by Franklin Bains
A common trip from campus to west Eugene will consist of diverse sights, smells, and sounds.
This trip generally takes one transfer on a Lane Transit District (LTD) bus, and surprisingly, the LTD buses are fairly full in both directions around 4:30 p.m.
Half way between in both directions is Eugene Station, a hub for LTD travel this side of Lane County. From either a combination of nearby scents or just a lack of noticeable ones, it is strangely absent of a distinct smell.
Near the main path of west 11th avenue, the smell of tire rubber and other auto parts is evident in the air. But just off a couple blocks, the area seems similar to one nearer to campus.
Between 12th and 15th along Hayes Street, while it lacks sidewalks like many of the residential streets in the University’s neighborhoods, the homes and streets resembled many on this side of town.
A bike path and park just off of 15th and Hayes completes the odd experience of west Eugene. Just four blocks away from a jumble of small businesses and larger big-box stores is this secluded park with a variety of trees.
Dogs were barking, crows were cawing, and bikers were biking by.
Around 5:30, a train sounds in the area. It seems to be the only thing connecting this natural area to the world around it.
The return trip seemed to confirm the sensory feelings of west Eugene as a varied place, connected through public transit and public interest. The buses headed east were similarly full and had a similar combiniation of senses.