by Franklin Bains
While west Eugene community members say they like the convenience and accessibility of the area, they would support road improvements and oppose expansion of EmX service west of Eugene station.
The issue of EmX expansion drew local fire recently when local businesses heard about the issue and opposed it on the basis of keeping west Eugene residents at west Eugene jobs.
“I don’t know a lot about the issue … I hear they want to keep jobs more local,” Aaron’s employee David Doty said.
Doty also said that one of the qualities he appreciated about the region was the relative site of his store.
“(It’s a) good location, there are a lot of stores nearby,” Doty said.
In addition to local stores, Doty, a Springfield resident, cited how close the area was to the University of Oregon’s campus.
“(It’s) just kind of close to the University,” he said.
Office Depot employee Marie Hampton also lives near Springfield and works in the area and said the bus system, LTD, was a major quality for west Eugene.
“The bus is really easy to get to,” Hampton said.
On a similar note, she added that while she didn’t have feelings either way on the EmX issue, she understands the sentiments.
“I personally have no opinion, I get how it’s not busy enough to get (service),” Hampton said, adding “(the campus) area and Springfield are more busy.”
Brian Henson works at Mattress Mania in west Eugene and summed up the reason people see the area as convenient.
“You’ve got everything in west Eugene that you’ve got in the whole town,” Henson said.
Henson also summed up the concerns of local residents about expansion of the bus rapid transit (BRT) service into west Eugene.
“I firmly believe in (public transit); instead of rapid tranist, they should look at existing transit and expand that,” he said.
The main reason for favoring other forms of transit, Henson said, is that rapid transit is limited and generally doesn’t turn off the main road and would be against “cutting other transit services.”
Both Henson and Hampton would like to see the roads improved in the area.
“Just the streets … finish repaving west 18th,” Hampton said.