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Old 10-09-17, 01:17 AM   #1
B. Carfree
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Had Enough of Eugene; Where to Next?

I've been living in the Eugene, OR area for seventeen years after living in Davis, CA for twenty years. I have another four years committed here (grandpa duty), but I think it's time to start looking around a bit for where I would like to live next.

To be honest, I would be out of here yesterday if I hadn't committed to my adopted daughter that I would stick around while she does D.O. school. I'll give the low-lights of the past couple of months and I think it will be clear why I've had quite enough of Eugene:
Wife menaced by homeless people on main bike path (we live next to it, so it's kind of unavoidable); wife and I assaulted by homeless people two blocks from our house; attempted bike-jacking of adult son on bike path by homeless person; attempted mugging of son downtown; attempted murder of son and me by homeless person with car (she first threatened to run us over because we live in a house, then proceeded to give it a go); menacing of wife and me at shopping center near bike path terminus; attempted bike-jacking of wife and I on bike path.

We could not get police responses to any of these when we called them in. Eugene has allowed violent homeless people to simply take over all of the bike paths by allowing illegal camping along the river and creek. In addition, the underpasses on the bike paths have become nearly impassable because they congregate there for protection from the sun or rain. It's no big surprise that Eugene has now lost 43% of its cyclists since 2009, with no let up in this trend in sight. The number of people walking is dropping like a stone as well. It's really becoming a dystopian story in Eugene if you don't live in the hills on the southside.

So, what do I want in my new locale? Obviously, I want a place that isn't filled with crime. (Eugene's murder rate is up nearly six-fold over the past four years.) The things that I have really enjoyed about Eugene is that once I get out past the suburbs (maybe ten miles from town), the riding is pretty good. After twenty miles, it's simply fantastic. I have boatloads of logging roads and even paved forest service roads to ride for hours on end without any traffic at all. I'd love someplace that has that kind of riding. There is also a close-in loop of about 40 miles that's pretty nice. I prefer hills to flatlands. (Twenty years in Davis cured me of wanting to ride on flat roads.)

We have a bunch of natural food stores. It's great to have places to get quality produce and interesting foods. Not a deal-breaker if it's missing, but definitely a plus. I do need access to UPS or FedEx to ship packages out and decent postal service.

The most important thing is air quality. I've really had it with sooty air. All winter long we have morons burning, either in their yards or in fireplaces with the damper closed off (maximum smoke). Then in summer we are now forest fire smoke central. I really love rain these days just because it means I can ride without coughing up soot.

So, what say you people of the PNW? Where's a grand place to move to for someone who doesn't want to depend on a car for day-to-day things? Take your time, think about it and give me some places to check out. I've got nearly four years to make the call.
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Old 10-09-17, 08:28 AM   #2
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This summer, a junkie broke the window to my car, and pulled my bike out, while I was taking a potty stop. In broad daylight, on a busy street. Bike is the only thing I own that I care about. I can relate to how you feel.

I'm about to send a PM recommending two places I love and don't want to see overcrowded.
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Old 10-11-17, 12:29 AM   #3
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This summer, a junkie broke the window to my car, and pulled my bike out, while I was taking a potty stop. In broad daylight, on a busy street. Bike is the only thing I own that I care about. I can relate to how you feel.
I'm about to send a PM recommending two places I love and don't want to see overcrowded.
Ugh, bike thieves are such a low form of life it's hard to count them among humans. A stolen bike costs the person who has been robbed so much more than the thief gets in return I almost wish they would just ask for cash so the deal isn't such an all-around loser (but of course they would come back endlessly, so that's not going to work).

Thanks so much for the suggestions. I'm really going to try to overcome my procrastinating nature and learn enough to make a decision long before we get to graduation day so we can take some extended trips at various times of year to our new candidate homes.

In the meantime, I'm going to do everything I can to help Eugene get back to where it was, or at least to make it better than it is. I simply can't bring myself to mentally check out for four years. This place has unmatched potential, but it seems like every decision made by every person with authority is bass-ackwards wrong.
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Old 10-12-17, 02:42 PM   #4
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20 years ago , my 50th year, I spent most of 97 in the UK & Irish Republic, on a bike tour amateur music playing pub crawl,
then, when I came back ,

I moved way up north, Clatsop County.. 2013 I managed to find a house, bought from someone who missed the heat of Fresno.
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Old 10-12-17, 03:50 PM   #5
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You should go up and hang out in Corvallis or Albany for a day or two, West Salem is really quite nice too.
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Old 10-13-17, 01:01 AM   #6
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You should go up and hang out in Corvallis or Albany for a day or two, West Salem is really quite nice too.
Corvallis is on the radar. It has the advantage that I could move there while my daughter is doing D.O. school. Her school is in Lebanon and her husband works in Eugene.

We had a neighbor who simply got tired of the effort it took to keep the thugs from taking over Sladden Park. She finally sold her house a few years ago and moved to Corvallis.

Corvallis has the First Alternative food store, decent cycling in the area (still have to be very watchful of time and place, and the trends don't look favorable for it continuing to have decent cycling nearby) and it is always nice to live near a university. The downside is that Amtrak doesn't run through it.

What's Albany got to offer, other than the train station? Years ago, when I first came to Oregon, I took a job delivering ice just so I could get the lay of the land. Albany always seemed kind of screwed up, kind of like Medford. The bike hate seemed palpable, and I was in a truck. I have ridden through it a dozen times or so on my way to/from PDX and none of those rides changed my opinion. What did I miss? It's easy to overlook awesome local loops when one is just passing through.
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Old 10-13-17, 01:15 AM   #7
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By the time you figure it out Eugene won't be Squaresville any more.
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Old 10-13-17, 01:16 AM   #8
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I've lived here for 34 years and I plan to be buried here.
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Old 10-13-17, 01:24 AM   #9
B. Carfree
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I've lived here for 34 years and I plan to be buried here.
You're near the eastern border of Oregon, aren't you? Ontario maybe? What's it like and what do you like so much about it?
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Old 10-13-17, 01:49 AM   #10
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I'm 40-50 miles from most of my relatives and most of all, I'm not in Idaho. No offense to Idahoans, but I escaped in 1978 and I will live and die here and be buried next to the dead mall I spent 30 years of my life in...it's slowly coming back, the furniture store downtown that was going to move into the anchor spot collapsed last January in the freak winter storm, so did the skylights in the mall and part of their new home's roof and a corner of the Albertsons next to it...but it will open soon (the smaller strip mall nearby had an 8" water main burst and the medical center's clinic plus a popular restaurant were flooded out), those will probably reopen before December but the disaster cleanup crews were all over the place so the mall remodeling was greatly delayed.


Our city council has no clue how to run a city and has run us into the ground over the last 35 years while nearby Nyssa at 1/3 the population is rebuilding the entire school plant they started on after the 1975 fire and THEY manage their bonds and budgets quite responsibly...


But I still love this town and I love my small rental house that has been slowly repaired and remodeled over 11 years and moving is an absolute hassle on a Section 8 voucher as people abused the privileges and turned landlords off to HUD in a large (the regulations as well) and my landlord has treated me almost like his brother.


The traffic really isn't any better than yours, relatively speaking although it's much, much smaller (10,000) but this is my home. I though about La Grande briefly but it's too far from Mom.


There is no reason to roam. I am where I want to be. This was not how I felt when I came here in 1983 but it stuck.
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