Post
So here is something I copied from the GEARs website on their Advocacy page.

"GEARs promotes and encourages bicycle riding for transportation and recreation. The Advocacy Committee works to create a physical and cultural environment in the Eugene-Springfield area in which riding a bicycle is safe and enjoyable.

GEARs Advocacy (and its predecessor, the Eugene Bicycle Coalition) has played a key role in implementing many improvements for bicycling, including:

  • Better bike access on the Ferry Street Bridge, and the construction of the DeFazio Bike Bridge
  • Construction of the East Bank section of the Riverfront Path, from Valley River Center to Delta Highway
  • Bike Improvements on 24th Avenue, west of Friendly
  • Installation of bicycle parking at Woodfield Station (29th & Willamette), the Fairgrounds, LCC’s Downtown campus, and other sites
  • Construction of Eugene’s first “cycle track”, on Alder Street
  • Creation of a system to help keep major bikeways free of leaves in the fall
GEARs Advocacy is planning to highlight top infrastructure hazards to cyclists in the Eugene-Springfield area. The goal is to help focus government entities on infrastructure improvements that improve safety of bicycling within the cities and also on roads connecting to surrounding communities."

I'm not from Eugene, so I can't verify the accuracy of the claims they make on their Advocacy page. But it does seem that the club does care about the cycling culture in the area.

I'm sorry your son had knives pulled on him. Eugene does seem to have a lot of homeless people. I wonder if it's ever been suggested to the city's "powers that be" to perhaps have a couple of bicycle cops patrolling the multi-use paths in town? I remember thinking last year when riding the bRamble that those bike paths would be kinda scary at certain times of the day.
The GEARs advocacy page is mostly BS. Yes, the transportation planners do tell them what they have planned, but no project has ever been initiated, funded or actually built because of GEARs. (At one point the transportation planner mostly responsible for Eugene's decline in cycling, Reed Dunbar, was the president of GEARs.) Sadly, much of what they tout have been problematic infra builds. 24th is a door-zone bike lane and Alder has simply failed because of the driveway issue.

There are a number of us pushing for bike cops and we meet regularly with EPD command staff, including the chief. We got a new police chief 15 months ago and he has been handed an extra $30 million (that's a lot for a city this size) to bring his force numbers up. It takes 18 months to get a new hire on the street, so they're still undermanned. Unfortunately, this chief is more into catching basement-dwelling losers than he is with bike path or road safety. We're working on him and may eventually get some cops on bikes at night (daytime isn't needed), but it's going to be at least another year or two.

Parks and Open Space has funded some "park ambassadors" who roam the bike paths, but lack police powers, and only one of them actually does anything. Joey from Brooklyn is his name, and he's incredible. People set up a camp on the Owosso bike bridge and he gave them an hour to move it. They delayed, so he hauled their stuff, by hand, right out from under them.

Sadly, on many levels beyond cycling, Eugene could easily provide shelter for its homeless population but chooses not to. It's not like they're going away (we have entities that provide abundant free hot food, free tarps, free sleeping bags, free clothes, etc, so once one is down and out here it's hard to move away). We have some younger people running for our city council this next year, so maybe they can turn the tide and prioritize this.
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