While finding a neighborhood board members to give us a tour of Jefferson-Westside on such short notice proved to be near impossible, during the effort, I had the privilege of talking with neighborhood chair Della Perry about Jefferson-Westside including some of the issues that she deals with everyday. Because I had simply called to try and schedule a tour of the neighborhood and wasn’t very prepared for a full interview, not to mention Perry is extremely busy with her position as chair, I was only able to talk tentatively about Jefferson-Westside and some of its issues. One of the first things Della told me was that the position she signed up for was supposed to be about sic hours of work a week and now she spends about 60 at it, so I would really like to thank her for taking the time to talk to me.
- Perry’s first topic was to explain great sense of community found in Jefferson-Westside. She talked about how beautiful and roomy the neighborhood is for residents and that they are very adamant on keeping it that way. “You are part of a community here, unlike many neighborhoods where you can live there for year without knowing the person across the fence, everyone knows each other. We are very tight knit.” Perry said of the Jefferson Westside residents.
- This led into the neighborhood association’s goals of keeping developers in general from taking over the neighborhood as she believes is happening in several other neighborhoods in Eugene, Perry referenced the west campus neighborhood specifically. Perry says most residents like the quiet, almost small town atmosphere, in Jefferson-Westside and believes allowing too many developers to move in not only harm that atmosphere but could affect crime and create density problems for residents.
- One of the more recent controversies in the neighborhood has been LTD’s proposal to extend its EMX line into the Jefferson Westside neighborhood on west 11th avenue. Perry says the many residents are concerned about several matters if the bus line is put in. She says if the line went in, parking along the side of the street would be eliminated and many of the large tress that line the side of Jefferson Westside’s roads and make the neighborhood, as Perry describes “kind of like a forest in a city,” would be taken out. Many residents are also concerned about the added pollution having additional buses would cause. My news team member Jennifer also interviewed city councilman George Brown, who gave a different perspective on the issue. LTD has also given considerable effort to win over residents to the idea of extending the EMX line