Residents, businessmen, and employees in West Eugene have mixed feeling when it comes to their neighborhood. Although they like the neighborhood and embrace the community in which they live and work they have several concerns about the area.
Budie Nelson has been a resident of West Eugene since November of 2007 and she speaks highly of not only West Eugene but of the city as a whole. “Eugene is awesome. Anything you want you can find it, no one is judgmental.” Before moving to her apartment building almost three years ago Nelson said her friend told her not to talk to people in the area, however this quickly changed for her. “At first I was skeptic about talking to people…but the apartment is open and honest, everyone looks out for each other.”
Some residents like Dan Spencer of Jack’s Barber Shop on West 11th Avenue do not feel entirely the same way as Nelson. When asked about if he thought anything in West Eugene needed to change, he without hesitation jokingly replied “I got a shotgun by me…do you think things need to change.” His joke however is a reflection of real concerns about crime in the area. On a more series note Spencer went on to say “there’s a lot I would like to see changed,” “the city council needs to go, the mayor bye-bye.”
Spencer did not have only things he would like to see changed in West Eugene, he also had good things to say about the area as well. “I have a quite life nobody bothers me, it’s peaceful.” He and a customer he was just finishing up with both of whom had only good things to say the local about Papa’s Pizza Parlor. “They do a lot of good stuff, give half of what people spend to different causes if they bring in a flyer for that cause on the day it says.”
David Jones a student at the University of Oregon as well as an employee of Papa’s Pizza Parlor said “there is a sign on the door about business against the EMX.” Papa’s Pizza like many other businesses on West 11th is against the proposed EMX Extension. Although Jones does not live in the area he likes the restaurant and the area. To him the business are friendly to one another and work with each other, “We have traded pizza for services before.”
West Eugene has like any neighborhood its share of good and bad, but it is how they react which brings out the true nature of what it mean to live and work in West Eugene. Wither it is coming together with neighbors and watching out for them like it is with Nelson, or showing a unity of opinion on local issues, West Eugene is a community where people can always find a place to belong.